The taste of bronze is always a little bittersweet, but for Ryan Chow and Darcy Schmidt, it had an extra kick to it.
Humber’s Chow and Schmidt, varsity badminton players, were awarded the CCAA bronze medals in men’s doubles badminton last week, after an eligibility ruling bumped them up from fourth place.
“It feels pretty good,” said Schmidt. “It’s not the way I wanted to win it, but I guess the guy wasn’t playing legally so he shouldn’t have been there anyways.”
The eligibility ruling was based on a Langara College athlete’s academic course load, or lack thereof, said Humber Athletic Director Ray Chateau.
“It was nothing untoward by the institution,” said Chateau. “In fact the athletic director self-identified to the CCAA that one of their athletes had just changed courses from full-time to part-time, so it became an issue that they weren’t eligible to compete.”
The ruling made way for the Chow and Schmidt duo to be bumped onto the podium, after initially losing the bronze medal match to the now ineligible Langara College team.
“It was a tight match, it went to three games,” said Humber’s Ryan Chow. “It went to the wire, but in the third game we lost 21-16. We lost to them pretty closely in the round robin as well, so we knew it was going to be a tough game.”
Regardless of the original outcome of the match, Chow and Schmidt earned the bronze medal, Chateau said.
“It’s hard that they don’t get that moment of recognition,” said Chateau. “They were extremely close to winning it, I know Ryan Chow played outstanding badminton. Obviously it doesn’t have the same feel as if you do it at the venue, but for them it’s still a bronze medal.”
Eligibility ruling aside, Chow and Schmidt are happy with their performance at nationals.
“Medaling is always a big achievement,” said Chow. “Obviously I would have liked to get second or first, but third is still a big accomplishment”
Although the duo are holders of the CCAA bronze medals, they will have to wait to get their hands on the hardware, said Chateau.
“We’re going to make an effort to recognize them, so we’ll do something at our Varsity Gala in September to recognize them there,” Chateau said.
Until then, Chow and Schmidt will enter the offseason with a goal of improving for next year.
“I don’t really take breaks,” said Chow. “Basically four of five days a week, all year long.”
With a long summer of work and practice, Chow and Schmidt will enter next season with their eyes set on winning the CCAA gold medal, whether their opponents are eligible or not.