Reputations counted for little as the qualifying was completed for the US$15,000 New Zealand Badminton International.
New Zealand’s top junior Asher Richardson(Canterbury) fell by the wayside when he was beaten in three games by former top English junior and now Bay of Plenty development officer Tom Armstrong. Also winning through was former Kiwi coach, TJ Weistra(Waikato) who took three games to overcome Auckland’s Burty Molia. Winning their two matches in easier fashion were former Kiwi representative Chance Cheng and current Kiwi international Oliver Leydon-Davis(Waikato).
The talented Cheng who is no longer based in New Zealand will now face Kiwi No1 Joe Wu in the first round of main draw singles. Weistra takes on local Brock Matheson and Leydon-Davis plays Waikato-based Bjorn Seguin who is under the American flag.
In the women’s qualifying draw new national singles champ, Kylie Luo had a walkover in the first round and then despatched an Indonesian opponent in the second round. This now sets Luo up for an intriguing first round main draw clash on Thursday with Kiwi No1 Michelle Chan who is now based in Europe and recently won the international title in Estonia.
Falling in qualifying was Southland’s Anna Rankin who was easily put away by her Japanese opponent while other qualifying places were taken by players from Hong Kong, Australia, Japan and Taipei.
Top seeds in the main draw singles look likely to have not too much trouble moving through the first round Yun Hu(Hong Kong) is the men’s top seed in the singles and is ranked at 17 in the world. He plays an Indonesian first up. Second seed is 32nd ranked Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia with third seeding going to Malaysia’s Muhammad Hafiz Hasim at 33, a former All England Champion.
In the women’s draw top seed is Pui Yin Yip(Hong Kong)who is currently No12 in the world but has been as high as No8. She plays Japanese qualifier Kurmi Yonao in the first round.
All first round singles start from 3pm Thursday. The tournament runs until Sunday with all matches held at the North Shore Events Centre.
US$15,000 Li-Ning New Zealand Badminton International;
Men’s singles qualifying first round:
(New Zealand unless noted)
Tom Armstrong bt Ben You 21-9 21-9, Burty Molia bt Venkata Surya Rao 22-20 21-9, Evan Lee bt Howard Chou 21-19 21-13, Maika Phillips bt Billy Chandra 21-4 21-6, Nathan Tang(Australia) bt Michael Rippon 21-18 21-18, Max Desai bt Dhanny Oud 13-21 21-18 21-18, Oliver Leydon-Davis bt Jonathan Curtin 21-12 21-11, Chance Cheng bt Shane Masinipeni 21-7 21-8, Takuro Senda bt Yrijo Galvez 18-21 21-5 21-18, Shane Espitalier(Sth Africa) bt Kai Yi Lim 21-10 21-7.
Armstrong bt Asher Richardson 18-21 21-17 21-8, Ho bt Dylan Soedjasa 25-27 21-18 21-14, TJ Weistra bt Molia 21-18 8-21 21-12, Evan Lee bt Valens Sulaiman 21-17 21-11, Tang bt Phillips 21-15 21-16, Leydon-Davis bt Oud 21-12 21-18, Cheng bt Desai 21-8 21-11, Espitalier bt senda 15-21 21-13 21-10
Women’s singles qualifying first round:
Victoria Na(Australia) bt Maria Masinipeni 21-17 21-17, Amanda Brown bt Rayna Phillips 21-16 21-14, Yu Po Pai(Taipei) bt Maggie Chan 21-9 21-12, Kylie Luo bt Ann-Louise Slee(Australia) walkover, Jin Ah Kim(Korea) bt Marcia Ho 21-11 21-3, Madeleine Stapleton bt Carmen Yuen 21-13 10-21 21-9, Kurumi Yonao(Japan) bt Felicity Leydon-Davis 21-12 21-13, Anona Pak bt Aishwarya Nair 21-8 21-8.
Lok Yan Poon(Hong Kong) bt Na 18-21 21-17 21-10, Sayak Takahashi(Japan) bt Anna Rankin 21-6 21-6, Naoko Fukuman(Japan) bt Brown 21-3 21-4, Luo bt Melicia Kurniawan(Indonesia) 23-21 21-17, Leanne Choo(Australia) bt Pak 21-11 21-9.