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Saturday, May 6, 2000
Eight Canadians meet COA badminton standards

 OTTAWA (CP) -- Eight badminton players have met the Canadian Olympic Association standard for the Sydney Olympics.

 A year-long qualifying procedure, that set Badminton Canada back $250,000 in travel and other costs, officially concluded with the release of Thursday's world rankings.

 Canadian qualifiers are Robbyn Hermitage of Kitchener, Ont., and Milaine Cloutier of Granby, Que., as well as Denyse Julien of Rouyn-Noranda, Que., and Charmaine Reid of Fort Erie, Ont., in women's doubles; Mike Beres of Mount Pleasant, Ont., and Kara Solmundson of Winnipeg in mixed doubles; and Brent Olynyk of Vancouver and Bryan Moody of Pointe-Claire, Que., in men's doubles.

 While the eight have met the COA standard, Badminton Canada must still apply to the COA for the athletes to be officially accepted.

 Solmundson and Beres were among the busiest competing in 20 tournaments since May 1, 1999.

 "It would have been unfortunate to have finances prevent us from going to the Olympics," said Solmundson, who won three straight international tournaments with Beres in April to finish ranked 17th. The top 19 qualified for the Games.

 "We've worked so hard and sacrificed so much that you don't want the dollar sign to stand in your way. This qualifying process is insane and very stressful. I don't know if I could do it again."

 Olynyk and Moody, who only joined forces last September, also just made it. They finished 22nd with the top 23 advancing. The key result for them was a semifinal victory over an American pair at a tournament in Chile last month.

 Canada also sent eight badminton players to the Olympics in 1996.

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