The New Zealand National Championships were held at Auckland Badminton, with over 110 of the country’s top athletes entered for their chance to claim a national title. With the return of many reigning champions, including a few notable new partnerships, the finals were hotly contested. In addition, this year's edition of the NZ National Championships saw the inclusion of two para badminton events and national classification offered for the first time.
Amongst the biggest draw of the National Championships, it was five-time national champion, Abhinav Manota meeting newly crowned Oceania Champion, Edward Lau in the Men’s Singles final. After two entertaining games, Lau triumphed, lifting his first Men’s Singles National title.
Edward Lau (NH) defeated Abhinav Manota (NH) 21-18, 21-18.
The Women’s Singles final was saw strong favourite and defending champion, Shaunna Li competing against North Habour compatriot, Catelyn Rozario. The unseeded Rozario had an impressive run to the final, eliminating the first and third seeds in long, three game matches. However, Li was on a mission to defend her title, claiming her fourth Women’s Singles Championship in two convincing games.
Shaunna Li (NH) defeated Catelyn Rozario (NH) 21-9, 21-8.
The Men’s Doubles final saw a clash between new pairings of; Abhinav Manota / Jack Wang & Adam Jeffrey / Dylan Soedjasa. It was the third encounter between the pairs this year, with Manota and Wang holding a 2-1 head-to-head lead following wins at the Waikato Open and Oceania Championships. However on this occasion, it was Jeffrey and Soedjasa who proved their consistency and skills across the quick exchanges, to claim their first National Title as a pair.
Adam Jeffrey (AKL) / Dylan Soedjasa (NH) defeated Abhinav Manota (NH) / Jack Wang (AKL) 21-11, 21-18.
The Women's Doubles was tightly contended from the semi-final stages with both finalists requiring three games to progress. It was top seeds, Sally Fu and Camellia Zhou and fellow association pairing Erena Calder-Hawkins and Jasmin Ng for an all Auckland final. Seventeen-year old Zhou and previous finalist Fu were too strong for their compatriots, claiming the Women's Doubles title in two straight games.
Sally Fu / Camellia Zhou defeated Erena Calder-Hawkins / Jasmin Ng 21-16, 21-16.
Commonwealth Games representatives, Oliver Leydon-Davis and Anona Pak were favourites from the beginning of the event taking on the Auckland pairing (and double finalists) Adam Jeffrey and Erena Calder-Hawkins. Leydon-Davis and Pak showcased their international experience, defending their Mixed Doubles title in two comfortable games.
Oliver Leydon-Davis (WKO) / Anona Pak (NH) defeated Adam Jeffrey / Erena Calder-Hawkins (AKL) 21-12, 21-14.
The Para badminton events begun with a friendly team doubles tie, with the combinations of Corrie Robinson, Carrie Wilson and Oliver Linton prevailing in a 2-1 match victory. The tie came down to the final game, with Thomas Slade and Wojtek Czyz pushing Robinson and Wilson into a deciding third game.
Amongst the singles, there were two events offered, the SL3 Singles and SL4 – SU5 Singles. With the SL3 singles athletes competing on a modified half court, it was Wojtek Czyz and his international experience that made light work of Manawatu’s Oliver Linton. The SL4 – SU5 singles featured a combination of classifications, with Wellington’s Thomas Slade (SU5) getting the better of Waikato’s Corrie Robinson (SL4).
With the singles matches integrated into the event schedule, the crowd had the opportunity to witness a showcase of New Zealand’s leading para badminton athletes. The National Championships for the remaining classifications take place in Christchurch from the 2-3rd July.
Thomas Slade (WEL) defeated Corrie Robinson (WKO) 21-15, 25-23.
Wojtek Czyz (WKO) defeated Oliver Linton (MAN) 21-10, 21-3.
Congratulations to all the winners and finalists. A big thank you to the Badminton New Zealand Technical Officials, Events Team, Paralympics New Zealand & Auckland Badminton for their efforts in supporting this event.
Full Event results available on Tournament Software.