Waikato Player Aims For Fifth Win In A Row - Players Withdrawn From International As Swine Flu Takes Hold
Waikato teenager Bjorn Seguin will be aiming to continue his unbeaten run in New Zealand as he competes in the US$5,000 Auckland International badminton tournament in Auckland starting today at Gillies Ave, Epsom. Seguin, 19 who has already won four consecutive titles – North Harbour Open, New Zealand U23 tournament, North Island Championships and Counties Manukau Open will have to compete with an international field which features Australians and Indonesians as well as top seed seeded Kiwi Joe Wu.
The tournament runs until Sunday 19 June also includes the New Zealand Junior International. Kiwis, Wu, Michelle Chan and Rachel Hindley make a return to tournament play in New Zealand after spending several weeks in Asia training.
In the women’s singles draw there are several top-100 players including Indonesian top seed Rosaria Pungkasari at 53 in the world. Second seed is Kristina Ludikova(Czech Republic) ranked at 62 while several Australians and other Indonesians add strength to the draw alongside local seeds Chan and 2006 Commonwealth Games rep Hindley.
Seguin and fellow Waikato player Michael Fowke as top seeds in the men’s doubles with main rivals from Indonesia and Australia. In the women’s doubles Chan and Hindley are the top seeds. Fellow Kiwis Donna Haliday and Henry Tam are top seeds in the mixed.
There has been some disruption to the event with two players in the women’s singles, Aviva Pak and Melissa Yin having to withdraw from the tournament as they have been quarantined as a result of swine flu. They do not have swine flu but a are part of the senior school at Westlake Girls which was sent home as a precaution earlier this week.
The Auckland International will be used by most players as build up for the US$50,000 Grand Prix tournament at the North Shore Events Centre next month.