Australia lead the charge for Oceania as this year’s Crown Group Australian Badminton Open. With seven pairs in the qualifying round on day one, alongside one pair from New Zealand competing to earn a place in the main draw.
Lukas Defolky and Raymond Tam were amongst the first representative players on court against the world-renown and recently reformed pair from Korea, Lee Young Daw and Yoo Yeon Seong.
Despite putting up a strong fight, the Australian pair weren’t able to break down the defense and admitted defeat after 26 minutes.
Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong (KOR) vs Lukas Defolky/Raymond Tam (AUS) 21-8 21-15
“We are still trying to get used to the pace at that level but overall we are happy with the fight we gave on court” – Raymond Tam
Similarly, Cham Chen and Toby Wong were overwhelmed by strong Japanese opposition
- Hiroki Okamura/Masayuki Onodera (JPN) vs Cham Chen/Toby Wong (AUS) 21-12 21-11
Meanwhile, pairs from Chinese Taipei outperformed the Australian women’s doubles players with their relentless attack and precise placement around the court.
- Pai Yu Po/Wu Ti Jung (TPE) vs Claudia Lam/Yuran Zhang (AUS) 21-6 21-8
- Lee Chia Hsin/Lin Jhih Yun (TPE) vs Charis Ho/Chloe Lee (AUS) 21-4 21-10
The Australian’s were gracious in defeat and take their learnings to training for future events and opportunities, such as selection for the Uber Cup team or the Commonwealth Games.
“Playing competitions like these give us more exposure to the type of people we’ll be up against.” – Charis Ho
“It’s great to experience players from other countries and get our experience up there” – Chloe Lee
However, there was elation and success for Australia’s Huaidong Tang and Jodee Vega in the mixed doubles. They qualified for a spot in the main draw after defeating one of the only pairs from New Zealand.
- Huaidong Tang/Jodee Vega (AUS) vs Niccolo Tagle/Alyssa Tagle (NZL) 21-15 21-12
“We were able to take our shots really early so we could put the pressure on them so we got a lot of lifts in return” – Huaidong Tang
Elsewhere in the mixed doubles qualifying rounds, Michael Lim, Jennifer Tam, Mitchell Wheller and Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen went down against strong opposition.
- Yeung Ming Nok/Yeung Nga Ting (HKG) vs Michael Soon How Lim/Jennifer Tam (AUS) 21-13 21-11
- Yang Po-Hsuan/Hu Ling Fang (TPE) vs Mitchell Wheller/Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen (AUS) 21-8 21-14
The main draw for the mixed doubles also began on day one of competition, with the reigning regional champions, Simon Leung and Gronya Somerville, flying the flag for Australia as the wild card entry. The pair were up against the eighth seeds from China and opened with a promising performance, before slowly losing grip and going down in two games.
- He Jiting/Du Yue (CHN) vs Simon Leung/Gronya Somerville (AUS) 21-18 21-9
“Our game was really good in the first half, until we let loose and let them get away….Otherwise, it wasn’t a bad effort, it was definitely an improvement from our last game at the Sudirman Cup” – Mi
Huaidong Tang and Jodee Vega will begin their first round match in the main draw of the mixed doubles from 10.20am tomorrow morning (local time) against Malaysia’s Tan Kian Meng and Lai Pei Jing.
Follow the draws and all the results on Tournament Software.