Raphael Deloy is one of New Zealand’s youngest representatives at this week’s YONEX Sydney International 2022. He was also among the youngest to compete and train at the Trans-Tasman Challenge 2022 last weekend, which was an initiative linked to Badminton Oceania’s Player Development programme.
This morning, the 15-year-old had his first taste of international action on Sydney’s Olympic Park, making his debut at a BWF Grade Three tournament (International Series). Competing against an opponent eight years older, Raphael played a respectable men’s singles game against the tall Chang Shih-Chieh. Later in the afternoon he returned to the court for a men’s doubles clash with partner, Chris Benzie. The pair were leading throughout much of the first game but their more experienced opponents retaliated to eventually progress into the next round.
- Chang Shih-Chieh (TPE) vs Raphael Deloy (NZL) 21-15 21-12
- Julian Lee/Milain Ranasinghe (AUS) vs Chris Benzie/Raphael Deloy (NZL) 21-18 21-14
“I was very nervous, yet incredibly excited while walking onto court in this kind of environment for the first time. I had to take some deep breaths to settle down. I’m not used to playing against such a tall player and his net play was really good, I just tried to keep it out of reach as it’s harder for him to get low and recover. In the doubles, we started out well but ultimately we kept lifting too much”
“The experience at the Trans-Tasman Challenge weekend has definitely helped to boost my confidence when playing under this kind of pressure, particularly when serving”, says Raphael.
Moreover, Tahiti’s Remi Rossi is currently mid-scholarship at the Badminton European Centre of Excellence in Denmark – also part of the Player Development programme. He joined the Centre at the end of July for a six-month training programme and is intermittently competing at international tournaments around the world (including all tournaments in Oceania this month).
The Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games Champion (across all disciplines) is on a mission to break into the world’s top 100, and his quest for success is largely supported by Badminton Oceania’s scholarship:
“At the Centre of Excellence I am playing and training with many players who are within the world’s top 200. It is pushing me at a higher pace than what I am used to. As I am training two or three times a day, I feel better than I ever did before and I feel confident competing”
Remi won his opening Round of 64 match this afternoon against Australia’s Pit Seng Low 21-16 21-14.
New Zealand’s Edward Lau and Shaunna Li also completed their stint at the European Centre of Excellence recently and will be taking to the court later this evening and tomorrow across the respective singles and mixed doubles campaign (where they will play together).
Notably, Edward will be looking to boost his Oceania Tour 2022 campaign, where he is currently leading in the men’s singles following his victory at this year’s Continental Championships in April.
All matches on courts one and two throughout the YONEX Sydney International 2022 are available to watch on the live stream, via Badminton Oceania’s YouTube Channel.
Keep up to date with the latest results, schedule and draw on Tournament Software.