Queen’s Ultimate Frisbee athletes go international

Three Gaels representing Canada at the World Juniors this summer

Credit: 
Supplied by Eye-to-Ngai
Tyler Gunasekera, Thomas Oyhenart, and Taige Tomlinson are heading to Poland in August to compete at the World Junior Ultimate Championships. The tournament will take place at the Pola Marsowe Fields in Wroclaw, Poland from August 6-13. 
 
The three players dominated during their last season, each playing an integral role in helping Queen’s bring home the silver medal at the National Championship in October. Their hard work leading up to that tournament paid off; they withstood the challenges presented by COVID-19 over the past two years and led their extremely young team to success. 
 
This past season defied norms as it saw a team of seven first years and 12 rookies destroyed many rosters filled with more experienced players. 
 
“I feel like going into that tournament we weren’t really looked at as much of a title contender just because of how young we are […] and [because of] our inexperience at the university level,” Gunasekera, Kin ’25, said in an interview with The Journal. 
 
When reflecting on the past season, Gunasekera was thankful for his coaches and team captains for their unwavering support. His team awarded him Rookie of the Year. 
 
“This was a good year to come into the program because we had such a young team,” Gunasekera said. “It was a really good year to develop my skills.”
 
However, it was Tomlinson, who won the Most Improved Player award, who embodied the true power of the Queen’s Ultimate program. 
 
“Taige I only met this year […] and he won the most improved player,” Gunasekera said. “He’s got much, much better in this last year and I’m excited to play with him on the team.”
 
After their season, Gunasekera, Oyhenart, and Tomlinson decided they weren’t finished.They have kept their training up and will also be attending two training camps this summer to prepare for the World Juniors.
 
“I’m really excited to meet all the guys, and then in the actual tournament I think just seeing how Ultimate is around the world because I’ve only played in Canada,” Gunasekera said.
 
The World Juniors have been a long time coming for Gunasekera. 
 
“This is something that I’ve kinda been working towards for a long time, so I’m honestly not really scared of anything out there. I’m just really excited to start and I can’t wait to travel there.”
 

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