Waikato brother and sister Oliver and Susannah Leydon-Davis have scored a good win in the Badminton World Championships in Guangzhou, China overnight to move into the second round of the mixed doubles.
The remainder of the Kiwis on day one were beaten by much higher ranked opponents including New Zealand’s top singles player, Joe Wu who found himself defeated by world No7 Tien Minh Nguyen from Vietnam 21-8 21-7.
The Leydon-Davis duo scored a straight game victory over Egyptians, Mahmoud El Sayad and Nadine Ashraf 21-18 21-16 in the first round. However the task doesn’t get easier for the Kiwi pair as they now face the seventh seeded Thai pair Sudket Prapakamo and Saralee Thoungthongkam. The Kiwis are currently ranked 52 in the world.
Oliver Leydon-Davis will play twice on the second day of the Championship with the mixed second round and when he teams up with Kevin Dennerly-Minturn (Auckland) in the men’s doubles first round and takes on Germans, Ingo Kindervater and Johannes Schoettler who are ranked at 20 in the world. The New Zealanders currently sit at 72nd.
New Zealand’s two women’s doubles teams had tough matches on day one of the event with Southland’s Anna Ranking and Madeleine Stapleton (Waikato) beaten by the world No21 pair from Japan, Yuriko Miki and Koharu Yonemoto 21-8 21-7, while Amanda Brown (Waikato) and Kritteka Gregory (Waitakere) lost to the Malaysian top 30 ranked pair Hui Ern Ng and Hui Lin Ng bt 21-9 21-8
The World Championships run from August 5-11 in the 10,000 seat capacity TianHe Indoor Gymnasium, Guangzhou with around 400 of the world best players entered in the event.
The majority of the New Zealand players will return after the world champs to play in the New Zealand provincial teams event, the Wisden Cup to be held at Waitakere, 13-17 August.
The best performance by New Zealanders at the world champs came in 2005 in Anaheim, Los Angeles when Dan Shirley and Sara Runesten-Petersen won a bronze medal in the mixed competition.
Badminton World Championships Results (New Zealand results only. New Zealand unless named)
Oliver Leydon-Davis/Susannah Leydon-Davis bt Mahmoud El Sayad/Nadine Ashraf (Egypt) 21-18 21-16
Yuriko Miki/Koharu Yonemoto (Japan) bt Anna Rankin/Madeleine Stapleton 21-8 21-7
Hui Ern Ng/Hui Lin Ng (Malaysia) bt Amanda Brown/Kritteka Gregory 21-9 21-8
(7)Tien Minh Nguyen (Vietnam) bt Joe Wu 21-8 21-11