Gold Medal Winners from earlier RSM tournaments

This is the story of the 2003 Ray Scott Memorial written by Top Flight President, Bob Ericson and printed in the Flick.

Ray Scott Memorial, 2nd Annual by Bob Ericson, Top Flight President


I was on my way home one night recently from the zoo (I work in a real zoo, y’know) driving up the freeway. It was starting to get dark and this purplish-maroonPT Cruiser zipped passed me and pulled into my lane in front of me. I didn’t think much of it until I noticed the license plate of the purplish-maroon PT Cruiser: PRESN ON! Now where’ve I heard that before? It has to be a gentle reminder from ‘you know who’ to get off my butt and finish this story for the Flick. Seems like the Guru and his ‘old white suit’ are still on my case. Guess I just needed a reminder to “Press On.”

As I sit here in front of the computer and glance up, The “Guru” looks down on me from my portrait of him I did for the 25th anniversary tournament. Makes me wonder why I never included the words Press On when I did the original drawing. Ummmm.

But, back to the issue at hand. Where do I start? What’s my opening line? Same old story-last minute entries? Is anybody coming to the tournament? “Where’s my luggage?” They made the tournament, or, Are you sure that’s the last event-so early? Or, Did you see who won? Or, What did you eat at the dinner break? Or, Did you see those fancy draw sheets at the scorers table? Or, Did the BADMINTON signs direct you to the venue? Or, Where did all those A-Boards come from in the center of the gym floor? Or, Did you see those trophies Top Flight awarded at dinnertime? Or, Who keeps up the scrapbooks now? Or, Sponsors? Or, Number of participants?

I arrived at the venue before 8am. No one else was there. Shortly thereafter Al and Carol Toris and his trusty computer arrived. Len was there not long after as were Jim Ronni and Hank Schuring. They manned the check-in desk with Carol. By 8:45 no players had checked in. What gives? Am I here on the right day. By 9am only one or two had checked in. Hey, what’s the deal here? Hank said, “How do we get people here on time?”

Participants began trickling in through the north gym door. Some of the St. Louis-ites arrived not long after. We have to forgive Russ and Mary Ann Bowles for being slightly tardy. They’re always punctual. This time they arrived safely but their luggage somehow went to Boston. So they had to go out and buy some court essentials. A few of the Omaha based participants began to wander in. Around 9:15 the Iowa State contingent arrived en masse. Hey, maybe we will have a tournament after all. Phew!

By 9:30 Len and I corralled participants for the welcome and administrative reminders essential to tournament operations. After a moment of silence to honor tournament namesake, Ray Scott, and some administrative announcements, Len called the first seven of 88 matches.

Did you see all those A-boards in the center of the gym? Top Flight says Thank You to our sponsors: R&G Enterprises, CYZAP, The Racquet Corner of both Lincoln and Omaha, Willie Foster, Casey’s Distributing, Nebraska Senior Games and Hank Schuring.

Since the tournament lacked sufficient entries in certain categories, some events were eliminated or combined with others. This juxtaposition enabled some players to gain valuable tournament experience and play in several events.

One of those on the receiving end of this extended baptisim under fire, winning and losing, was Top Flight Secretary Carol Toris, a dedicated and enthusiastic recreational player. She had the opportunity to compete in Open Women’s Doubles, Open Mixed Doubles, Senior Mixed Doubles and Master Women’s Doubles. In OWD (teamed with Alicia Janas, Ames, Iowa) she lost to Kavya Gaddam and Wenxia Wu from Ames, Iowa in the Consolation Final. Competition in Open Mixed Doubles (with fellow Top Flighter Amit Agrawal) was tough and they lost in the Consolation semi-finals.

In the Senior Mixed Doubles Consolation event she was a winner with Jim Ellis, Omaha (a racquet ball player competing in his first Ray Scott tournament). In Master Women’s Doubles she and partner Carolyn Foster earned a Silver medal while losing 15-4, 15-0 to Mary Ann Bowles and Elly Bhuyan from St. Louis.

Carol had the unenviable or enviable experience, depending on how one looks at it, of playing three times against perennial tournament participant and winner of many events, Mary Ann Bowles. Despite losing all three times Carol said, “I never played in an Open event before. It was fun and challenging at the same time.” Hey, Carol took home plenty of hardware: One gold, one silver and one bronze medal. Great experience.

Although it wasn’t a big event there were some really interesting games in the Tournament Novice Division. In this event an experienced tournament player teams up with someone who has never played in a tournament and who is basically a recreational player. Teams comprised young and old

(Jim Ronni and grandson Michael Engelkamp), short and tall (Ron Wu and Louis Jackson) and male and female (Al Toris and Shan Fan). Al and Shan won the round robin event.

Ames, Iowa winners included Vincent Ong (Open Men’s Singles Consolation -Bronze), Wenxia Wu (Open Women’s Singles Consolation -Bronze), Dattaprasad Kamat/Jagrut Jani (Open Men’s Doubles Consolation-Bronze), Kavya Gaddam/Wenxia Wu (Open Women’s Doubles Consolation-Bronze) and Dattaprasad Kamat/Kavya Gaddam (Open Mixed Doubles Consolation-Bronze).

The real surprise of the tournament was Top Flight member Herman Batelaan winning the Open Men’s Singles then teaming with Suanne Au to win the Open Mixed Doubles. How did they do that? Well, since I wasn’t privileged to see either event I can only go by the scores. In OMS Herman, Jia Shi Wong, Ames, Iowa and Jagrut Jani fell victim to Herman before he bested fellow Top Flighter and Open Men’s Doubles partner, Amit Agrawal, in the OMS final, 15-1, 15-2. He and his partner missed getting to the OMD final when they lost to eventual Silver medalists Chandra Mowli and Jeetu Dayaldasani 15-8, 15-6 in the semi finals.

Herman garnered his second gold medal in Open Mixed Doubles teaming with Suanne Au. On their road to the title they bested two teams from Ames, Iowa and one from St. Louis before defeating the St. Louis team of Jeetu Dayaldasani and Mary Ann Bowles 15-12, 15-7.

Open Men’s Doubles featured an all St. Louis final. Vinay Atluri and Ishwinder Arora defeated Chandra Mowli and Jeetu Dayaldasani in three games 6-15, 15-8, 15-7. I did happen to catch some of this final. It didn’t take me long to notice how smoothly Vinay and Ishwinder played together and covered the court. Whether responding to a smash, a drop or a clear Vin and Ish were there to greet the shuttle and send it back over the net to win a point. Their foot work, snappy forehand and backhand strokes kept them in command of the game. This court presence was especially evident and a carry over from their previously won OMD semi final against Gunnit Khurana and Mani Ponniah, Omaha 15-2, 15-8. They kept the Omaha duo off balance the entire match and forced Gunnit and Mani into committing too many errors.

When queried after his convincing victory in OMD, Vinay said ” the tournament was very organized, great hospitality, the competition was moderate, about an A+.”

Chandra Mowli, Vinay’s OMD victim and fellow St. Louisite commented, “Great hospitality and organization. That’s why we come.”

Since there were only 10 events this year our traditional dinner hour was earlier than in past tournaments. Sharon Frady and clan put on another fine recherche with their hot soup, sandwiches and other goodies. Plenty of desserts and special dishes from several of our international members rounded out the menu.

A special highlight of the dinner break was the presentation of two Top Flight awards to club members: the Ray Scott Sportsmanship Trophy (presented annually to the player who is adjudged to have contributed the most to badminton and whose sportsmanship, attitude and achievement best exemplifies the spirit of badminton) and the Don. C. Lamoine Trophy (presented to a Top Flight member for personal expenditure of time and outstanding expertise in organizational ability in the interest of badminton as demonstrated by Co. Don C. Lamoine. Ron Wu received the Ray Scott Sportsmanship trophy. Jim Ronni and Hank Schuring were co-winners of the Lamoine trophy.

The dinner hour passed quickly and it was back to the courts. Yep. You got it: PRESN ON! It was downhill from there to the final match of the day: an all Iowa OMXD Consolation. Dattaprasad Kamat and Kavya Gaddam defeated Kun Song and Ruchita Fuloria 15-12, 6-15, 15-8. “We’ll be back next year they all said.” Top Flight will welcome them back. Their contingent “made” the tournament.

Hey, it’s only 7:30 and we’re done! 88 matches, 147 games and 2,706 points have been recorded on the fancy draw sheets and are destined for the scrap books. Surprises and glitches are history.

Guess I answered some of the possible story lines. Same old story-last minute entries? Is anybody coming to the tournament? They made the tournament, or, Are you sure that’s the last event-so early? Or, Did you see who won? Or, What did you eat at the dinner break? Or, Did you see those fancy draw sheets at the scorers table? Or, Did the BADMINTON signs direct you to the venue? Or, Where did all those A-Boards come from in the center of the gym floor? Or, Did you see those trophies Top Flight awarded at dinnertime? Or, Who keeps up the scrapbooks now? Or, Sponsors?

Wasn’t that one of the story head lines I couldn’t decide on. Oops, Ray is still “watching me.” Time to be PRESN ON.

Seems like only yesterday we had our first meeting about the tournament back in July at Ray’s old office. Now the 29th annual tournament is history and it is time to start think ing about the 30th anniversary next year.

Complete results:

Open Men’s Singles:

Gold: Herman Batelaan, Lincoln, NE

Silver: Amit Agrawal, Omaha, NE

Bronze: Vincent Ong, Ames, Iowa

Open Women’s Singles:

Gold: Suanne Au, Lincoln, NE

Silver: Kavya Gaddam, Ames, Iowa

Bronze: Wenxia Wu, Ames, Iowa

Master Men’s Singles:

Gold: Bob Ericson, Omaha

Silver: Bob McFarland, Grand Island, NE

Bronze: Willie Foster, Omaha, NE

Open Men’s Doubles:

Gold: Vinay Atluri, St. Louis, MO/Ishwinder Arora, St. Louis, MO

Silver: Chandra Mowli, St. Louis, MO/Jeetu Dayaldasani, St. Louis, MO

Bronze: Dattaprasad Kamat, Ames, Iowa/Jagrut Jani, Ames, Iowa

Master Men’s Doubles:

Gold: Len Williams, Bellevue/Russ Bowles, St. Louis, MO

Silver: Willie Foster, Omaha/Bob McFarland, Grand Island

Bronze: Bob Ericson/Jim Ronni, Bellevue, NE

Open Women’s Doubles:

Gold: Suanne Au/Christine Anthes-Smith, St. Charles, IL

Silver: Carolyn Foster, St. Paul, NE/Mary Ann Bowles

Bronze: Kavya Gaddam, Ames, Iowa/Wenxia Wu, Ames, Iowa

Master Women’s Doubles:

Gold: Mary Ann Bowles/Elly Bhuyan, St. Louis, MO

Silver: Carol Toris, Omaha/Carolyn Foster

Open Mixed Doubles:

Gold: Hermann Batelaan, Lincoln, NE/Suanne Au, Lincoln, NE

Silver: Jeetu Dayaldasani, St. Louis/Mary Ann Bowles

Bronze: Dattaprasad Kamat, Ames, Iowa/Kavya Gaddam, Ames, Iowa

Senior Mixed Doubles:

Gold: Len Williams, Bellevue, NE, St. Louis, MO

Silver: Bob Ericson/Elly Bhuyan

Bronze: Jim Ellis, Omaha, NE/Carol Toris, Omaha

Tournament/Novice Doubles:

Gold: Al Toris, Omaha/Shan Fan, Omaha

Silver: Ron Wu, Omaha, NE/Louis Jackson, Omaha, NE

Bronze: Jim Ronni, Bellevue, NE/Michael Englekamp, Bellevue, NE

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