Tonga’s campaign may have come to an end in Ballarat, but the team has plenty to take away from the VICTOR Oceania Championships 2020.
One of the biggest achievements came from Lata ‘Isitolo who stunned the women’s singles gold medalist from the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games. In the second round of the women’s singles, the 15-year-old composed a convincing victory over Dgenyva Matauli in three close games – ‘Isitolo’s biggest achievement to date.
“Before I played, I asked god for strength to play against my opponent and I am very happy to have won that game”
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here and attend the Oceania training camp last week too” says Lata.
- Lata ‘Isitiolo (TGA) vs Dgenyva Matauli (NCL) 21-18 15-21 21-16
Lata was one of the first players on court this morning, where she made a valiant effort against last year’s Oceania junior champion and the much more experienced, Shaunna Li, from New Zealand.
Later in the afternoon, Lata returned in the women’s doubles alongside Mele Lingisiva Kei. Both players found badminton through the BWF Shuttle Time initiative and are ‘thrilled’ to have the opportunity to compete in such events. The pair were up against the semifinalists from last year’s Australian Junior International, who brought their wealth of experience to the court.
- Majan Almazan/Kaitlyn Ea (AUS) vs Mele Lingisiva Kei/Lata ‘Isitolo (TGA) 21-3 21-7
Kaitlyn Ea was also part of Team Australia at last year’s BWF World Junior Championships – which will be coming to Auckland in 2020.
Living in one of the largest region’s in the world (by area) poses several challenges to those looking to access resources and travel outside of the continent. Therefore, this year’s BWF World Junior Championships in New Zealand provides a unique and valuable opportunity for the smaller Pacific countries to compete in a once-in-a-lifetime event, as the event reaches their doorstep.
“The Oceania Championships have been a great opportunity for us to learn from many different players. This has given me plenty of ideas and lessons to take home and get ready for the BWF World Junior Championships in September”, says Mele.
Follow all results from the VICTOR Oceania Championships 2020 on Tournament Software.