New Zealand players won three of the five titles on offer at the Counties Manukau Badminton International in Papakura, once again dominating the doubles events, but missing glory in singles.
The only final where a Kiwi was not contesting for the title was in the women’s singles where American Karyn Velez beat Australian Victoria Na for the second week in a row after winning in Melbourne last Sunday. Earlier Velez had beaten Felicity Leydon-Davis(Waikato) in straight games while Na accounted for Magali Bravo from New Caledonia in straight games in her semifinal.
In the men’s singles Southland’s James Eunson scored a tight win over Waikato-based American Bjorn Seguin in the semifinal finals to take on Malaysian Yogendran Krishnan. Krishnan won the title in Melbourne and was a straight game victor over Kiwi Joe Wun in his semifinal and was too solid against New Zealand Whyte Trophy member Eunson in the final. The Malaysian winning 21-10 21-17.
The mixed doubles final was a family contest as former world top 10 doubles player, now retired from international play Dan Shirley combined with his younger sister, Gabby Aves to defeat current New Zealand team member Oliver Leydon-Davis and his younger sister Susannah Leydon-Davis in straight games.
Shirley also won the men’s doubles title where he teamed with former world top 20 ranked singles player, Andrew Smith form England. Although Smith was never known as a doubles player the pair were able to defeat the Kiwi Whyte Trophy combo of Eunson and Leydon-Davis 21-17 22-20 in the semis and then the Australian pair of Wesley Caulkett and Raymond Tam in the final in straight games.
The women’s doubles was the only final which went to three games as the Waikato pair of Doriana Rivera Aliaga and Madeleine Stapleton defeated the Auckland team of Emma Chapple and Louise McKenzie in a tight 45 minute contest 21-17 12-21 21-18.
Counties Manukau Badminton International
Results – New Zealand unless noted
Women’s singles semifinals:
Karyn Velez(USA) bt Felicity Leydon-Davis 21-9 21-9, Victoria Na bt Magali Bravo(New Caledonia) 21-12 21-9.
Velez bt Na 21-12 21-15
Men’s singles semifinals:
James Eunson bt Bjorn Seguin(USA) 21-19 21-19, Yogendran Krishnan(Malaysia) bt Joe Wu 21-15 21-17
Krishnan bt Eunson 21-10 21-17
Men’s doubles semifinals:
Wesley Caulkett/Raymond Tam(Australia) bt Kevin Dennerly-Minturn/Henry Tam 21-15 24-22, Dan Shirley(New Zealand)/Andrew Smith(England) bt James Eunson/Oliver Leydon-Davis 21-17 22-20.
Shirley/Smith bt Caulkett/Tam 21-12 21-10
Women’s doubles semifinals:
Emma Chapple/Louise McKenzie bt Anona Pak/Aviva Pak 21-13 21-19, Doriana Rivera Aliaga/Madeleine Stapleton bt Felicity Leydon-Davis/Carmen Yuen 18-21 21-13 21-13.
Rivera Aliaga/Stapleton bt Chapple/McKenzie 21-17 12-21 21-18.
Mixed doubles semifinals:
Oliver Leydon-Davis/Susannah Leydon-Davis bt TJ Weistra/Doriana Rivera Aliaga 21-15 21-16, Dan Shirley/Gabby Aves bt Brent Miller/Louise McKenzie 21-3 21-17.
Shirley/Aves bt O Leydon-Davis/S Leydon-Davis 21-11 21-17.