William Roussy takes another giant step with silver at Parapan Am Games

Canadian Paralympic Committee

November 26, 2023

Canadians tally three more medals in Para badminton

Day 9, Para badminton men Final SL3

SANTIAGO – William Roussy of Marie, Que. is just getting better with age. And the good news is, he’s only 20.

Roussy won the silver medal in the Para badminton SL3 men’s standing singles Sunday, dropping the final 11-21, 21-18, 21-15 to defending champion Pedro de Vinatea of Peru.

In addition, Bernard Lapointe of St-Léonard, Que. and Yuka Chokyu of Vancouver added bronze.

Roussy’s exciting centre court match featured long rallies with tremendous retrievals. It lasted 65 minutes, the longest match of the tournament. It kept the exuberant fans that packed the Centro de Entrenamiento Olímpico at the edge of their seats.

‘’I was expecting we would have long exchanges, so I knew it was important to warm up really well,’’ said Roussy, ranked 12th in the world and at his second Parapan Ams. In 2019, at age 15, he was fourth in singles. ‘’Still this result was a big step in my career. I hope at the next Games I can win the gold.’’

The longest rally of the match lasted a mind-boggling four minutes and 20 seconds in the third set. They also had a four-minute rally in the second and another one just under three minutes in the first.

While Roussy was fighting for gold, two courts over at the same time, Chokyu cruised to the bronze medal in the women’s wheelchair singles. She defeated Amy Burnett of the U.S. 21-5, 21-5 in a mere 20 minutes.

‘’I’m proud to get the bronze medal,’’ said Chokyu, 56, a three-time Paralympian in wheelchair tennis (2000, 2004, 2008), and a badminton silver medalist at the 2019 Parapan Ams. ‘’The level of the players especially compared to 2019 is going up, every country is working hard and we are going to have to keep up.’’

With over 25 years in competitive Para sport, Chokyu is far from done.

‘’I’m still going to try and get a spot for the 2024 Paralympics,’’ she said. ‘’It’s a little bit further away from me now because I didn’t win here but I still have a chance if I play well at the world championships (in February).’’

Lapointe only needed 21 minutes to dispose of Jose Chaves of Brazil in the men’s WH2 wheelchair bronze medal match.

‘’I didn’t sleep all night, I wanted that medal so bad,’’ said Lapointe, third in doubles at the 2019 Parapan Ams. ‘’I was in a great zone the whole game, I could feel I was on. I gave him no chances and the match went exactly as planned.’’

Mikhail Bilenky of Burnaby, B.C. lost his bronze medal match 21-11, 21-19 in the men’s WH1 singles to Victor Dominguez of Colombia for fourth. At 62, Bilenky only started playing the sport in 2018.

‘’I never thought I would one day compete at this level,’’ said the Russian-born Bilenky, a staff scientist with the B.C. Cancer Agency. ‘’So I’m not too upset with the loss today. I played him earlier in the tournament and I had a plan. But it didn’t work.’’

Canada’s Para badminton team ends the Games with a silver and three bronze. On Saturday, Olivia Meier of Winnipeg won the bronze in the SL4 women’s singles.

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