Pictured: Tier one players from Australia and New Zealand at a two-week training camp in Thailand in December 2019
Most noticeably, Chris Benzie and Ashley Tan took home two gold medals in their respective singles and doubles, before joining forces to take home the mixed doubles silver.
Benzie defeated the top two seeds on the way to the top of the boy’s singles podium, before following a similar path to claim the boy’s doubles title too. First seeded Lucas Mitchell couldn’t seem to shake off his nemesis (Chris Benzie) after falling to him in all three semifinals over three long games.
Meanwhile, Ashley lived up to her first seed status in the girl’s singles and doubles, with a mixed doubles silver serving as a well-earned bonus to her collection. Fellow compatriot, Angelina Ung finished runner up in the girl’s doubles and semifinalist of the mixed doubles.
The tier 1 programme works with players over a 4-year-cycle to prepare for what would have been the Dakar 2022 Youth Olympic Games, however this has now been postponed to 2026.
Just under a year ago, the four kiwi junior players in question were attending a two-week training camp in Thailand as part of the player development initiative, where they trained alongside the likes of Ratchanok Intanon and World Junior Champion, Kunlavut Vitidsarn.
Congratulations to the Tier One players from Badminton Australia and Badminton New Zealand who have completed their…
Badminton Oceania’s Development Manager, Robbie Thackham, attended the camp with the juniors and was also present at the national championships to coach the tier one players from the back of the court.
“We made some fantastic progress last year, so it was promising to see the players bring their form to the national championships last weekend.
“There were, but I hope it will give the players some confidence and motivation to keep focussed while the global pandemic continues to disrupt their usually hectic tournament calendar”, says Thackham
Badminton Oceania is currently restructuring the player development programme outcomes following the global health pandemic and will be providing further information in the near future.