Pictured: Chun-Yi Lin (Chinese Taipei) and Athi Selladuri (Australia). Photo Credit:Marthin Nanere
Many of last week’s competitors in Sydney made the move to Bendigo for this week’s International Challenge tournament – the YONEX Bendigo International 2022.
Also joining them in Bendigo, an influx of Japanese competitors (part of the Jtekt Act Saikyo club) and a handful of players from Malaysia, Indonesia, Malta and Mauritius. In total, there are 203 players from 17 countries competing for the $15,000 USD prize money pool and world ranking points.
The day opened with some hotly contested men’s singles and mixed doubles qualification matches, before the main draws for men’s and women’s singles took over the courts at Red Energy Arena Bendigo.
- Alan Martin (AUS) vs Kah Wai Tan (AUS) 21-17 15-21 21-11
- Chen Hui-Heng/Wang Szu-Min (TPE) vs Juin An Yap/Letshanaa Karupathevan (MAS) 21-16 17-21 21-15
- Kazuhiro Ichikawa/Yui Suizu (JPN) vs Kevin Lee/Catherine Choi (CAN) 21-18 21-14
Meanwhile, the first two rounds of the singles main draw were relatively one sided, with all games completed in two and the seeded players marking their territory:
- Chun-Yi Lin (TPE) vs Athi Selladuri (AUS) 21-9 21-5
- Jhuo-Fu Liao (TPE) vs Takeru Kai (AUS) 21-10 21-5
- Thuy Linh Nguyen (VIE) vs Chien Hui Yu (TPE) 21-13 21-16
Moments later, the first casualty of the tournament came from the women’s singles draw as Japan’s Manami Suizi defeated the third seed and Oceania’s seven-time reigning champion, Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen, in two convincing games.
- Manami Siuzi (JPN) vs Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen (AUS) 21-8 21-13
Tiffany Ho, who is chasing Wendy’s lead in the Oceania Tour 2022, went the distance in a marathon match which spanned over 68 minutes. After easing past her opponent in the first game, she was confronted by a more difficult challenge in the second, losing in extension. Battling for every point in the decider, Tiffany clinched the victory after several long rallies.
- Tiffany Ho (AUS) vs Cassey Rynn Rompog (MAS) 21-9 24-26 21-19
As the evening progressed, two more of Australia’s seeded players fell in the opening round:
- Insyirah Khan (SGP) vs Louisa Ma (AUS) 21-17 21-14
- Shih-Chieh Chang (TPE) vs Adam Dolman (AUS) 21-15 21-12
One of the last matches on court was a showdown between the reigning Australia Junior International Champion, Rio Agustino (back in 2019, although no longer a junior) and India’s 17-year-old future star Lakshay Sharma, who put in an impressive performance in last week’s tournament (in Sydney) to reach the last 16 and gave the top seed (Jason Ho-Shue, Canada) a run for his money. This evening, he continued his impressive form to progress into tomorrow’s round of 32.
- Lakshay Sharma (IND) vs Rio Agustino (AUS) 21-12 21-12
All of the results from day one are available to view on Tournament Software. Day two will open with the mixed doubles round of 32, from 10am local time (AEDT).
All matches on courts one and two will be available to watch for free on the live stream (also available after the completion of matches), via Badminton Oceania’s YouTube Channel.