DAY ONE DOWN & NOW THE FUN BEGINS….
Day one wrapped up at the Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Badminton Open at Eventfinda Stadium on Auckland’s North Shore today, with a hint of the world class badminton that is to come as the final rounds of qualifying and the opening round of mixed doubles played out in front of a good first-day crowd.
A number of New Zealand combinations negotiated their way into the main draw, with mixed doubles pairings Riga Oud & Stephanie Liao, Dacmen Vong & Justine Villegas, Edward Lau & Alyssa Tagle, Danny Oud & Jasmine Ng all inking their names in the first round and with it a shot at upsetting more fancied opponents in the HSBC BWF Super 300 Tournament.
The first of what could be many upsets in a tournament with quality throughout every event saw Malaysian pairing of Tan & Lai upset the number 6 seeds Rivaldy and Mentari (INA) in two close games to move into the second round of the mixed doubles, the Malaysians taking the honours 21-14, 21-18.
Complete first day results, CLICK HERE
Tomorrow sees the tournament get underway properly, with big crowds expected for first round action in all events, with the highlights seeing two-time Olympic and five-time World Champion Lin Dan (CHN) taking on New Zealand champion Abhinav (Mani) Manota in the Barfoot & Thompson match of the day. That match will be played on court one at approximately 6:40pm.
Manota will have already appeared on court with double’s partner Oliver Leydon Davis as the Kiwi combination look to back up their recent runner-up finish in the Netherlands with another strong performance in Auckland. They are up against it though, facing off against one of the star pairings in Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan & Hendra Setiawan, the number two seeds. That match is due on court at Eventfinda Stadium at 10:20am.
In the women’s singles there is a huge amount of attention on Saina Nehwal, the Indian is a three-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist and plays in Auckland as the number 2 seed and faces Zhiyi Wang (CHN) in her first-round encounter at approximately 6pm.
New Zealand champion Sally Fu plays her first-round match at 6:20pm against Indonesia’s Ruselli Hartawan, like Mani Manota, Fu is the beneficiary of a wildcard into the main draw and will have nothing to lose against her young opponent.
Doors open at 8:30am tomorrow morning, with the first shuttle hit at 9:00am, with a full schedule of 68 matches covering all events throughout the day and evening.
New Zealanders to receive wildcards into the first round of the main draw are:
- Abhinav (Mani) Manota, men’s singles
- Sally Fun, women’s singles
- Riga Oud and Daxxon Vong, men’s doubles
- Sally Fu and Alyssa Tagle, women’s doubles
- Anona Pak and Maika Phillips, mixed doubles