A trio of NZ National Squad players will don the fern, as they represent New Zealand in the Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles events at the BWF World Championships in Tokyo, Japan at the end of this month.
Auckland’s Jonathan Curtin and North Harbour’s Dylan Soedjasa combine in the Men’s Doubles, despite the pair not currently competing together in the current circuit. Courtesy of the BWF World Ranking freeze, the pair has retained their ranking from 2019, which has lead to their qualification in the 2022 BWF World Championships. For the pair, the Tokyo edition will be their maiden World Championships.
"We have been trying to split our time a bit between our regular partners and each other (in the lead up to the World Championships. It has it's benefits in some ways, to adjust to different styles -or readjust in our case since it's been a while since we have competed together - as you can learn and try different things with different partnerships."Jonathan Curtin
The pair meet Guatemala’s Solis Jonathan & Anibal Marroquin in their opening match. A win in this round, will set up for a tantalising R32 match against 7th seeds, Rankireddy/Shetty (India).
"We're super excited to represent New Zealand at the World Championships. This will be my first tournament outside the Oceania region since the COVID-19 outbreak. It's even more exciting that it is going to be in Tokyo. I am really looking forward to the challenge!"Dylan Soedjasa
Meanwhile, North Harbour’s Abhinav Manota is New Zealand’s sole representative in the Men’s Singles. For Abhinav, Japan will be his second World Championships after contesting the TOTAL BWF World Championships in Nanjing, China in 2018. In his previous appearance, Abhinav met 11th seeded, Prannoy HS (India), bowing out in the opening round 21-12, 21-11.
This year, Abhinav meets Hong Kong’s Lee Cheuk Yiu in his opening round.
Playing against the world class players always have a special feel to it. Since this is World Championships and it is in Japan, I feel honoured to be a part of it. I am as excited to go and compete as if it was my first time.
This time I think I am more ready due to the experience I have gained from my last campaign, I believe that has really taught me a lot. I am ready to go all out.Abhinav Manota
With Japan currently closed to tourists and diligently monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak, the Kiwi contingent have been required to track their health in the fourteen days prior to the World Championships. With New Zealand classed as Group "Blue", the Kiwis are not required to quarantine upon arrival or provide an on-arrival test. Once in Tokyo, the trio will complete their final preparations before opening their World Championships campaign.
We wish our New Zealand athletes the best of luck as they depart Auckland on Thursday, August 18 with the Total Energies BWF World Championships commencing on August 22nd.
View the BWF World Championships draw & results below: