On day three of competition at the Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Open 2019, players are competing for quarter-final spots at the HSBC BWF World Tour Super 300 event; the first Olympic qualifying event.
With an added incentive for the Oceania players, the world ranking points will help the regional athletes to collect points towards their Oceania Tour ranking too – an initiative ran by Badminton Oceania to encourage players to compete in the regional events with an opportunity to win additional funding. More information on the Oceania Tour is available here.
New Zealand youngsters Edward Lau and Alyssa Tagle came through the qualification stages to reach the main draw, with their opponents withdrawing through injury in the first end, the pair came up against the second seeds and world number 5 pairing from Malaysia, Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying. The New Zealander’s got off to a confidence start after taking a 3-0 leading and staying in relatively close contention for the majority of the first game, before a consecutive five point in the second game saw the experience Malaysian’s run away with the win:
- Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (MAS)  vs Edward Lau/Alyssa Tagle (NZL) 21-17 21-15
Meanwhile, Jasmin Ng and Justine Villegas were up against Chinese opponents after overcoming two kiwi pairings in the qualification and first round of the main draw in the women’s doubles. The pair went into the match with a positive attitude and displayed the skills to compete with the world’s best in numerous rallies, but the relentless precision and placement of the Chinese saw Chen and Zhou seal a comfortable victory over the kiwis:
- Chen Xiaofei/Zhou Chaomin (CHN) vs Jasmin Chung Man Ng/Justine Villegas (NZL) 21-10 21-8
“It was always going to be tough against the Chinese so we went in with the mentality of making the most of this opportunity. I thought the first half of the first game actually went well, we managed to challenge them and win a few rallies. I don’t think we would’ve been able to rally like this beforehand so I’m grateful to see improvements on court. It wouldn’t have been made possible if it weren’t for our coach Rikke. So I’m really looking forward to see where our level will be in the future with her guidance!” – Justine Villegas
“To be able to play against the chinese players who run at a higher intensity was a very valuable experience. Hopefully tonight’s game will be one to remember, we will enjoy ourselves and play to the best of our abilities.” – Jasmin Ng
In the women’s singles, Australia’s Qin Jinjing’s run came to an end in the second round. After storming through her qualification match, she overwhelmed Australia’s reigning regional champion in the first round yesterday. However, in the second round she faced Korea’s Se Young An who currently sits 205 places higher in the world rankings. At 12-10 in the second game, it looked like Qin could keep the dream alive, but a quick succession of points sealed the deal for the Korean shuttler:
- Se Young An (KOR) vs Qin Jinjing (AUS) 21-12 21-15
In the men’s doubles, New Zealand’s wild card entry Riga Oud and Daxxon Vong celebrated a first-round win over compatriots Jonathan Curtin and Dylan Soedjasa yesterday. However, the experience of the fifth seeds and world number 8 pairing from Chinese Taipei proved too strong in the second round:
- Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin (TPE)  vs Riga Oud/Daxxon Vong (NZL) 21-8 21-6
Warming the crowds up this afternoon, last year’s runner-up from Indonesia, Jonatan Christie, got the crowds on the edge of their seats following a three-game thriller against the 2017 runner-up, Wang Tzu Wei, from Chinese Taipei. Christie was fast out the blocks following a 5-0 lead, but the match looked like anyone’s game until the final moments, where Christie pushed through to take the game after exactly one hour.
- Jonatan Christie (IDN)  vs Wang Tzu Wei (TPE) 21-14 14-21 21-16
The rivalry between Bulagria’s Stoeva sisters and China’s Du Yue and Li Yinhui continues in Auckland. The Chinese pair suffered an early exit at this year’s YONEX All England, after losing to the Stoeva sisters in the first round. However, today it was the Chinese pair who came out on top after overpowering the Bulgarian eighth seeds in the second round:
- Du Yue/Li Yinhui (CHN) vs Gabriela Stoeva/Stefani Stoeva (BGR) 21-18 21-16
“I think we lost a bit the shape because we didn’t play tournaments for 1month and half and I think that’s why we couldn’t play our game” – Stefani Stoeva
Keep up to date with the latest draws and results on Tournament Software.
You can watch the action from court 1 and court 2 on the live stream here.