Pictured: Team New Zealand performing the Haka. Photo Credit: Badminton Photo
The BWF World Junior Championships got underway yesterday, with 32 Mixed Team ties taking place on day one in Kazan, Russia.
In the Mixed Team event, New Zealand and Australia are the only teams representing from Oceania.
New Zealand had a tough opening game, against the fifth seed giants from Denmark. The reigning Junior regional champion, Edward Lau, almost managed to get a point on the board for New Zealand, but narrowly missed out over three games. Otherwise, it was mainly a one-sided battle from the European badminton-crazed nation.
Later in the afternoon, New Zealand returned to court with a vengeance as they managed to get their first win on the board following their victory over Uzbekistan.
The 5-0 whitewash will come as a huge confidence booster for World Junior Championship first-timers, Jenny, Janice and Joshua, who won for their first time on this stage.
Meanwhile, Australia had an incredibly close game against the USA. Both nations went the distance, with frustratingly close results in every single discipline, reflecting a game which could have gone either way depending on the day.
Despite entering the Men’s Doubles 4-0 down, Australia’s Ricky Tang and Otto Xing De Zhao ended the evening with an emphatic victory over their American equivalents, 21-18 in the decider.
New Zealand will open day two on court one against Chinese Taipei, from 8.30am, before taking on the Faroe Islands from 3.30pm local time (GMT+3).
Similarly, Australia will face two higher seeded team in tomorrow’s matches, including the 5/8 seeds India from 8.30am, followed by the 9/16 seeds from Japan, at 3.30pm.
Find out all results from day one of the BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships 2019 on Tournament Software.