Friday, 14 Jun 2024

Badminton Pan America

The Canadian duo, Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai, have made an impressive start to the season, securing three titles so far. However, they are determined to push themselves even further and strive for better performances at the higher level of the circuit.

Honderich and Tsai have emerged victorious at the Pan Am Individual Championships, the Brazil International Challenge, and the Pan Am Games. They have also reached the quarterfinals of the Canada Open. These accomplishments have propelled them to the 30th spot in the world rankings. Moreover, their results in the qualifying period for Tokyo 2020 have positioned them at No.11 in the Race to Tokyo rankings.

Despite their success, Honderich believes that their journey to qualify for Tokyo 2020 requires a delicate balance between competing in top-tier tournaments and lower-level ones.

“We’ve had a great start to the year, winning the Pan Am Championships, the Brazil Challenge, and performing well at the Sudirman Cup,” Honderich explained during the Japan Open, which served as a test event for Tokyo 2020. “We began by playing Challenger tournaments in Pan America, and now we’re heading to Asia and Europe, hoping to gain even more from competing against stronger teams. Although we’ve had a good start, we aren’t satisfied. We aim to set higher standards. This is a stepping stone for us, and we’re determined to achieve better results in the future.”

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Honderich emphasized the importance of striking a balance in their tournament selection. They aim to challenge themselves against top teams in bigger tournaments while also gaining experience by participating in the Challengers and Super 100s. This approach enables them to understand what it’s like to be a higher seed and handle the pressure of winning, while simultaneously being underdogs in the larger tournaments.

However, one of the significant challenges they face in their quest for Tokyo qualification is funding.

“A few of us receive government support, which is a monthly allowance that can be used for tournaments, training, and hotel expenses,” revealed Honderich. “Unfortunately, it’s not sufficient to cover the costs, especially in an Olympic year when we might participate in up to 20 tournaments. As a result, athletes have to find alternative ways to finance their journey, whether it’s through clubs or self-funding. It’s undoubtedly a challenge.”

Alongside their badminton pursuits, Honderich and Tsai also have academic commitments. Honderich, in her third year of a kinesiology degree, has decided to complete her studies after the Olympics. Tsai, on the other hand, is close to finishing her Masters in criminology and manages her studies during breaks between tournaments.

“I’ve chosen to prioritize my badminton career this year,” shared Honderich. “Finding time for my studies has been challenging. However, my degree is sports-related, so I have had the opportunity to learn things that directly impact my performance, which is pretty cool.”

Tsai, who has always been intrigued by crime shows, is currently working on her thesis. “I hope to complete it soon. I’ve finished all my coursework, and now I can work on it whenever I have some free time between tournaments. It should have been completed earlier, but I’m taking it slowly.”

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Q: How many titles have Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai won this season?
A: The Canadian duo, Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai, have won three titles this season.

Q: What is their current world ranking?
A: They are currently ranked 30th in the world.

Q: How are they faring in the Race to Tokyo rankings?
A: Thanks to their recent performances, Honderich and Tsai are placed at No.11 in the Race to Tokyo rankings.

Q: How do they plan to qualify for Tokyo 2020?
A: Honderich and Tsai aim to strike a balance between participating in top-tier tournaments and lower-level ones.

Q: What are the challenges they face in their qualification campaign?
A: One of the significant challenges they encounter is funding, as the allowances they receive do not cover all their expenses.


Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai, the Canadian badminton duo, have enjoyed a successful season, securing three titles and climbing up the world rankings. They strive for even better performances as they aim to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. With a strategic approach of competing in both top-tier tournaments and lower-level ones, they are determined to challenge themselves and gain valuable experience. However, funding remains a challenge for them, and they have to find alternative ways to support their journey. Alongside their badminton pursuits, Honderich and Tsai also manage their academic commitments. Honderich plans to complete her kinesiology degree after the Olympics, while Tsai is close to finishing her Masters in criminology.