Pictured: Jack Wang (right) and Abhinav Manota (left), New Zealand. Photo Credit: Ho Kah Meng
Australia is guaranteed to bring in two gold medals from this year’s championships as representatives were successful on both ends of the draw in the women’s singles and doubles. Meanwhile, New Zealander’s showed dominance in the men’s doubles as the fourth seeds (Abhinav Manota and Jack Wang) overwhelmed the tournament favourites; Oliver and Anona keep the mixed doubles dream alive; and the 2019 Junior Champion and 2020 Open runner-up, Edward Lau sets his eyes on the gold.
Check out all the highlights from tonight’s semifinals.
The longest match of the tournament came in the men’s singles as the Oceania Junior Champions from 2017 and 2019, Oscar Guo and Edward Lau (both from New Zealand) fought for a spot in tomorrow’s final. Over 62 minutes of spectacular badminton, Edward Lau secured a spot in tomorrow’s final and an opportunity to go one better than his 2020 campaign.
Celebrating 10 years since his first Continental Championships, Nathan Tang’s impressive form carried through into the evening as he qualified for the final. He was able to maintain the intensity and aggression which saw him defeat the reigning champion and first seed earlier in the day, seeing off the challenge from the highly skilled and deceptive Ying Xiang Lin.
- Edward Lau (NZL) vs Oscar Guo (NZL) 11-21 21-16 21-17
- Nathan Tang (AUS) vs Ying Xiang Lin (AUS) 21-18 23-21
“Today was a tough match. Frist game he was aggressive and fast and I couldn’t keep up. In the second I had to relax and take control of the rally which I was eventually able to do. I’ll go home, eat well, rest well and do some match analysis to get a gameplan ready for tomorrow”, says Edward
“I started off really slow, but once I started to get going my energy levels shot up and I was able to play my game. We played two weeks ago at the Australian National Championships and had a very similar score line which gave me some confidence heading into the match. As my coach taught me, I had to go out their and own the court, take the initiative and stay on the pedal ”, says Nathan
The women’s singles became the only discipline to see the top two seeds qualify for the final for a second time running. In an exact repeat of the 2020 final, Wendy Chen and Louisa Ma celebrated victories this evening. The challenge was harder for Louisa, who had to recover from one game down to close in on a determined Tiffany Ho.
However, Tokyo 2020 Olympian and six-time reigning champion Wendy Chen eased past her opponent to seize an opportunity to extend her historic run to an elusive seventh.
- Louisa Ma (AUS) vs Tiffany Ho (AUS) 14-21 21-19 21-11
- Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen (AUS) vs Sydney Tjonadi (AUS) 21-5 21-9
“The first game I was leading and then after the break she got away. I was able to bring it back in the second after I reset. I feel really fortunate to have been able to train well throughout the COVID pandemic which prepared me for this tournament. I will just be trying to go in and do my best, I’m already feeling nervous about it so trying not to think about it too much ”, says Louisa
New Zealand’s reigning men’s doubles champion, Abhinav Manota, has partnered with Jack Wang in this year’s competition. The on-court chemistry between the two has been impressive throughout the tournament, excelling today as they beat the top seeds from Australia, Ying Lin and Kai Teoh. Standing in their way of the gold medal will be Australia’s Kenneth Choo ad Ming Lim who settled for a relatively comfortable win in their semifinals appearance.
- Abhinav Manota/Jack Wang (NZL) vs Ying Xiang Lin/Kai Chen Teoh (AUS) 21-14 21-13
- Kenneth Zhe Hooi Choo/Ming Chuen Lim (AUS) vs Jordan Yang/Frederick Zhao (AUS) 21-5 21-19
Gronya and Kaitlyn’s new partnership is off to a solid start as the Australian’s secured their final spot on the first time of asking. The recently crowned Australian National Champions will have to see of the challenge from top seeds Joyce Choong and Sylvina Kurniawan in tomorrow’s final, who dominated their semifinal game with an impressive victory in just 21 minutes.
- Kaitlyn Ea/Gronya Somerville (AUS) vs Dania Nugroho/Catrina Chia-Yu Tan (AUS) 21-13 21-14
- Joyce Choong/Sylvina Kurniawan (AUS) vs Jazmine Lam/Sydney Tjonadi (AUS) 21-5 21-12
Kenneth and Gronya doubled up on final appearances after successful campaigns in their respective men’s, women’s and mixed doubles semifinals games this evening.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Oliver Leydon-Davis is determined to engrave his name of the mixed doubles trophy once again with Anona Pak, having already won the 2014 title with his sister, Susannah. The pair celebrated a comfortable win in their first game before being forced to work for the win in the second.
- Kenneth Choo/Gronya Somerville (AUS) vs Jordan Yang/Maureen Wijaya (AUS) 21-10 21-7
- Oliver Leydon-Davis/Anona Pak (NZL)  vs Mitchell Wheller/Angela Yu (AUS) 21-9 23-21
“The first game was comfortable, but we started to struggled a bit in the second, we made a few more errors than the first, but overall we played well. Now I’ll make sure to get a good feed, massage, stretch and relax to get ready for tomorrow and we’ll go from there. My biggest motivation is just getting the title tomorrow, I won it back in 2014 with my sister so it would be nice to get hold of it again tomorrow with Anona.”, says Oliver
The finals will commence at 10am (AEST) at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre on Sunday 1 May 2022, starting with the men’s doubles.
All five finals will be available to watch on the live stream, which is free to watch, via the Badminton Oceania YouTube channel. Click here to watch.
Check out the schedule and follow the draw on Tournament Software.
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