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Chan Retuns to Kiwi Team For Oceania Champs

17 December 2013

For immediate release from Badminton New Zealand, for further information visitwww.badminton.org.nz

Chan Retuns to Kiwi Team For Oceania Champs

Badminton New Zealand has named an 8 strong team to contest the Oceania Championships in Ballarat, Australia next February and it features a return to national colours for top ranked singles player, Michelle Chan.

The 2012 Oceania singles champion bowed out of the sport briefly after missing selection for the London Olympic Games but the 26 year old has returned reenergised and refocused with an eye on Glasgow and beyond. Ranked in the low 40’s prior to London, the current world number 86 is on the comeback trail.

“I'm excited to be included in the New Zealand team again, and looking very much forward to playing Oceania Championships again.  We have a very young team in terms of experience this time round,  so it will be good to see how we cope against a more experienced Australian side, but I have no doubt that us Kiwis will make sure they fight for every point.  I've got great memories personally from Ballarat when we last played there and look forward to giving it my all and hoping to repeat the result. 

“After taking a six month break from international competition, I played my first tournament at the London Grand Prix Gold in October, where I lost in the last sixteen. It has been nice coming back after such a long break, and I feel like a different player with a different mentality to my game and results. 

“I am now playing and training at a standard higher than I was before my break. The mental aspect of my game has changed so much and I'm am definitely enjoying the game more and becoming a more complete player not just physically but also mentally.” 

The 8 players selected will cover all disciplines including singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the tournament, one that serves as an important stepping stone to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later in the year. The team also features Waikato siblings Oliver and Susanna Leydon-Davis, with Oliver playing in the men’s doubles with Kevin Dennerly-Minturn and in the mixed doubles with Susannah.

The NZ team is:                  Province                   Rank  events
Michelle Chan                      Auckland                   86        Women’s Singles
Anna Rankin                        Southland                  70        Women’s Doubles
Madeleine Stapleton            Waikato                     70        Women’s Doubles
Joe Wu                                Northland                  112      Men’s Singles
Michael Fowke                     Waikato                     204     Men’s Singles
Oliver Leydon-Davis            Waikato                     62/56   Men’s Doubles/Mixed Doubles
Kevin Dennerly-Minturn       Auckland                   62        Men’s Doubles
Susannah Leydon-Davis      Waikato                     56        Mixed Doubles
Badminton New Zealand High Performance Coordinator Roger Southby sat on the selection panel and is excited about the team’s prospects.

“The team is very well balanced with depth across all five events, from singles to doubles and mixed doubles. The recent international success of Oliver and Kevin winning the Mexico International men’s doubles should see them playing with confidence.  It is great to see a return to international team events for Michelle; she is a great talent and adds strength and depth to our team.

“The Australians are the obvious main opponents. They have invested heavily via state and federal funding and this is starting to produce results. They are particularly strong in all the doubles events, across women’s men’s and mixed.  We have an advantage in the singles with the strength of Michelle, Joe and Michael. 

“Oceania badminton has invested heavily in the Pacific region and has seen a dramatic improvement from some of the nations competing. New Zealand will not be taking any nations lightly with vital ranking points on the line as well as the prestige of Oceania titles.” 

The Kumpoo Oceania Mixed Team Championships will have a record nine nations represented, with Guam, Cook Islands, Nauru, Tonga, Australia, Tahiti, Kiribati, New Caledonia and New Zealand confirmed for the event.

Oceania Badminton Championships
February 2014 – 10th to 12th teams event; 12th to 15th individual events
Ken Kay Badminton Centre
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
The team format is best of five matches (men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, mixed doubles) and the individual tournament is a seeded knockout event.

ENDS

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