Trail’s Frank and Kathy Emery competed in the 64th Canadian Masters Badminton Championship last week each performing admirably in their respective classes.
But it was 72-year-old Frank, in a repeat of last year’s performance, who ultimately won gold in the over-70 Men’s Doubles with partner Daryl Bissell of Comox.
“Looking forward to it, I wasn’t sure how easy it was going to be but we’ve been pretty competitive with the 65-and 70-year-olds – we can hold our own,” said Frank Emery.
The defending champions engaged in a heroic struggle in the final.
After winning the first close game 21-19, they came back in the second after being down 16-17 to win 21-18.
The tournament is an open format that attracted over 200 players from all over the world.
Kathy played in two mixed-age classes, the over 55 and over 60.
With the most competitors in the tournament, she did well to take her first two matches in the 55 class before bowing out in the consolation final.
Frank and his Louisiana partner Elsie Wilson also missed out in the over-70 mixed, losing the third and deciding game of the match, 18-21.
“We panicked near the end of the game and made four costly errors, however a semi-final finish was very good,” explained Emery.
He also reached the quarter-finals in the over-70 mens singles but by that time a nagging calf injury handicapped the veteran birdie-basher.
Emery has competed in badminton tournaments for 57 years with an average of a dozen games per tournament.
At the Canadians though he played in four different age classes, playing a total of 21 games altogether.
“Even though you’re 70 there’s a bit of conditioning that goes on.”
The Emery’s play in tournaments in B.C. and across North America creating friendships and rivalries that have lasted many years.