Reigning champions and first seeds, Australia, arrived with every intention of taking home a fifth consecutive gold medal this year. Both teams are also competing for the Whyte Trophy – an exclusive test macth between the two nations that has been combined with the VICTOR Oceania Mixed Team Championships this year.
Australia stormed through the early rounds and opening matches with consistent 5-0 victories, before coming up against second seeds, New Zealand. Over an afternoon of world-class badminton, the match went the distance as both teams levelled at 2-2, meaning the final women’s doubles match would decide the winners.
Matthew Chau and Setyana Mapasa got Australia off to a great start win a 1-0 lead before the men’s singles Individual Champion from New Zealand, Oscar Guo, won the next match to bring it back level. New Zealand’s Sally Fu took Australia’s Olympian, Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen to a third game in a match just a few minutes shy of an hour. However, Fu could not capitalise on her first game lead and Chen found her form to take the match.
With everything to play for, New Zealand’s Abhinav Manota and Dacmen Vong won the men’s doubles in emphatic style to bring the overall score level at 2-2. Finally, the women’s doubles deciding match walked on to court with everything at stake. Experienced Australian duo and Olympian athletes, Gronya Somerville and Setyana Mapasa demonstrated their experience on court to secure gold for Australia in two games.
The team will also keep hold of the prestigious Whyte Trophy for a fifth consecutive year.
“The team spirit has been high all week and having a home advantage is always a good thing. I’m really happy with our team’s performance today. It really came down to the wire so we did well to hang on and we were confident that our experienced women’s doubles pair would deliver going on for that last game.” – Matthew Chau, Australia Open Team Captain
|FINAL Order of Play
|Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen
|19-21 21-11 21-14
Simon Wing Hang Leung
|19-21 21-18 10-21
Elsewhere in the Mixed Team Championships, New Caledonia are celebrating a huge victory after overwhelming the third seeds from Tahiti, and fourth seeds Fiji in the round robin competition. The team will return home with a bronze medal.
All the other teams from the Pacific will also be returning home with plenty of knowledge, memories and experience to prepare them for the upcoming Samoa 2019 Pacific Games which take place in July.
|New Zealand