Hawks alumnus strikes silver at nationals
By Darren Lum
Published March 15, 2018
Red Hawks former badminton phenom and 2013 Athlete of the Year Darcy Schmidt captured silver at the national collegiate level, representing the Humber Hawks.
With partner Cameron Lai, Schmidt won the silver medal for men’s doubles at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Badminton National Championships held from Feb. 28 to March 3 at the Concordia University of Edmonton.
Schmidt called this a highlight of his collegiate career, second only to his men’s doubles bronze he won at nationals in his first year with Ryan Chow back in 2015.
“This is the best I’ve done in my badminton career as well as playing some of the best badminton of my life. Losing is hard to take but I plan on learning from this experience and move forward, looking back with positivity and gratefulness that I had the opportunity to take part in the Canadian Nationals,” he wrote in an email.
The team of Nick Roque and Imran Wadia for Northern Alberta Institute of Technology took set one 21-16 before Schmidt and Lai battled back to take set two, 21-17. Roque and Wadia won the third and final set, downing the Humber team 21-12 to earn the national title.
Despite the loss, the graduating landscaping technician student was satisfied with his performance and the improvement from his first trip.
“I was really hoping to bring back the gold this time around. I achieved bronze at nationals my first year of college and was happy at the time with that. And once I won my semifinals game at regionals this year, knowing that I was then going to nationals, I was focused on getting gold this time around. I’m still happy with the silver even though I was really hoping and playing for gold. Even though I lost, I gave it my all and played my best, we were just beaten by an overall, stronger team,” he wrote.
It’s small consolation, but the Hawks doubles team’s only losses were against the national title holders, who were perfect except against Schmidt’s team, dropping the lone set.
For Roque and Wadia, this win was a year in coming, as this pair won silver (Roque in mixed doubles and Wadia in men’s doubles) at the CCAA championship last year.
Schmidt acknowledged the skill and quality of his opponents.
“They’re both top players in Alberta and both finished second place at nationals last year, so I knew going into the tournament it wasn’t going to be easy to win. What ended up being the difference was more experience and just overall higher level players, they both have made it to national finals before so they could handle the pressure and keep their cool on court. And just the little things on court that made the deciding factor, playing smart/safer shots and just being more consistent overall.
As far as the future for Schmidt, he’s looking to the next chapter of his life.
“I have a great job in Toronto in the landscaping field, which is what I have been studying at Humber College for the past two years. I plan on working with the company for the next few years and see where my education and experience takes me. I will always play badminton in my spare time and when I can and maybe enter some open tournaments here and there,” he wrote.