With Medellin, Columbia in the background, Miles Krajewski poses during the Pan Am Para-Badminton Championships in December. Krajewski, the grandson of Gary Fenski of Huron won a gold medal in Men’s Doubles. COURTESY PHOTO
HURON – An 11-year-old Yankton boy with ties to Huron joined forces with another American to strike gold by winning the Men’s Short Stature doubles at the Pan Am Para-Badminton Championships in December in Medellin, Colombia.
Miles Krajewski and his doubles partner, Danh Trang, won three matches without a loss to top the field of four teams.
Then, in an unexpected outcome, Miles took home a second gold medal in the singles division at the championships as well.
Miles is the son of Mike and Erica (Fenski) Krajewski and the grandson of Gary Fenski of Huron and Susan Fenski of Sioux Falls.
Para-Badminton is for athletes with varying physical disabilities. The Badminton World Federation has been the main governing body for the sport since 2011. Prior to that, it was governed by the Para Badminton World Federation.
Players are classified in different classes, including wheelchair, standing and short stature.
Miles and Trang ascended the podium and received their Pan American Championships gold medals in doubles, beating teams from Canada, Brazil and Peru.
Miles then surprised the field of players and coaches by winning a second gold medal in the Men’s Short Stature Singles.
It was both an historic and golden experience for Team USA Para-Badminton because it was its first appearance at the Pan Am Para-Badminton Championships.
Miles said he felt very lucky to be part of the first Team USA appearance at the event.
“The competition was tough and the victories weren’t easy, but more important than the victories, I have made a lot of new friends,” he said.
His dad, Mike, acted as coach and manager of Team USA.
Mike said Miles “performs well under pressure.” He did just that in a nail-biting semi-finals singles match against an athlete from Brazil. He had scores of 21-15, 21-23 and 27-25 to get to the finals.
The next day, he defeated an athlete from Peru with scores of 21-12 and 21-19 to successfully complete his double crown.
Mike Krajewski thanked USA Para-Badminton for all the help the organization provided.
“I am very proud that we were able to bring home the gold for the United States,” he said.
Sixty-one athletes from nine countries competed in the championships, including Canada, United States, Guatemala, Suriname, Cuba, Peru, Brazil, Chile and host Colombia.For the complete article see the 02-15-2017 issue.
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