National Teams from the Oceania region set their sights on winning the VICTOR Oceania Team Championships 2018 to secure a spot at the TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2018 in Thailand this year.
Teams representing Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Fiji are competing in separate Men’s and Women’s Team Championships this week, competing in a round-robin draw over the 2-day team event.
Day 1 of the Championships was packed full of actions with each team playing 2 ties in similar style of the BWF Thomas and Uber Cup competition.
Highlights of the day came out of the Men’s Team Championships, with heart-stopping Men’s Singles matches in both sessions. Tahiti’s Remi ROSSI left spectators at the edge of their seats in Men’s Singles matches, winning against Australian ranked number 2, Pit Seng LOW (21-18, 21-17) and New Zealand’s Michael FOWKE (21-17, 15-21, 22-20).The epic match against FOWKE saw ROSSI down 4-11 in the third game, and coming up 10-15 then securing the win after setting.
Fellow Tahitian, Quentin BERNAIX also went the distance, almost getting a third game out of Australia’s Ashwant GOBINATHAN in the Men’s Singles (21-18, 22-18). However, was caught out by New Zealand’s Oliver LEYDON-DAVIS, who made his rare appearance in the Singles discipline (21-11, 21-10).
The Kiwis have been a man-down for their Men’s Singles events, as teammate Edward LAU took a step back from competing, after suffering an on-court injury at the 2017 YONEX North Harbour International in Auckland, New Zealand last weekend. However, LAU was in good spirits, cheering on his teammates from the sidelines not wanting to miss the action.
In the Women’s Team Championships, Australia and New Zealand took comfortable leads over the teams from Tahiti and Fiji. In Women’s Doubles, New Zealanders Anona PAK and Danielle TAHURI had a close call with Fijian sisters Karyn GIBSON and Andra WHITESIDE, just winning the first set 21-18. However, PAK and TAHURI reinstated themselves, dominating the Fijian pair 21-7 in the second game.
Coming up to the final Ties this afternoon, Australia holds top positions with New Zealand a close second in both Men’s and Women’s Team Championships. The Tahitian team edges over the Fijian team in the Men’s Championships, whereas the Fijian Women’s Team sits just ahead of the Tahitians.
The Final Ties of the VICTOR Oceania Team Championships promises to be a thrilling playoff between the strongest national teams of the region. For the Aussies and Kiwis, winning the final tie guarantees a ticket to the prestigious TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals, to be held in Bangkok Thailand in May this year. Representing the Oceania region, the Australian or New Zealand teams will battle it out against the top countries in the world – competing in the Thomas Cup for the Men’s Team Championships and the Uber Cup for the Women’s Team Championships.