Pictured: Johanna Kou, New Caledonia (left) and Rémi Rossi, Tahiti (right). Photo credit: Samoa 2019 Pacific Games News Service
53 players from seven member association countries will be competing in the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 Individual event, which takes place from 23-25 June 2022 at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
While Tuvalu is not competing in the mixed team event, they will be represented in a Pacific Games (although the ‘mini’ version) for the first time since 2011 in the individual tournament by two players – Maeli Ioane and Betty Resture. Similarly, Wallis and Futuna will be making their debut appearance in a Pacific Games tournament.
Tahiti’s Rémi Rossi swept the board at the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games, taking the gold medal in all three individual disciplines. Having resided in France for the past two and a half years to obtain his teaching qualification and train with the French national team, he returned to Oceania earlier this year to compete in the Continental Championships in April, where he bowed out in the last 16. In Northern Marianas, he receives a bye into the second round where he will compete against the winner of the Julien Dauptain (Wallis and Futuna) and Chen Hu (Guam) contest.
The 2019 gold medal final has the potential for a repeat as the silver medallist from New Caledonia (Yohan De Geoffrey) enters the draw as second seed on the opposite end of the draw. Also receiving a bye into the second round against the winner of the match between Raynold Quilla (Guam) and Elias Maublanc (Tahiti).
Moreover, Tahiti’s ¾ seed Quentin Bernaix will be hoping to avenge his defeat in the bronze medal playoff in Samoa where he lost out to his fellow compatriot, Louis Beaubouis (who is not competing at this year’s Games).
Check out the full men’s singles draw here.
Johanna Kou (from New Caledonia) is one of the most decorated badminton players at the Pacific Games – having already collected six gold, four silver and two bronze medals at previous Pacific Games (in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2019). She remains on track to extend her medal haul this year as she enters the women’s singles draw as top seed. Receiving a bye into the second round, she will open her campaign against Betty Resture (Tuvalu) or Jennica Silva (Guam).
Meanwhile, Tahitian second seeds Mélissa Mi You and Jenica Lesourd also receive a bye into the second round (as second and ¾ seeds respectively). Both players have enjoyed international action over the last year as they represented their nation at the TotalEnergies BWF Uber Cup Finals and Sudirman Cup Finals towards the end of 2021.
Check out the full women’s singles draw here.
Carl N’guela and Lucas Juillot (New Caledonia) start at the top of the draw as first seeds. Carl has a wealth of experience under his belt, first competing at the Continental Championships in 2008. He will assist the youthful Lucas on his badminton journey who got his first taste of international badminton at the more recent VICTOR Oceania Junior Championships 2019.
Meanwhile, Rémi Rossi won the gold in 2019 alongside Rauhiri Goguenheim, but this year he will be competing with another experienced Pacific Games competitor, Leo Cucuel to form the second seeds. Both pairs will receive a bye into the quarterfinals.
Home player, Jordan Pangilinan, is the reigning national men’s doubles champion in Northern Marianas. He will partner Andreau Galvez to compete against Joseph Taupiri and Rodney Vaka (Solomon Islands) in the first round, with the winner going on to compete against the second seeds.
Check out the full men’s doubles draw here.
Once again, Johanna Kou is the top seed. In 2019, she won the gold with Dgeniva Matauli but this year will be looking to defend her spot on top of the podium alongside fellow compatriot, Marine Souviat. Receiving a bye into the quarterfinals, they will take on Wallis and Futuna debutants, Malia Takasi and Endrina Tukumuli Nau (second seeds).
Tahiti’s Jenica Lesourd and Mélissa Mi You will team up as second seeds on the other end of the draw.
Solomon Islands have entered two pairs into the women’s doubles: Emma Soaki/Cathrine Temete and Elizabeth Meke/Norah Meke. All four players are making their Pacific Games debut and will open their campaigns against pairs from Tahiti and Northern Marianas (respectively).
Check out the full women’s doubles draw here.
Finally, Rémi Rossi will be joining Mélissa Mi You to defend his gold from Samoa 2019, which he won with Coralie Bouttin. Their opening match will be against the Tuvalu debutants who are teaming up in the mixed doubles.
Johanna Kou (who won bronze in Samoa 2019 with Morgan Paitio) will team up with fellow compatriot Carl N’guela as ¾ seeds. In her 2019 bronze medal playoff, she defeated Yohan De Geoffrey (also from New Caledonia) who will be partnering with Johanna’s women’s doubles partner (Marine Souviat). Yohan and Marine will represent as second seeds, receiving a bye into the second round to take on Wallis and Futuna debutants, Damien Coffin and Malia Takasi.
Check out the full mixed doubles draw here.
An overview of all draws and information on the full seeding list is available on Tournament Software – bit.ly/PMG22ind