Entries to the VICTOR Oceania Badminton Championships 2019 have now closed and with a high calibre of players from across the region registered to play, we’re excited for one of the biggest regional Championships to ever take place in Melbourne.
109 athletes have entered the Open Championships, while 92 players have entered the Junior events from a total on nine countries – the most countries to have ever entered the regional Championships.
In the Open Individual Championships, we see the return of the reigning champions across all five disciplines. The only exception being in the men’s doubles where reigning champion Sawan Serasinghe of Australia returns with Eric Vong 2019 after winning the 2018 Championships with Matthew Chau. In the men’s singles, the reigning champion from New Zealand, Abhinav Manota, will return to defend his title while last year’s runner-up Remi Rossi, of French Polynesia, will be looking for another chance to take the title – which would also mean being the first player outside of Australia and New Zealand to ever win a title at the Oceania Individual Championships.
Following an injury-stricken 2018, Australia’s Setyana Mapasa looks to make her mark on the courts once more. In the women’s doubles, Mapasa will team up with fellow athlete Gronya Somerville to defend their 2018 title. Meanwhile, after taking the 2018 mixed title with Sawan Serasinghe, the pair have parted ways and will both be competing with new partners in 2019 – Australia’s Tang Huaidong will join Mapasa while Lee Yen Khoo will team up with Serasinghe.
Sawan will be entering 2019 with two fresh faces as he looks to retain his 2018 men’s doubles crown, previously won alongside Matthew Chau, he will be competing with Eric Vong this year. Australia dominated the Open Individual Championship in 2018, further helped by the Rio 2016 Olympian Wendy Chen who will be defending the women’s singles title for the fifth consecutive year.
Australia dominate the entry list in the women’s singles event with fellow compatriots Louisa Ma, runner-up in 2018, Jennifer Tam , Claudia Lam and Yingzi Jiang looking to challenge Chen for the trophy. Interestingly, New Zealand have only entered one women’s singles player in this year’s event after fielding 12 women’s singles players in the 2018 event. Sally Fu will be the sole representative of the kiwi team, looking to use her experience from the last Oceania Junior Championships which took place in Nouméa, New Caledonia in 2017 where she took home the gold medal – could the 19-year-old talented player bring an end to Wendy Chen’s impressive run?
Two years since the previous Oceania Junior Individual Championships, we see a bunch of new players looking to take the top spot of the podium after many of the previous winners have now aged through to the Open Championships. Nonetheless, we will still see the likes of Edward Lau, who finished as runner-up in 2017. Lau also won the mixed doubles events with Christine Zhang, but will be competing with compatriot Shaunna Li in 2019. Elsewhere in the mixed doubles, we are excited to see the young brother and sister pairing of Jack and Angela Yu (aged 14 and 15 respectively) of Australia, who are making waves in their national badminton scene. The youngsters’ motivation and inspiration comes from within the family, as both parents were successful Olympians and international badminton players who have become highly respected coaches.
Fijian athlete Chang Ho Kim will be looking to build on his memorable 2018, where he came home from the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games with a silver medal in the badminton mixed country relay team event. Chang Ho is competing in all three disciplines in the 2019 Individual Championships, teaming up with compatriots Jared Chung in the men’s doubles and Monica Chan in the mixed doubles.
The VICTOR Oceania Badminton Championships 2019 takes place from 11-17 February 2019 at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre, starting with the Individual Championships from 11-14 February, before the Mixed Team event from 15-17 February. Click below to see the full entry lists:
The players will be coming from nine different member countries from across the region, including:
- New Zealand
- French Polynesia/Tahiti
- New Caledonia
- Cook Islands
- Papua New Guinea
The official seedings for the Individual Championships will be announced on Friday 25 January 2019.