Shaunna Li - Badminton NZ


The result may not have gone her way, but the experience was still an amazing one for 14-year-old Shaunna Li at the Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Badminton Open.

The young North Harbour prodigy took to the courts at the North Shore Events Centre today in the first round of the main draw women’s singles of the BWF Super 300 event, and while beaten 21-12, 21-9 by number 7 seed of Haruko Suzuki Japan, the experience alone was worth its weight in gold for the Rangitoto High School student.

“I was very nervous in qualifying playing in such a big stadium in a high-level competition. She is one of the only people I have played at this world level, it was a great experience and showed there is so much I can learn. Today was about coping with the environment and appreciating the level that you need to be at, the speed of the game was certainly faster than I am used to, but it was an enjoyable experience for sure.”

The current New Zealand U15 singles, doubles and mixed title holder and Australasian U17 singles champion had come through a tough three setter in her final qualifier to make the main draw, highlighting her undoubted potential.

The only other New Zealander in the women’s singles also bowed out today, with wildcard Sally Fu (Auckland) defeated 21-15, 21-11 by Zhang Yiman of China.