(by Johnathan Humbles / Bowmar Sports)
Coming into Burnaby for the 2018 Butterfly Canadian Championships, there was a heavy favorite in the Junior Division. Jeremy Hazin, one of the top players for Canada, was looking to repeat his golden journey from last year. In the Junior Division of the 2017 Butterfly Canadian Championships, Hazin captured gold in the Junior Boys Under 18 & the Boys Doubles events.
Hazin’s 2018 efforts did not disappoint – winning gold in both the Boys Doubles and the Mixed Doubles events on Wednesday, Hazin also landed his third gold medal by winning the Boys Singles 18.
The scene was set for a clash of the titans for two of the top players in Canada. The finals pitted Hazin, from Ontario, against Edward Ly, of Quebec. To reach the finals, Hazin faced off against Jason Liu in the first semifinals match. There he had little opposition and quickly finished off Liu in straight sets. The first two games finished with scores of 5, and 5. But the third game was closer, as Liu showed he wanted to fight a little more. Liu finally succumbed to Hazin’s superior playing tactics, winning 11-8 in the third game.
In the other semifinals, Ly squared off against Terence Yeung. Taking a blow across the chin, Ly dropped the first game 11-9. Losing the first game woke the sleeping giant and Ly avenged his loss by taking the next three sets -2, -6, -3. This gave Ly a three-to-one victory and he took that momentum soaring into the finals.
Taking an early advantage due to a slow start by Hazin, Ly swiftly grabbed the first set 11-3 and looked to be in cruise control and on the way to a gold medal. Hazin had other ideas, however. Hazin quickly pumped the brakes, and took a 4-1 lead in the second game. Hazin and Ly battled to a score of 8-4. Then Hazin went on a three point tear and took the second game 11-4. He also won games three and four easily (-4, -6) to secure his repeat of gold for the Junior Boys Under 18 championship.
With that gold medal run in the Junior Boys Under 18, Hazin completed a clean sweep of the three junior events he had entered. Next, he will put this focus to the test as he competes in the Senior division. There he is also looking to repeat as Men’s Singles Champion and Men’s Doubles Champion.