Pictured: David Joe Kaniku, Papua New Guinea. Photo credit: Ballarat Badminton
For the first time in Oceania’s history, the able-bodied and Para badminton events have taken place in the same venue, in the same week.
The last time the event took place was in 2018 at Geelong Badminton, with 23 players from 3 countries. In 2020, the event welcomes 34 players from 4 countries – with several new faces on the Oceania Para badminton scene.
Among the first timers, Papua New Guinea’s Jerome Bunge, David Joe Kaniku, Danny Ten and Nelly Ruth Leva have left the country for the first time to compete in Ballarat. Credit to the Australian High Commission Papua New Guinea and Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the funding which allowed these players to compete.
All four players celebrated at least one group stage win in the opening rounds. David, competing in the short stature discipline, finished the day unbeaten in the singles round robing group.
- David Joe Kaniku (PNG) vs Angelina Melki (AUS) 21-16 21-12
- David Joe Kaniku (PNG) vs Anthony Koedyk (AUS) 21-14 21-11
Tomorrow, he will compete for the gold medal against Oceania’s reigning champion, Luke Missen, of Australia.
Meanwhile, Nelly suffered an unfortunately knee-related injury in the afternoon, forcing her to withdraw from her afternoon matches.
One of the most heated contests of the day came in Group A of the men’s singles SL3, SL4 and SU5, as New Zealand’s Oliver Kiran Linton and Australia’s Hayden Bognar went the distance. The pair battled for 36 minutes in two games that went to extension.
- Oliver Kiran Linton (NZL) vs Hayden Bognar (AUS) 22-20 28-26
In the same classification, aspiring Tokyo 2020 Paralympian from New Zealand, Corrie Keith Robinson, dominated Group B.
- Corrie Keith Robinson (NZL) vs Devon Rogers (NZL) 21-4 21-8
- Corrie Keith Robinson (NZL) vs Danny Ten (PNG) 21-5 21-4
Australia’s Kim Chou Duong made her mark in her first international Para badminton tournament as she aims to top Group B in the women’s singles SL3, SL4 and SU5 classification.
- Kim Chou Doung (AUS) vs Selina Seau (FIJ) 21-2 21-4
- Kim Chou Doung (AUS) vs Zashka Gunson (AUS) 21-19 21-14
First seed in the men’s singles WH2 classification, Grant Manzoney, ended up on top of the leader board in group A. However, Manzoney will be keeping an eye out for New Zealand’s Benjamin Hasselman who caused a devastating blow to Group B, ousting the second seed from the competition to cement his lead in the group.
- Benjamin Hasselman (NZL) vs Douglas Youlten (AUS) 21-13 21-14
Ten classifications are currently included in this year’s event, including:
- Men’s singles SL 3 + MS SL 4 + MS SU 5
- Singles – WH 1
- Men’s singles – WH 2
- (Women’s singles SL 3 + WS SL 4 )+ WS SU 5 – WS SL 3 + WS SL 4 + WS SU 5
- Singles – SH 6
- Men’s doubles – WH 1 – WH 2 + XD WH 1 – WH 2
- Doubles – SH 6 Exhibition
- Mixed doubles – SL 3 – SU 5
- Mixed doubles – WH 1 – WH 2 Exhibition
- Men’s doubles SL 3 – SL 4 + MD SU 5 + WD SL 3 – SU 5
Find out more about the various classifications here.
Find out all results from day one at the VICTOR Oceania Para Badminton Championships 2020 on Tournament Software.
The group stages, knockouts and finals will take place from 10am tomorrow, local time (GMT+11).
Court 4 will be available to watch on the live stream.