Fil-Am kid wins Pan-Am badminton gold medal in CanadaPosted on August 18th, 2012 under Sporting Gold
Don Henley Averia [via ABS-CBN News]
9 year-old Don Henley Averia won the gold medal at the 21st Pan-American Junior Badminton Championships in Canada.
The son of a Filipino-American couple from Waldorf, Maryland topped his division in the under-11 age group at the junior badminton tilt held in Edmonton, Canada.
The games drew the most promising shuttlecock players in the Under-11 to Under-13 categories from 16 countries.
It was his first Badminton World Federation (BWF) tournament, and his mom Treldy said. “I am very proud of this win.”
“He feels victorious because he was up against a 10-year-old Peruvian boy who was about 3 inches taller than him,” his mother revealed, adding that the gold medal was a “big reward” for all the preparation that required daily practices for the past 3 months.
He was the only Fil-Am in the US badminton juniors team. He earned the slot by winning the qualifying trials held in Boston, Ma. last April via a 7-0 sweep of his games.
Don has been playing badminton since he was 5 years old and likely adopted the sport from his father who plays it for recreation and exercise.
The family is currently based in Qatar so Don goes to the international school there.
“We would bring him to the badminton court with us whenever we had time to play,” she recounted. “He was fascinated by the quick moves of the game and how one could outsmart his opponent.”
He later joined the Qatar Badminton Academy where he swept games in the singles and doubles categories for both the Under-10 and Under-13 age groups.
“He has always been praised for his excellent footwork and intelligence in the court. During his first tournament outside Qatar, he was voted Most Promising Player,” Treldy told the Manila Mail.
Don points to 28-year-old Chinese 4-time world and reigning Olympic badminton champion Lin Dan as his biggest sports hero.