The Student News Site of Saratoga High School

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Senior has achieved lofty heights in badminton career

From the moment senior Bryan Chow was introduced to the sport of badminton, a seed was planted that would take him to unbelievable heights. With blood, sweat and tears invested in what started as a fun pastime, Chow’s hard work gave rise to an impressive career.

As of today, Chow has qualified for the U.S. national team to play in the Pan American Games, is sponsored by Yonex and achieved the coveted title of No. 1 junior boys singles player in the nation in 2012 after winning the Northwest Super Regional Junior Badminton Tournament as a sophomore.

In addition, he placed third at the 2010 USA Badminton Junior International Trials; second in boys’ doubles and first in boys’ singles at the 2010 and 2011 USBDF Winter Junior International Championships; second in boys’ doubles and third in boys’ singles in the 2011 International Junior Badminton Championships; and first in boys’ singles in the 2012 Northern California Super Regional Badminton Tournament.

Before he started to play competitively at age 14, Chow played recreationally at the local community center with his childhood best friend, Sylas Sun. As Chow’s interest in the sport grew, so did his resolve to get better.

“I started taking lessons at badminton clubs like Smash City, Bay Badminton Club, and Bintang — I really developed a passion for the sport,” Chow said.

Chow entered in his first open tournament at the age of 12 with Sun having little experience in the sport. Playing doubles against two college students, Chow did everything he could to be taken seriously.

“Our opponents were very physically intimidating, and needless to say, we lost the first round,” Chow said. “However, after that loss, we vowed to never play another tournament until we were ready to win.”

Chow then fully invested himself into his training and conditioning his body. As of now, Chow is taking a break from training, but at the peak of competition season, he trains every day for three hours with his coach

Holvy De Pauw at the Bintang Badminton Academy.

“Our training regiment was extremely physical with cardio and explosive drills,” Chow said. “My favorite part were the rare game days where we could play against the coach and other players on the team.”

The hard training certainly paid off, as Chow accomplished a career high when he won boys’ singles in the 2012 Northwest Super Regional Junior Badminton Tournament. After standing on the top tier of the podium, he was officially the best boys singles player in the nation under 17.

“It was certainly an amazing feeling,” Chow said. “To know that I was the best player in my sport throughout the nation was a great honor.”

Although Chow’s badminton career has been full of triumphs and well-earned accomplishments, it hasn’t been without its share of lows. At the 2011 junior nationals, Chow ended up being knocked out in the second round by a lesser player.

“It was really an eye opener,” Chow said. “I knew I needed to train harder for next year and to stop slacking off.”

Chow has been playing on the school’s varsity badminton team since freshman year. Since his first year, Chow has played every position, holding spots in boys’ doubles, singles and mixed doubles in consecutive seasons. This year, Chow is planning on playing either singles or mixed doubles.

“I like playing for the school team since it’s such a contrast to training; it’s much more relaxed, and there is more time for games and socializing with friends,” Chow said.

Last year, Chow placed third in CCS for mixed doubles with his partner, 2013 alumna Lauren Chu. He points to winning a hard-earned CCS title for boys’ singles during Chow’s sophomore year as his favorite moment playing for Saratoga.

I could remember many of my team members watching me play and cheering me on during the finals match,” Chow said. “[The match] was extremely close and very thrilling.”

Now, as a senior captain and trainer, Chow continues to hone his skills and inspire incoming players with his passion for the sport and incredible technique.

“What sets [Chow] apart is his versatility since he can play anything,” senior varsity player Alvin Huang said. “Also his smash is strong, but he compounds that with how quick he hits the bird. He has good footwork and a bunch of tricks up his sleeve; he is a very well-rounded player.”

Chow encourages new players to step out of their comfort zone and challenge better players to “learn constantly from their court presence.”

With so much experience under his belt, Chow continues to be a valuable asset to the school team and a star player whenever and wherever he picks up a racket.

“Every time I lose a match, it becomes fuel for future wins,” Chow said. “Success is sweetest when so hard won.”

Badminton practices began in late February, and the first pre-season game was a home game against Leland on March 6.

League games start on March 25, with the team playing a home game against the Cupertino Pioneers.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Saratoga Falcon

Your donation will support the student journalists of Saratoga High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Saratoga Falcon

Comments (0)

All The Saratoga Falcon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *