Organisers of the BARFOOT & THOMPSON BWF World Junior Championships 2020 have today confirmed that the event has been cancelled.

The ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainty left BWF, Badminton New Zealand and tournament organisers no choice but to cancel the event.
BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said: “We are of course disappointed not to be able to stage the 2020 version of the BWF World Junior Championships, but the entry restrictions in place and complexities related to the COVID-19 situation makes it impossible for the event to be planned and therefore hosted in New Zealand in January 2021 as currently scheduled.”

With a host for the next edition already in place for later in 2021, and the uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation expected to stretch into next year, postponement was not an option.

However, Badminton New Zealand are still committed to hosting the BWF World Junior Championships and the BWF have accepted a proposal for them to stage the 2024 edition as a replacement for the edition lost.

Hosts for the 2021, 2022 and 2023 championships were already awarded by BWF Council in 2018, making 2024 the next available year.

“We would like to thank Badminton New Zealand, tournament organisers, its partners ATEED and the New Zealand Government, for their enthusiasm and commitment to staging the World Junior Championships,” added Lund.

“It only seems fair recognition of their efforts to stage these championships that we award them the 2024 edition.

“We appreciate that some junior players will turn 19 years old in 2021 and unfortunately miss out on a BWF World Junior Championships experience. We can only encourage them to continue to develop their talent as badminton athletes and start to enter open international events.

“It has been a difficult and extraordinary year during the pandemic but we all look forward to a more consistent junior international badminton calendar in 2021 and the next BWF World Junior Championships in China in October 2021.”

Badminton New Zealand Chief Executive Joe Hitchcock said: “Although we are tremendously disappointed with this news, it is the right decision to make due to the current situation. We know that the world was looking forward to visiting New Zealand and enjoying a truly inspiring event with the best young badminton players on the planet and we feel for all those impacted by this cancellation.

“We are, however, thrilled that fans and players from around the world will still be able to enjoy a uniquely Kiwi badminton experience, albeit a few years later than originally planned. We are particularly grateful to the BWF, Barfoot & Thompson and our event partners, who have been
incredibly supportive and accommodating to ensure that we could get across the line to host the 2024 event,” Hitchcock said.

ATEED Head of Major Events, Richard Clarke, said: “Whilst the news is understandably disappointing for the badminton community and Auckland as a host, we are delighted to hear that the event will not be lost to our region.

“The decision by the international governing body to award the 2024 event to New Zealand speaks volumes for our reputation as a world-class events destination and we cannot wait to extend our manaakitanga (hospitality),” Clarke added.

The new date sets up an exciting period of international badminton events in Auckland, New Zealand, with the BARFOOT & THOMPSON BWF World Junior Championships secured for 2024 to be followed by the BARFOOT & THOMPSON BWF World Senior Championships in 2025.

ENDS

Contact:
pressoffice@bwfbadminton.org

Lloyd Green
Communications & Media Manager
Mobile: +60 19-384 0556

Dianne Pierre
Deputy Communications & Media Manager
Mobile: +44 7961 714540

An incredible, action-packed eight days of badminton across venues in North Harbour & Waikato saw over 200 players take to court in the various 2020 New Zealand National Age Group Championships.

Under 17 National Championships

The first event, NZ U17 National Championships, saw players make their mark, forcing early exits from a handful of top seeds. North Harbour’s Chris Benzie and Ashley Tan were primed to claim a hattrick of titles, both featuring in three finals.

Benzie opened his campaign, taking out the Boys’ Singles over Auckland’s Daniel Hu in a nail-biting three games; 23-21 18-21 21-14. Benzie continued to claim finals glory, teaming up with Dylan Naera to claim the Boys’ Doubles against Hu & Ethan Chuang. Meanwhile, Tan was comfortable in the Girls’ Singles final over Auckland’s Smile Li, 21-17, 21-15. Tan returned to court in the Girls’ Doubles with teammate Anna Ryu to clutch a second title 22-20, 12-21, 21-18 over Angelina Ung & Camellia Zhou.

With two titles under their belt, Benzie & Tan were partnered and poised to claim the Mixed Doubles until, Naera & Zhou halted their run. Despite having match point opportunities, Tan & Benzie were unable to close out the second game, handing Naera/Zhou the momentum and eventually the match and title; 17-21, 26-24, 21-18.

Waitakere’s Hugo Chou was awarded the NZ U17 Umpire Award for his outstanding efforts in the umpiring chair.

NZ U17 National Champions 2020

Under 13 National Championships

The NZ U13 National Championships ran in conjunction with the U17s, at sister venue Active Badminton Centre. It was North Harbour’s Tony Yu who proved his dominance in the U13 age group, without dropping a game ahead of finals day. Paired with Mads Siegemund, the pair claimed a hotly contested Boys Doubles title over Von Lee Ooi and Oscar Wu. Yu continued his charge on Ooi, claiming the Boys Singles’ title in a 3-game thriller 14-21, 21-11, 21-16. Inspired on his winning streak, Yu concluded the day with Shuyu Lu for a comfortable 21-11, 21-10 Mixed Doubles victory.

Both Lu and Josephine Zhao had standout performances in the girl’s events with the pair claiming the Girls Doubles title over fellow Harbour players; Yanxi Liu & Natalie Ting. Zhao also took the Girls’ Singles title, following an hour-long contest over top-seeded Rosie Yang.

Despite a host of fantastic umpiring within the age group, Auckland’s Oscar Wu was awarded the NZ U13 Umpire Award at this year’s event.

NZ U13 National Champions 2020

Under 15 National Championships

Following the U13 and U17 National Championships, the junior contingent migrated to the Waikato region to contest the NZ U15 and U19 National Championships.

The New Zealand Under 15 National Championships promised a bounty of matches and excitement, with the largest entries of all age group national championships in 2020.

After a tough semi final loss in the Boys' Singles, Raphael Deloy teamed up with Nanna Siegemund to beat Jaden Lei Mingoa/Katarina Ung 21-7 21-10 to claim the Mixed Doubles title.

It was an all-North Harbour affair in the singles finals as an impressive Lillian Cao took the court to defeat Amanda Ting in three games, 17-21 21-19 21-8.

Ethan Chuang however provided too dominant in the Boys Singles, as he beat North Harbour teammate Mingoa 21-15 21-9 before then pairing up with Mingoa to win the Boys Doubles beating Joseph Wu and Owen Wu 21-18 21-18. The impressive skills on court concluded with the closest match of the Finals taking place between Lillian Cao and Amanda Ting in the Girls' Doubles, finding a win over Nishika Jain and Katarina Ung, 21-16 17-21 21-18.

Under 19 National Championships

Alongside the U15 finals, the New Zealand Under 19 National Championship finals were streamed live to SKY Sport Next, with thousands jumping online to watch.

In the opening final, NZ U17 finalists Chris Benzie and Ashley Tan struggled to keep up with the established pair of Jack Wang and Roanne Apalisok. Improving on 2019's result as finalists, Wang and Apalisok proved one better to claim the NZ U19 Mixed Doubles title.

Hot favourite, Shaunna Li took the court and continued her dominant year, adding the New Zealand U19 Women’s Singles title to collection, defeating a spirited Jenny Zhu, 21-11 21-11.

Men’s Singles was next on the slate, with North Harbour's Ricky Cheng and Auckland's Clive Luna providing thrilling entertainment. In a back and forth battle, Cheng had the edge to close out the match 19-21 21-15 21-13.

In an emotional replay of the 2019 NZ U19 Women’s Doubles Final, Apalisok and Janice Jiang were able to outclass Li & Tan 21-16 12-21 21-17 to take the three peat in back to back titles. Jiang summed it up well in her post match interview, “this is my last year as an Under 19 and we’ve won three years in a row, so it’s a really cool feeling”.

Finals day concluded with both Luna and Wang combining to dispatch unseeded pair Aaron Chen and Steven Lin 21-9 21-11 in relatively quick fashion. It made it two titles for Wang in his last junior event, while Luna was pleased to take home a title after coming close earlier in the day “it feels much better, it feels great to win”.

The event rounded out with Alex Galt and Hugo Chou awarded the Umpire Award for their respective U15 and U19 Championships, a fitting recognition for their efforts in the umpire chair.

NZ U19 National Champions 2020

Check out some of the highlights below

New Zealand junior players are wrapping up their preparations as they head towards the New Zealand Junior National Championships being played over the second week of the school holidays. With Championship and Division 2 grades, the event promises to be a fantastic occasion with each player seeking to achieve their personal development goals.

Badminton New Zealand Events Manager Sam Paterson highlights the importance of the event as a bookend to the season.

We’re extremely excited for our first opportunity to deliver a high quality and fun event to our young badminton players. We look forward to welcoming everyone to these Championships as we seek to end 2020 on a high.

Paterson also recognises the critical role that key partners play in the delivery of the event.

“We’ve been extremely fortunate to receive significant grants from both Hamilton City Council and Devonport-Takapuna Local Board. Their support of badminton cannot be underestimated, and we hope that this is the beginning of an ongoing partnership, supporting kiwi kids to engage in healthy lifestyles.”

The tournament period begins with the NZ Under 17 National Championships, taking place from 3-6 October at Badminton North Harbour. The NZ Under 13 National Championships follows closely, from 4-6 October at the nearby Active Badminton Centre.

With ongoing gathering restrictions, unfortunately spectators will not be able to attend these Auckland-based events, however results and live updates will be available through our social media channels and Tournament Software.

The second round of events proceeds in the Waikato region with the combined NZ Under 15 and Under 19 Championships being held from 8-11 October at the Eastlink Stadium, Hamilton. The Under 19 finals on Sunday 11 October will be showcased live through Sky Sport Next.

Follow the results & action online at;

This weekend, in partnership with the University and Tertiary Sport New Zealand (UTSNZ), the New Zealand Tertiary Championships (NZTC) will take place at Counties Manukau Badminton. Despite being rescheduled from August, the event does not miss a beat with seven university teams competing in a five-match format to take home the prized Robson Shield.

The NZTC is live on Sky Sport Next with the following schedule:

Our livestream welcomes fresh voices to the commentary team, with University alumni Justine Villegas (University of Auckland), Anona Pak (Massey University) and Rayna Phillips (Victoria University of Wellington) joining the renowned Andrew Dewhurst.

The Tertiary Championships features a top-class field with ten National squad members, a sprinkling of past World Junior Championships representatives and former Junior National champions across the teams.

Defending Champions University of Waikato will face a tough battle to retain the Robson Shield

The University of Auckland has two strong teams, with their top side comfortably seeded. This team features Dacmen Vong, Alyssa Tagle and youth-Olympian Oscar Guo, among others. Nonetheless, there will be plenty fireworks as defending champions, University of Waikato, return alongside 2019 silver medallists, Massey University. But do not write-off AUT, led by NZ Team stalwart Sally Fu or the University of Otago’s all-round team featuring popular South Island names Aaron Ng, Jake Dickson and Lucy Thomsen.

Spectators are welcome to Counties Manukau this weekend, however numbers are limited, to comply with current COVID restrictions. A one-in one-out system will be in place if the limit is reached.

Alternatively, follow the journey online as these university teams battle it out to claim 2020’s National Tertiary Badminton Championship.

Dear Badminton Stakeholders

Following the Prime Minister's announcement today, New Zealand will shift current COVID-19 Alert Levels.

Auckland will move to Alert Level 2 with no extra restrictions at 11:59pm on Wednesday 23 September. This means people in Auckland will be able to attend social gatherings in groups of up to 100 people. The NZ Government have stated that Auckland will remain in Alert Level 2 for at least two weeks.

The rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 1 at 11:59pm on Monday 21 September.

Please note the following implications:

  • The Central Region Masters Inter-Association competition scheduled for the 26th and 27th September 2020 will proceed with no changes.
  • The Northern Region Masters Inter-Association competition scheduled for the 26th and 27th September 2020 will proceed with no changes. This can be delivered within the Alert Level 2 restrictions.
  • The National Tertiary Championships scheduled for the 26th and 27th September 2020 will proceed with no changes. This can be delivered within the Alert Level 2 restrictions.
  • The NZU13, NZU15, NZU17 and NZU19 National Championships will proceed as planned. The NZU13 and NZU17 events will be split to separate venues in North Harbour. The NZU15 and NZU19 will go ahead as planned as a combined event in Hamilton.
  • We will monitor the continuation of future events and competitions in accordance with the NZ Government updates and COVID-19 Alert Levels.

Please note that at all times our badminton community should first and foremost follow the requirements and advice of the New Zealand Government, the Ministry of Health and Sport New Zealand. The websites for these organisations are at the bottom of this email.

Our advice remains simple – follow the New Zealand Government and Sport New Zealand guidelines and ensure your community safety is put first. We recommend only continuing to participate and deliver badminton if it can be done safely while meeting all the requirements set out in the guidelines.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or any Badminton New Zealand staff if you have questions, concerns or need help in any way.

Thank you for your continued patience and support.

Joe Hitchcock
Chief Executive
Badminton New Zealand

www.covid19.govt.nz
www.health.govt.nz
www.sportnz.org.nz

Dear Badminton Stakeholders

Following the Prime Ministers announcement today, New Zealand will remain at current COVID-19 Alert Levels.

The NZ Government will review the restrictions in Auckland on Monday 21st September 2020 with the hope of increasing mass gatherings to  100 from Wednesday 23rd September 2020.

If cases continue to track as they are and containment of cases is maintained, the NZ Government will likely shift the rest of New Zealand to Alert Level 1. From 11:59pm on Monday 21st September 2020.

Please note the following implications:

  • The Central Region Super Veterans Inter-Association competition scheduled for the 19th and 20th September 2020 will proceed with no changes.
  • The Northern Region Super Veterans Inter-Association competition scheduled for the 19th and 20th September 2020 is cancelled. We know this will be disappointing for players and we share this frustration. Badminton New Zealand will provide a full refund for all teams and associations for this competition.
  • The Central Region Masters Inter-Association competition scheduled for the 26th and 27th September 2020 will proceed with no changes.
  • The Northern Region Masters Inter-Association competition scheduled for the 26th and 27th September 2020 will proceed if the Alert Level 2 restrictions in Auckland move to allow mass gatherings of up to 100 people. This decision will be made on Monday 21st September 2020. We appreciate that this is late notice and some teams may need to default matches. Please keep in touch with Sam at sam@badminton.org.nz if you have any questions.
  • The National Tertiary Championships is scheduled for the 26th and 27th September 2020 and will proceed if the Alert Level 2 restrictions in Auckland move to allow mass gatherings of up to 100 people. This decision will be made on Monday 21st September 2020. Badminton New Zealand will make all event decisions in partnership with University & Tertiary Sport NZ.
  • Badminton New Zealand have opened entries for the NZU13, NZU15, NZU17 and NZU19 National Championships and that these close on Wednesday.
  • Badminton New Zealand strongly recommends that all badminton associations, clubs, facilities, activities, events and competitions follow the Alert Level guidelines. Please contact us if you need any assistance in this area.
  • We will monitor the continuation of future events and competitions in accordance with the NZ Government updates and COVID-19 Alert Levels.

Please note that at all times our badminton community should first and foremost follow the requirements and advice of the New Zealand Government, the Ministry of Health and Sport New Zealand. The websites for these organisations are at the bottom of this email.

Our advice remains simple – follow the New Zealand Government and Sport New Zealand guidelines and ensure your community safety is put first. We recommend only continuing to participate and deliver badminton if it can be done safely while meeting all the requirements set out in the guidelines.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or any Badminton New Zealand staff if you have questions, concerns or need help in any way.

Thank you for your continued patience and support as we continue to work through these challenging times. We will have another update on Monday 21st September 2020.

Many thanks

Joe Hitchcock
Chief Executive
Badminton New Zealand

www.covid19.govt.nz
www.health.govt.nz
www.sportnz.org.nz

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