Pictured: Edward Lau and Shaunna Li
New Zealand’s Edward Lau and Shaunna Li both celebrated gold medals in their respective singles disciplines at the VICTOR Oceania Junior Championships 2019.
They also teamed up in the mixed doubles event and narrowly missed out on a third collective gold in a thrilling three-game final against Australia’s Jack and Angela Yu.
Since then, the pair have competed at the BWF World Junior Championships, competed in the VICTOR Oceania Championships 2020 (Open – where Edward was a finalist in the men’s singles, and Shaunna reaching the quarterfinals of all three disciplines) and were able to compete competitively during the pandemic when their national association was able to host the New Zealand Badminton League. They also went on to become national champions in the mixed doubles in July 2021, with Shaunna going two steps further to sweep the board as she claimed gold in the women’s singles and doubles too.
The pair will be looking to culminate all their efforts as they team up again to form the mixed doubles third seeds at the VICTOR Oceania Championships 2022 (Open Individuals), while also tackling the singles (and women’s doubles, for Shaunna).
Check out what they had to say about their badminton journey and preparations for this year’s Continental Championships:
Who is your role model in Badminton and why?
Edward: “My role model is Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia as he is one of the GOAT’s. Along with all his skills and talent, his composure, resilience, determination and humbleness is what makes him my favourite player to watch”
What will you take from the VICTOR Oceania Championships 2020 Men’s Singles Final, where you were edged out by compatriot, Abhinav Manota?
Edward: “Playing against Manota is always tricky as we have played a lot of times in training and tournaments so he has an idea of my playing style. However, if I am drawn to face Manota then I will come up with a game plan. Hopefully, I am able to execute it in order to try and get the win.”
At the VICTOR Oceania Championships 2020, you competed in all three quarterfinals. What are your goals for the upcoming 2022 event, and beyond?
Shaunna: “I feel that it is kind of hard to pinpoint an exact goal as this is the first international tournament I am going to be playing since 2 years ago but I would just say to do my absolute best and be better than last time! My goals for 2022 is to start playing international tournaments again and play more, leading up to future years.”
What kind of sacrifices have you had to make to compete in badminton, if any?
Shaunna: “I feel like I mainly just had to dedicate a lot of time and money to Badminton, which maybe made me miss out on a lot of other things outside of it such as social activities in my life.”
Edward: “Fortunately, I haven’t had to make big sacrifices while playing Badminton but I would say sacrificing your time outside of Badminton is a factor if you want to be successful.”
Tell us about what is your greatest/memorable achievement to date.
Shaunna: “I would say my most memorable achievement to date would be the New Zealand National Championships last year.”
Edward: “My greatest achievements are winning the Oceania Junior Men’s Singles title in 2019 New Zealand National Mixed Doubles title in 2021. My most memorable achievement would be representing New Zealand at the Sudirman Cup in China.”
How have you maintained your motivation during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Shaunna: “It’s been quite difficult but I haven’t had much else to do to be honest.”
Edward: “I have maintained my motivation by looking at the bigger picture and thinking about what I want to achieve in the future. I have also been watching some of the international tournaments that have been going on around the world.”
What does your weekly training regime look like?
Shaunna: “At the moment, I just train 4 times a week on court and have a gym workout.”
Edward: “I currently train six days a week, with 8-9 on court sessions and 3 strength and conditioning sessions.”
Written by Alex Deng
Get the latest news and developments from Badminton Oceania delivered straight to your inbox by subscribing to our eNewsletter: