Don Lee after his loss. Photo: Desmond Brown

Lee’s last gasps not enough

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By Desmond Brown

Don Lee is human after all.

Unable to breathe properly and gasping for air because of a flu-induced building of fluid in his lungs, the sixth-seeded Lee lost in the quarterfinals of the Ontario University Athletics individual squash championships in London last weekend.

Ryerson’s top squash player, who also coached the men’s and women’s teams, won his first two matches against the University of Western Ontario before falling 9-5, 9-4, 9-3 to fourth-seeded Luke Fraser from the University of Waterloo. Lee will not be able to fulfill his dream of winning a national squash title this year.

“Given the circumstances, I did the best I could do,” said a visibly disappointed Lee.

Lee has been burning the candle at both ends since September. Along with coaching the two squash teams, Lee works 30 hours a week with a tailor and is a full-time fashion design student in his third year at Ryerson.

“If I wanted better individual results, I’d have to compromise one of those priorities,” Lee said.

As a result of his hectic schedule, Lee’s health suffered and he wasn’t able to attain the physical fitness necessary to beat the best squash players in the province.

But Lee isn’t complaining. Despite the quarter final loss, the 25-year-old enjoyed a very successful season and was named to the OUA’s first all-star team. And from a coach’s point of view, Lee is very pleased with the progress his teams made this season.

“I know I’ve helped a number of players improve their games,” Lee said. “For the graduating players, they can take the game and play it for the rest of their lives.”

Tony Solomon was Ryerson’s other representative at the championships. The third-year mechanical engineering student displayed a determined effort while losing both of his matches to Western opponents. In the consolation round Solomon, in his first year of varsity play, had a match point before losing a heartbreaker that took more than one hour to play.


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