Overseas experience showed through for the New Zealand doubles pairing of Oliver Leydon-Davis(Waikato) and Kevin Dennerly-Minturn(Auckland) at the Sotx Auckland Badminton International
The duo has been based out of badminton stronghold Denmark for much of the past year and proved that constant high level play has its benefits as they won the doubles title in Auckland defeating the more experienced pair of current New Zealand singles title holder, TJ Weistra and Tom Armstrong the Auckland based English coach.
In an entertaining match Leydon-Davis and Dennerly-Minturn won 21-18 22-20 starving off a late fightback by Weistra and Armstrong. It was the first international title for Dennerly-Minturn.
The Kiwi combination of Amanda Brown(Waikato) and Kritteka Gregory(Waitakere) were beaten in straight games in the women’s final by the top seeds, Indonesian pair Nurvita Hanadia Keshya and Devi Tika Permatasari despite putting up a good showing the home team made too many errors and were defeated 21-15 21-18.
Southland’s Anna Rankin teamed with Aucklander Carmen Yuen to make the doubles semis.
The men’s and women’s singles finals were fought out between players from Taipei. Ya Lan Chang winning the women’s singles in straight games over Yu Chieh Cheng, who had earlier defeated former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Tracey Hallam(England) in three tight games.
Chien Cheng Lai who had defeated Weistra in the singles semis in three games won the men’s singles final in straight games against Po Wei Cheng.
Hallam a former top 10 ranked player who now resides in the Waikato combined with Armstrong in the mixed competition and duly walked away with the title in straight games over top seeds Luke Chong and Victoria Na from Australia.
The best of the Kiwi teams in the mixed was Oliver Leydon-Davis and his younger sister Susannah who made the semis before bowing out to Chong and Na.
Results (New Zealand unless noted).
Men’s singles semifinals:
Po Wei Cheng(Taipei) bt Raj Popat(Wales) 21-14 21-13, Chien Cheng Lai(Taipei) bt TJ Weistra 21-17 17-21 21-16
Lai bt Cheng 2-15 21-13.
Women’s singles semifinals:
Ya Lan Chang(Taipei) bt Ching Chieh Tai(Taipei) 21-15 18-21 21-17, Yu Chieh Cheng(Taipei) bt Tracey Hallam(England) 21-19 15-21 21-14.
Chang bt Cheng 21-15 25-23
Luke Chong/Victoria Na(Australia) bt Oliver Leydon-Davis/Susannah Leydon-Davis 21-18 21-18, Tom Armstrong/Tracey Hallam(England) bt Raj PopatIWales/DeviTika Permatasari(Indonesia) 21-17 21-18.
Armstrong/Hallam bt Na/Chong 21-11 21-7
Men’s doubles semifinals:
Tom Armstrong/TJ Weistra bt Samuel Ho/Riga Oud 21-13 19-21 21-9, Kevin Dennerly-Minturn/Oliver Leydon-Davis bt Robert Batty(New Zealand)/Burty Molia(Fiji) 21-11 21-16.
Leydon-Davis/Dennerly/Minturn bt Weistra/Armstrong 21-18 22-20
Women’s doubles semifinals:
Amanda Brown/Kritteka Gregory bt Ting Yin Chen/Ching Chieh Tai(Taipei) 18-21 21-12 21-19, Nurvita Hanadia Keshya/Devi Tika Permatasari(Indonesia) bt Anna Rankin/Carmen Yuen 21-14 21-9.
Keshya/Permatasari bt Brown/Gregory 21-15 21-18