Pictured above: Danielle Whiteside, Fiji | Photo Credit: Badminton Photo
Badminton returns to the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games after last being included in the 2011 New Caledonia edition. Five out of the eight countries entered into the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games Individual events form a diverse seedings report in 2019 which amplifies the range of talent across the Pacific.
Fiji’s Andra Whiteside was the only player to deny New Caledonia the chance of a whitewash at the 2011 competition, after she won the Women’s Singles. This year, Andra will only compete in the Women’s Doubles as she continues to battle with a knee injury which struck at the VICTOR Oceania Championships in February. Instead, her younger cousin, Danielle Whiteside, will lead the charge in the Women’s Singles as the first seed.
“I am hoping to retain that title that Andra took in previous Games…In previous years, my main focus was solely Doubles and Mixed and now I’ve stepped up to singles, filling in Andra’s shoes”
“The pressure is on, but I love the challenge and the experience that comes with it. It is a perfect opportunity to battle it out against the top teams”, says Danielle.
Meanwhile, Tahiti’s Rémi Rossi is looking to disrupt New Caledonia’s goldrush at the previous Games. Tahiti’s golden boy finished as runner-up in the VICTOR Oceania Championships 2019 earlier this year, but now he dons the first seed spot in Samoa.
He will be closely followed by New Caledonia’s second seed, Ronan Ho-Yagues, who spent a significant portion of last year training at North Harbour in New Zealand and has since climbed over 300 places higher in the world rankings.
Men’s Singles seeds
- Rémi Rossi (TAH)
- Ronan Ho-Yagues (NCL)
- Morgan Paitio (NCL)
- Liam Julian Fong (FIJ)
Women’s Singles seeds
- Danielle Whiteside (FIJ)
- Esther Tau (TAH)
- Dgeniva Matuli (NCL)
- Melissa Sanmoestanom (NCL)
In the men’s doubles, Ronan will be looking to capitalise on his first seed position alongside Morgan Paitio. The pair will be looking to defend New Caledonia’s gold medal in the discipline as it was previously won by Arnaude-Claude Franzi and Fabien Kaddour.
Meanwhile, Samoa’s Tupu Fua brings a wealth of experience to the men’s doubles draw as the third seed. The 40-year-old Samoan is no stranger to the regional competition and will be aiming to medal once more.
Samoa also have high hopes in the women’s doubles as Folole Ioane and Leone Lizzie Caffarelli compete as second seeds behind New Caledonia’s first seeds, Johanna Kou and Dgeniva Matauli. Kou, an active member of the Badminton Oceania Executive Board, is the reigning champion in the women’s doubles, having previously won the Pacific Games with Cécile Kaddour in 2011.
Men’s Doubles seeds
- Ronan Ho-Yagues/Morgan Paitio (NCL)
- Yohan De Geoffroy/Bryan Nicole (NCL)
- Tupu Fua/Hilton Samuelu Soo (SAM)
- Rauhiri Goguenheim/Rémi Rossi (TAH)
Women’s Doubles seeds
- Johanna Kou/Dgeniva Matauli (NCL)
- Leone Lizzie Caffarelli/Folole Ioane (SAM)
Finally, in the Mixed Doubles, Tahiti’s Tarepa Bourgery Ep Sauvage and Ingrid Ateni enter the event as first seeds, followed closely by New Caledonia’s Morgan Paitio and Johanna Kou. Kou was also the Mixed Doubles Silver medallist in 2011 and will be looking to go one better than her previous result and second seed status in 2019. Elsewhere in the seedings, Tonga welcome their only seeded players throughout the competition:
Mixed Doubles seeds
- Tarepa Franck Bourgery Ep Sauvage/Ingrid Corvaisier Epse Ateni (TAH)
- Morgan Paitio/Johanna Kou (NCL)
- Ronan Ho-Yagues/Dgeniva Matauli (NCL)
- Lauti Naniumotu/Litea Lupe Moe Valu Tatafu (TGA)
The seedings report was created based on the BWF World rankings on Tuesday 11 June 2019.