Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Iron maiden wins badminton trifecta

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Just because Kristy Beettam pumps iron with her father Dan, don't expect this 18-year-old Winnipeg Winter Club athlete to cut the former Manitoba novice bodybuilding championship runner-up any slack.

"A couple of years ago, I might have beaten her (on the court), but I don't think I would be able to take her now," her father said, adding that an old bodybuilding injury has taken its toll on him.

His daughter is loath to let up for anyone. Milissa Liew discovered that Sunday as Beettam won the Manitoba junior closed under-19 girls singles badminton championship, defeating Liew 21-4, 21-12 at the Wildewood Club.

"Oh yeah, we train a lot in the weight room together," the No. 2 seed said of her father. "We push each other, so it's great to have someone to do that with me."

Beettam's badminton singles title was just one of three she won Sunday. She teamed with Caitlin Dansen to win the girls doubles crown 23-25, 27-25, 21-16 over Liew and Jessica Schmidtke, then the mixed title with Ian Laidlaw 21-18, 21-14 over Dansen and Blair Kaminski.

Schmidtke defeated Serena Lam 21-13, 21-15 to claim the under-16 title, and Anika Alexander of Fort Frances defeated Hannah Tait of Saskatchewan 21-9, 21-9 in the under-13 final.

The under-19 boys title went to No. 2-seed Kaminski of the Wildewood Club, who knocked off No. 1-seed Kyle Grymonpre of the Winnipeg Winter Club 21-14, 16-21, 21-18. Derek Johnson of Saskatchewan won the under-16 title, beating Maxime Betournay of the WWC 21-17, 21-19. The under-13 crown went to Jan Paulo Salceda, who beat Paul Brown 21-12, 9-21, 28-26.

Kaminski also won the men's doubles when he teamed with Dale Kinley to defeat Sean Lam and Derek Johnson (score unavailable).

Badminton and weightlifting aren't the only things Beettam can do well. A couple of years ago, she was forced to make a decision between the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and badminton and chose the latter.

"It was a tough decision to make," she said. "It just got too busy." She had been with the RWB for two years when she called it quits, but had been dancing with the Royal Dance troupe at The Forks since she was six years old.

Beettam said her father, who also coaches badminton at Valley Gardens Collegiate, did his bodybuilding while at the University of Manitoba and came in second in the Manitoba novice championships back in 1986.

"He's still pumping iron in the weight room every day. Asked if she thought he was trying to keep up with her, she chuckled, "Yep, I think so."

Between her training sessions with provincial coach Archie Chawla and her WWC coach Pal Chawla, Beettam and her dad still find time to knock a bird back and fourth a few times a week.

"She's a really hard worker and very dedicated," Dan Beettam said. "She's in the weight room almost every day."

After gaining the under-19 men's title, Kaminski said it felt good to finally win a tournament again. "I knew he (Grymonpre) was going to come back in the second game, but I was pretty confident going into the third. This feels great. I haven't won a tournament in a long time."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 19, 2010 C5

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