Depth Keeps Some Kiwis Out

Monday 28 March 2011, 7:54AM

By Badminton New Zealand



The international player depth at the US$15,000 Li-Ning New Zealand Badminton International next week means the finalist at the recent national championships and the nation’s top junior player cannot make the main singles draw at New Zealand’s big international badminton event.

The draws have been confirmed and both TJ Weistra(Waikato), the beaten finalist at the national champs and Asher Richardson(Canterbury) New Zealand’s top junior will have to fight through qualifying if they are to compete with the world’s big guns at the international which starts on Wednesday 30 March.

Weistra and Richardson plus plenty of other local and international players will compete for spots in the main draw. Qualifying events are at Badminton North Harbour before the main draw moves to the North Shore Events Centre on Thursday 31 March - Sunday 3 April.

There are seven Kiwis in the initial 64-player men’s draw. All have reasonably tough draws but the top two locals, Joe Wu(Waikato) and James Eunson(Southland) could move past the first round. Wu faces a qualifier and Eunson plays Swiss competitor Anthony Dumartheray.

Yun Hu from Hong Kong is the men’s singles top seed ranked at 17. He will face Indonesia’s Fauzi Adnan in the first round on Thursday. Men’s 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

The women’s top seed is world No11 Pui Yin Yip(Hong Kong) who faces a qualifier first up with a likely second round clash against Belgium’s Liann Tan. Top Kiwi Michelle Chan also has a qualifier in the first round but a likely clash with the third seed Sayaka Sato from Japan in the second round

Chan is the only Kiwi who makes the main singles draw on merit any other local will have to go through a strong qualifying draw with the most likely of these set to be Kylie Luo(Auckland) who last week won the National Championships title.

The men’s doubles has a number of Kiwi combinations but there is tough opposition if they are to make the later rounds. A name from the past does appear with former late 1980’s early 90’s Kiwi representative, Kerrin Harrison playing doubles. The top seeds are Singaporeans with Australian team, Glenn Warfe and Ross Smith second seeds. National champions, Kevin Dennerly-Minturn and Henry Tam the best local chances.

In women’s doubles the top seeds are the Australian pair of Leanne Choo and Renuga Veeran. Former national singles Kiwi coach Ji Hyun Marr (nee Kim), a medallist at the Seoul Olympics is returning to the court and will play doubles with partner Jih Han Kim who also resides in New Zealand representing Waitakere.

The mixed draw has a Hong Kong pair as the top seeds and a Swiss combination as second seeds. National Champions Kevin Dennerely-Minturn and Stephanie Cheng are up against a pair from Taipei in the first round.

The US$15,00 Li-Ning New Zealand Badminton International commences on Wednesday 30th March with the qualifying events at Badminton North Harbour and then moving to the North Shore Events Centre on Thursday 31 March - Sunday 3 April for the main draws.