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.
2019 Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Badminton Interesting Facts and Figures
- HSBC BWF World Tour Super 300 event
- $150,000 USD Prize Money
- In 2019 a record 325 players have entered from 21 countries
- Entries include 11 players/pairs ranked in the top 5 in the world. 23 players/pairs ranked in the top 10 in the world
- Entries include 11 former World Champions or former World Number 1 ranked players. 13 Olympic Medallists
- 49 NZ Players entered, only 8 made the main draw.
- NZ’s leading players for this event are Sally Fu (Women’s Singles), Abhinav Manota (Men’s Singles) and Abhinav Manota and Oliver Leydon-Davis (Men’s Doubles – who are working towards Tokyo Olympics Qualification).
- International Broadcast to 44 million households worldwide
- The 2018 event sold out on finals day Sunday with Chinese legend Lin Dan winning the Men’s Singles Title.
- 41 hours of TV broadcast into three Chinese TV channels in 2018
- 2019 event runs from Tuesday 30th April till Sunday 5th May 2019
- Badminton New Zealand hold the rights to host this event again in 2020 and 2021
Global superstars in Auckland
- Lin Dan (China) Essentially China’s Richie McCaw - 2 x Olympic Gold Medallist, 5 x World Champion. 3.7 million followers on Weibo. First sportsperson in China to have a Weibo post have 1 billion reads.
- Former world number one men’s singles player Lee Hyun Il (Korea), at 39 now ranked 38 in the world
- Saina Nehwal (India) Hugely popular in India - 3x CWG Gold Medallist, 7.8 million followers on Facebook
- Fukushiam/Hirota (Japan) World Number 1 Women’s Doubles Pair
- Anthony Ginting (Indonesia), top seed in men’s singles
- Ahsan/Setiawan (Indonesia), second seeds in men’s doubles
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