Three talented Kiwi badminton players, Adam Jeffrey (Auckland), Dylan Soedjasa (North Harbour), and Justine Villegas (North Harbour), have embarked on an exciting journey to Europe, seeking valuable experience after a prolonged period without travel due to the pandemic.
For five weeks, they will compete in the European International Circuit, featuring renowned tournaments such as the Victor Swedish Open, I FEEL Slovenia Yonex Open, Austrian Open, and Victor Denmark Masters.
In Sweden, the trio kicked off their campaign impressively, with Dylan and Adam delivering a solid performance in the Men's Doubles, securing a win against Singapore.
Adam Jeffrey / Dylan Soedjasa (NZL) def. Kriston Jun Hao Choo / Low Sheng Yan Nicholas (SGP) 21-16 / 18-21 / 21-19
"It was nice to play and win against countries that we don't often get to compete with in the Oceania region. Winning against Singapore with Dylan felt great, and we stayed composed, sticking to our game plan."Adam Jeffrey
They faced a tough challenge in the following match against Indonesia, the eventual finalists.
(2) Teges Satriaji Cahyo Hutomo / Christopher David Wijaya (INA) def. Adam Jeffrey / Dylan Soedjasa (NZL) 21-12 / 21-17
"We played really well at times and stuck to our game plan. The Singaporeans and Indonesians showcased exceptional speed and racket skills, so we had to find solutions. While we're disappointed we couldn't convert our lead into a third game against the second seeds, it's an area we'll work on."Dylan Soedjasa
In the Mixed Doubles, Adam and Justine demonstrated their skills, defeating the Estonian pair and securing a spot in the quarterfinals. Justine expressed the nervousness of their first competition outside New Zealand and Australia but commended their composure and solid play.
Adam Jeffrey / Justine Villegas (NZL) def. Mikk Ounmaa / Ramona Üprus (EST) 21-17 / 21-12
Unfortunately, their journey in the quarterfinals came to an end against a formidable Malaysian pair after a hard-fought battle.
Lim Tze Jian / Desiree, Hao Shan Siow (MAS) def. Adam Jeffrey / Justine Villegas (NZL) 21-12 / 21-11
Now in Maribor, Slovenia for their second tournament, the Yonex I FEEL Slovenia Open, the Kiwis are ready to face new challenges. Adam and Justine will take on the 7th-seed German pair in the Mixed Doubles, while Adam and Dylan will face the 3rd-seed Irish duo in the Men's Doubles.
The Kiwis' European adventure continues, and Badminton New Zealand stands proudly behind them as they represent the nation on the global stage. Best of luck to Justine Villegas, Adam Jeffrey, and Dylan Soedjasa as they showcase their skills and aim for success on the international stage.