Badminton

Michelle Li, Rachel Honderich in all-Canadian badminton final

Their shot at a doubles badminton title ended with a semifinal loss on Tuesday, but either Michelle Li or Rachel Honderich is guaranteed to win singles gold when they square off in an all-Canadian women's final on Thursday night at the Pan Am Games.

Doubles teammates square off for Pan Am singles gold

Canada's Michelle Li is the top women's singles seed at the Pan Am Games. (Scott Heppell/Associated Press)

Their shot at a doubles badminton title ended with a semifinal loss on Tuesday, but either Michelle Li or Rachel Honderich is guaranteed to win singles gold when they square off in an all-Canadian women's final on Thursday night at the Pan Am Games.

The pair's most recent singles encounter came last year, with Li beating Honderich at the Pan Am championships.

The Hong Kong-born Li, who is ranked 15th in the world and seeded No.1 for the Pan Am Games tournament in Toronto, said she and Honderich are close friends on and off the court.

"We room together, we do everything together. We're still training together [Wednesday].

"Maybe I'll drive her to the middle of nowhere and just leave her there," Li joked.

In the singles semifinals, the Markham, Ont., native showed visible signs of discomfort with her right leg, but when questioned about it she shrugged it off.

"I can still play, it's not too bad," Li said. "I injured it a couple of weeks ago at the Canadian Open, but it's wrapped up and protected. But I guess I'm not at my best and my Achilles tendon is strained."

The 2011 Pan Am singles and doubles gold medallist said her love of badminton allows her to push through the pain. 

"It's the passion I guess that allows me to continue to play and not give up. I don't like to give up and I want to fight for every shot and do the best I can."

Li's initial goal was to focus more on singles than doubles coming into the tournament, and she expressed her excitement for the matchup against her doubles partner.

"I'm definitely looking forward to it. It's definitely going to be very special to me and something I'll remember for the rest of my life. I'm going to be playing against my teammate Rachel, so it's going to be interesting."

Another Canadian playing in a singles final is Andrew D'Souza, who went from losing the first set to winning the next two against No. 1 seed Osleni Guerrero of Cuba. The unseeded D'Souza, who called it "the biggest win of his career," will face Kevin Cordon of Guatemala for gold on Thursday.

The mixed doubles duo of Alex Bruce and Toby Ng will also be playing for gold on Thursday afternoon.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.