The Sotx Auckland Badminton International has become a benefit for players from the badminton stronghold of Taiwan with the depth and talent of that nation showing through.
Five out of eight women’s singles quarterfinalists are from Taipei. A couple of men’s quarterfinalists come from the same country, a pair in each of the men’s and women’s doubles and a couple in the mixed doubles.
However the men’s top seed James Eunson from Southland is through to the last eight without too much hassle beating Yu-Hsiang Chiu(Taipei) in the third round in straight games. He takes on Welsh player Raj Popat for a place in the semis.
Other Kiwis into the last eight are TJ Weistra the current New Zealand champion who plays Australian Luke Chong, while Joe Wu will have a challenge against Taipei’s Po Wei Cheng who accounted for second seed Bjorn Seguin. The other quarter features Wei Jian Al(Malaysia) against Taipei’s Chien Cheng Lal who earlier defeated England’s Andrew Smith in three sets.
In the women’s quarters former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Tracey Hallam will take on Australian Tara Pilven while Southland’s second seed Anna Rankin will play Yu Chieh Cheng(Taipei) for a spot in the semifinals.
The top half of the draw features all players from Taipei including Ching Chieh Tai who beat top seed Victoria Na from Australia in three games.
The brother and sister combination Oliver and Susannah Leydon-Davis are one of the Kiwi pairs through to the mixed quarters along with Luke Charlesworth and Carmen Yuen.
In the men’s doubles quarterfinals six pairs feature at least one Kiwi player with the top seeds being Leydon-Davis and Kevin Dennerly-Minturn from Waikato/Auckland. The duo who represented New Zealand at the prestigious Thomas Cup take on a Taipei pair in the quarters.
The women’s doubles draw really starts to get going from the quarterfinals with a number of New Zealand pairs involved.
The tournament runs until Sunday at the Auckland Badminton Stadium at Gillies Ave with the finals starting from 11am.