Silver finish for New Zealand

February 22, 2023

The VICTOR Oceania Open Mixed Team Championships 2023 was an event marked by adversity, with flood and cyclone complications making it a challenging experience for all involved. Despite the obstacles, the event was gracefully delivered by Badminton Oceania and impressive results were delivered by our very own New Zealand players.

Oceania Junior Mixed Team Championships

The opening event saw the New Zealand Junior team head into the final round of the Oceania Junior Mixed Team Championships, undefeated - against an equally polished Australian junior side.

The final tie begun with a thrilling Mixed Doubles between New Zealand's Jaden Mingoa / Camellia Zhou and Australia's Jie Ying Chan / Sydney Tjonadi. The Kiwis claimed the first game but were pushed into a deciding third game, holding onto a handful of match-point opportunities. It was the Australians who banked the first match, in the narrowest of margins.

Jie Ying Chan / Sydney Tjonadi (AUS) def. Jaden Mingoa / Camellia Zhou (NZ) 19-21 / 21-14 / 24-22

In the Girl’s Singles, Victoria Guo fought hard to NZ on the board, up against Australia's Catrina Tan. The three-game singles match eventually favoured the Australians, with Australia taking a 2-0 lead overall.

Catrina Tan (AUS) def. Victoria Guo (NZ) 21-12 / 11-21 / 21-15

New Zealand's hopes were kept alive with Chris Benzie’s valiant display in the Boy’s Singles against Australia's Jie Ying Chan. Chris displayed class and held his composure across the match, to claim victory in three games.

Chris Benzie (NZ) def. Jie Ying Chan (AUS) 21-12 / 23-25 / 21-13

Camellia and Victoria returned to court in the Girl's Doubles, with the challenge to equal the tie. The Kiwis had a tough match with Australia's experienced doubles pair prevailing to take the match and tie.

Catrina Tan / Dania Nugroho (AUS) def. Victoria Guo / Camellia Zhou (NZ) 21-12 / 21-12

Despite Australia's 3-1 lead, New Zealand’s Chris Benzie and Daniel Hu replied with a strong performance in the Boy’s Doubles against to claim the final match of the tie.

Chris Benzie / Daniel Hu (NZ) def. Timothy Sentosa / Frederick Zhao (AUS) 21-14 / 21-12

Congratulations to the New Zealand Junior team with their silver finish, in the narrowest of margins against an experienced Australian team. A big thank you to the Junior coaching team of Fanny Megahwati and Nick Chambers.

Oceania Mixed Team Championships

There was plenty to play for at the Oceania Mixed Team Championships, from the Oceania Team title, the Whyte Trophy (test tie trophy between Australia & New Zealand) and the Oceania qualifying position at the prestigious Sudirman Cup (World Mixed Team Championships), both teams were eager to take to centre court.

The tie opened with Mixed Doubles, with the New Zealand pairing of Edward Lau and Anona Pak racing to an early lead, taking the first game 18-21 against the reigning Oceania Champions Kenneth Choo / Gronya Somerville. Fuelled by a roaring crowd, it was point for point before Australia pulled away, banking the first point of the tie.

Kenneth Choo / Gronya Somerville (AUS) def. Edward Lau / Anona Pak (NZ) 18-21 / 21-14 / 21-14

In the Men's Singles, recently crowned Oceania Champion Abhinav Manota was looking to repeat his singles success against Australia's young talent, Jack Yu. Despite an early lead, it was Australia's fresh legs who prevailed to give Australia a 2-0 lead in the tie.

Jack Yu (AUS) def. Abhinav Manota (NZ) 21-15 / 21-18

The Women's Singles looked set to be a repeat of a mammoth Women’s Singles final earlier in the week between New Zealand's Shaunna Li and Australia's Tiffany Ho. Shaunna looked to put New Zealand on the board, as she nabbed the first game in fashion, but Tiffany's relentless nature pushed the match into a deciding third game. With the trophies and medals (literally) in sight, it was Australia who prevailed, securing the match and Oceania Mixed Team Championship Title.

Tiffany Ho (NZ) def. Shaunna Li 11-21 / 21-9 / 21-10

New Zealand's Women's doubles pair, Erena Calder-Hawkins and Anona Pak were determined to bank a point nonetheless, pushing the Australian pairing of Kaitlyn Ea and Gronya Somerville to three games. Despite a tremendous effort, it was the Australians who claimed a fourth point for their team.

Kaitlyn Ea / Gronya Somerville (AUS) def. Erena Calder-Hawkins / Anona Pak (NZ) 21-17 / 19-21 / 21-12

The final match, the Men's Doubles was a repeat of the 2022 Oceania MD Final, with the Australians reversing their previous misfortune. Abhinav and Jack Wang provided thrilling rallies and net exchange between the pairs, but once again it was the Australians who banked the final point and match for the tie.

Kenneth Choo / Ming Chuen Lim (AUS) def. Abhinav Manota / Jack Wang (NZ) 27-25 / 21-16

A bittersweet silver finish for the New Zealand team, with congratulations to the Australian team. A big thank you to the NZ coaching team of Rikke Olsen Siegemund and Tony Griffen.

Oceania Individual Championships

Between the fortnight of team events saw the Oceania Open & Junior Individual Championships. Badminton New Zealand is excited to extend a huge congratulations to our newly crowned Oceania Champions; Abhinav Manota (Men's Singles) and Shaunna Li (Women's Singles).

"I'm thrilled and grateful to have won the Oceania Championships (again). It's an amazing feeling to see all the hard work and dedication pay off. Winning this title means a lot to me, it's a great boost to my confidence. I felt a sense of relief after the match, as the pressure to perform and the expectations from myself and others can be overwhelming at times."

Abhinav Manota - 2023 Oceania Men's Singles Champion

"It feels good to win this title - my first Oceania title at senior level since winning the junior title years ago. With all the disruptions from COVID since 2020, and then not being able to compete in last year's event - also due to COVID - I've been excited to get back on court, compete internationally and winning this title is an added bonus!

Shaunna Li - 2023 Oceania Women's Singles Champion

Badminton New Zealand also extends a congratulations to our silver medallists at the Oceania Championships;

  • Edward Lau (Men's Singles)
  • Alan Yun Lung / Chance Cheng (Men's Doubles)
  • Daniel Hu (Junior Men's Singles)
  • Chris Benzie / Daniel Hu (Junior Men's Doubles)

For full results from the event, visit Tournament Software.

Photo Credit: Paul Foxall