There are just over two weeks left until the VICTOR Oceania Championships make a comeback following a two-year COVID-related hiatus.
Last taking place in February 2020 (in Ballarat), the Continental Championships will be taking place from 28 April – 1 May 2022 at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre.
Here are some of the draw highlights – which were released today (Tuesday 12 April 2022).
First seed and reigning champion, Abhinav Manota (New Zealand), receives a bye into the second round where he’ll be taking on Australia’s Aryan Jhade.
Fijian player Jared Chung (one of two representatives from Fiji competing this year) is also in the top quarter of the draw and depending on his first and second round results, could go on to meet Manota in round three.
Meanwhile, 2019 prodigy Oscar Guo will be looking to make a triumphant return. The New Zealander won the junior men’s singles title in 2017, before going on to win the Open men’s singles title two years later. The now 22-year-old decided to focus on his studies since and while he played in the Men’s Team Championships in 2020, will be making a return to the individual tournament this year. Unseeded in the draw, his first round match will be against Australia’s Shrey Dhand.
In the 2019 Final, Oscar defeated Tahiti’s Remi Rossi, who is still on a quest to become the first player outside of Australia or New Zealand to win a gold medal at the Continental Championships. Boosted by the experience in last year’s Thomas Cup Finals where he secured a historic win for Tahiti, Remi is determined to go one better this year and will have to overcome Australia’s Chauncey Yu in the first round to get his campaign underway.
Two-time Olympian, Wendy Chen (Australia) will be looking to convert her six consecutive women’s singles title into seven as she aims to extend her historic run. Receiving a bye into the second round, her challenge begins with compatriot Joanna Yan Nok Chan.
Fiji’s other representative, Sristi Nadan, will be up against Australia’s Jazmine Lam in the first round. Meanwhile, fourth seeded Shaunna Li is New Zealand’s sole representative in the women’s singles draw. Shaunna won the women’s singles junior title in 2019 and will be looking to go (at least) one better than her quarterfinal knockout in her first Open Continental Championships back in 2020, where she narrowly lost out to Tiffany Ho (Australia).
Moreover, second seed Louisa Ma (Australia) opens her campaign against fellow compatriot, Catrina Chia-Yu Tan. Louisa was a finalist in the 2020 and 2018 edition of the Continental Championships, defeated by Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen in both appearances.
A new men’s doubles pairing is guaranteed in the men’s doubles competition.
One half of the 2020 gold medalists (Abhinav Manota) will pair up with Jack Wang – assuming the fourth seed spot and starting their partnership against Australia’s Julian Lee and Milain Ranasinghe in the second round.
Similarly, 2019 champion Eric Vuong (who won the men’s doubles with Sawan Serasinghe) will be competing in this year’s edition with Maika Phillips, forming the only Australia-New Zealand duo in the men’s doubles draw.
Australia’s Ying Xiang Lin and Kai Chen Teoh enter the men’s doubles as top seeds, looking to go one better than their 2020 semifinal exit against the eventual champions, Abhinav and Oliver Leydon-Davis. This year, they will start their campaign against fellow compatriots, Marcus Kong and Rayne Wang.
Four-time and reigning women’s doubles champion, Gronya Somerville (Australia) will be looking to get her name etched onto the trophy for a fifth time in 2022. However, this time it would be alongside new partner, Kaitlyn Ea, who won the junior women’s doubles title in 2019.
The new partnership dove straight into the deep end, launching their new partnership with an encounter at their first international BWF World Tour tournament (the Orléans Masters) last month where they hope the experience will thrive in Melbourne. The unseeded pair have a bye into the quarterfinals where they will meet the winner between Australia’s Tiffany Ho and Lee Yen Khoo, or Australia-Fiji duo Joanna Chan and Sristi Nadan.
Tournament favourites and top seeds Joyce Choon and Sylvina Kurniawan (Australia) also have a bye into the quarterfinals, where they will play the winners of the first round set up between Angelina Ung and Camellia Zhou (New Zealand) and Yee-Yuan Lim and Isabella Yan.
Finally, Gronya Somerville’s badminton career really has turned a new page in 2022 as her previous partner (Simon Leung) retired after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. As a pair, they won the two previous Continental Championships. This year, she will be forming an allegiance with Kenneth Choo. The unseeded pair will take on New Zealand’s Jonathan Curtin and Jasmin Ng in the first round, with the winner going on to face the second seeds and 2020 runners up, Tran Pham and Sylvina Kurniawan in the second round.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Oliver Leydon-Davis and Anona Pak are gunning for their first Oceania mixed title as a pair. They faced a disappointing quarterfinal exit in 2020, but they will be looking to capitliase ontheir experience having competed in numerous HSBC BWF World Tour tournaments over the last year. Receiving a bye into the second round, they will face the winner between Australia’s Rayna Wang and Lee Yen Khoo or Ricky Tang and Majan Almazan.
Fiji’s representatives will also join forces in the mixed doubles. Jared and Sristi will take on Australia’s Le The Hung Pham and Jasmine Wong in their opening match.
The tournaments get underway from 9am on Thursday 28 April, with courts one and two available to watch on the live stream. Find out more information by viewing our webpage, or following us on Facebook and Instagram.
You can view all draws for the VICTOR Oceania Championships 2022 on Tournament Software.