Photo Credit: Badminton Photo
Badminton is embraced for an emphatic return this week as the Asian Leg of the HSBC BWF World Tour gets underway, starting with the YONEX Thailand Open – a HSBC BWF World Tour Super 1000 event.
The reigning men’s singles, doubles and women’s doubles Continental Champions from last year’s VICTOR Oceania Championships in Ballarat will be competing, alongside aspiring Olympians Oliver Leydon-Davis and Anona Pak.
New Zealand’s Abhinav Manota returned to the top of the Oceania podium in Ballarat last year, following his triumph in 2018. In Thailand, he will be up against world number 20 in the first round.
- Abhinav Manota (NZL) vs Lee Cheuk You (HKG)
Manota will also be in doubles action alongside fellow compatriot, Oliver Leydon-Davis. The aspiring Olympians stunned the Australian duo of Sawan Serasinghe and Matthew Chau (who represented Australia at the Rio 2016 Games) in Ballarat last year to boost their World Ranking and earn their first Oceania title together. Their campaign starts against the new German pairing of Daniel Hess and Jones Ralfy Jansen.
- Abhinav Manota/Oliver Leydon-Davis (NZL) vs Daniel Hess/Jones Ralfy Jansen (GER)
Four-time Oceania champions and world number 26 duo from Australia (Gronya and Setyana) have been desperate to return to international action following the incredible progress they made in 2019 – winning the YONEX Canada Open, YONEX-Sunrise Nepal international Challenge and the 2019 YONEX/K&D Graphics International Challenge, in the months before COVID-19 brought a halt to the international calendar. They will be up against the world number 20 duo from Thailand, Puttita and Sapsiree – having last met at the Perodua Malaysia Masters 2020, where the Thai duo came out on top 21-13 21-16.
- Gronya Somerville/Setyana Mapasa (AUS) vs Puttita Supajirakul/Sapsiree Taerattanachai (THA)
Leydon-Davis will take the court alongside Anona Pak. The pair are also hoping to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Games and planning to capitalise on this opportunity to earn significant World Ranking points in their highest ranked tournament yet. In the first round, they’ll face the quarterfinalists from the New Zealand Open 2019, Chang and Ng.
- Oliver Leydon-Davis/Anona Pak (NZL) vs Chang Tak Ching/Ng Wing Yung (HKG)
Follow the action and results on BWF Facebook, YouTube and Tournament Software.