LEADING KIWI DOUBLES PAIR BOW OUT FIGHTING AGAINST SECOND SEEDS
The morning of day two at the Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Badminton Open was highlighted by the appearance of leading New Zealand men’s doubles combination Oliver Leydon-Davis and Abhinav Manota. The two have only recently paired up on the international stage, with a view to qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and brought recent good form with them, finishing runner-up at the Dutch International in April.
The pair had the misfortune however of drawing number two seeds and world class combination of Mohammad Ahsan & Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia) in the first round in New Zealand, but still showed their Olympic potential in going down in two close fought games 17-21, 15-21.
“The result was not the one we were after, but the performance was good against a world class pairing,” said Manota. “Especially in the first game, we are happy with that. These are the players we want to play against to grow and learn. We look forward to more of these challenges in the future.”
Leydon-Davis is based in Europe but returned home for the tournament, hot on the heels of the pair finishing runner-up at the Dutch International just over a fortnight ago.
“We were up against a world class pair and that is never easy, we made a few mistakes down the stretch that happen when you are trying to play above your normal level. First and foremost for us is to develop as a partnership, we were a bit slow to start in Europe but we got going in the Netherlands.”
The pair will now play at the Sudirman Cup for New Zealand, before continuing to play at tournaments in Europe and around the world in pursuit of vital Olympic ranking points to look to qualify for Tokyo 2020.
There was no rest for Manota though, once he had finished his recovery, he was off to work at the North Harbour Badminton office for the day, before returning to play the Barfoot & Thompson Match of the Day against defending tournament champion and two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan (China) in the men’s singles. That match is scheduled for 6:40pm this evening at Eventfinda Stadium.
For the full match schedule and results to this point on day two, CLICK HERE