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Time For Kiwis To Step Up At Canterbury International

Wednesday 31 March 2010, 4:38PM

By Badminton New Zealand

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CANTERBURY

The Cantebury Badminton International gets underway on Friday with plenty of questions to be answered. Not over who will win the tournament, but where are a number of New Zealand’s best players, especially if they want to have any shot at the slim chance of making the Commonwealth Games.

Players missing include Henry Tam – a key doubles and mixed player, Danielle Barry, who is a top doubles player as well as Jessica Jonggowisastro and Michelle Chan, New Zealand’s two best women’s singles players.

Meanwhile two of the nations biggest associations, North Harbour and Waitakere have limited numbers of players taking part.

However even without some of New Zealand’s best there will still be a number of challengers for the titles.

Joe Wu the Kiwi No1 and a former Canterbury player is the tournament top seed, but may have to battle to get past Bjorn Seguin from the Waikato who is still having a battle to gain a New Zealand passport and be able to represent his adopted country. Seguin dominated the domestic scene last year, but carries a US passport despite trying on several occasions to gain the Kiwi equivalent.

Talented Canterbury teenager Asher Richardson faces Australian, Ferdi Mak in the bottom half of the draw.

Also in the men’s singles are players from Australia such as Boris Ma who may be difficult to get past for any Kiwis as well as a couple of Americans and a player from Trinadad – Rahul Rampersad. Second seed in the tournament is James Eunson from Southland.

In the women’s draw Australian Erica Pong is the top seed with Southland second seed, Anna Rankin looking like her main rival for the title.

The Men’s doubles has Americans Daniel Gouw and Arnold Setaidi as top seeds but with challengers Oliver Leydon Davis, a New Zealand team member and Bjorn Seguin keen to upset with Richardson is teamed up with William Chen.

In the small women’s doubles draw the Waikato pair of Amanda Brown and Susannah Leydon Davis are the top seeds.

The mixed competition is a full draw with Eunson and Auckland’s Stephanie Cheng the top seeds but a number of pairs who could be in title contention. Wu and Donna Haliday who would usually pair up with Henry Tam are unseeded while Richardson will combine with Waikato’s Madeline Stapleton.

The tournament runs from Good Friday until the finals from 10am on Sunday 4 April at the Canterbury Badminton Centre, 220 Pages Road Wainoni.