Australia claim fifth Oceania Mixed Team Badminton title
26 February 2019
BADMINTON: Australia edged rivals New Zealand to win the Oceania Mixed Team Badminton Championships for the fifth consecutive year in Melbourne.
The Aussies stormed through the early rounds and opening matches with consistent 5-0 victories, before coming up against second seeds, New Zealand.
Over an afternoon of world-class badminton, the match went the distance as both teams levelled at 2-2, meaning the final women’s doubles match would decide the winners.
Rio Olympian Matthew Chau and Setyana Mapasa got Australia off to a great start with a 1-0 lead before the men’s singles Individual Champion from New Zealand, Oscar Guo, won the next match to bring it level.
New Zealand’s Sally Fu took Rio 2016's Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen to a third game in a match just a few minutes shy of an hour. However, Fu could not capitalise on her first game lead and Chen found her form to take the match.
With everything to play for, New Zealand’s Abhinav Manota and Dacmen Vong won the men’s doubles in emphatic style to bring the overall score level at 2-2.
Finally, the women’s doubles deciding match walked on to court with everything at stake. Experienced Australian duo Gronya Somerville and Setyana Mapasa demonstrated their experience on court to secure gold for Australia in two games.
The team will also keep hold of the prestigious Whyte Trophy for a fifth consecutive year.
Team Captain Chau said he was proud of his team's performance, which was bolstered by a local crowd.
“The team spirit has been high all week and having a home advantage is always a good thing. I’m really happy with our team’s performance today. It really came down to the wire so we did well to hang on and we were confident that our experienced women’s doubles pair would deliver going on for that last game.”
Elsewhere in the Mixed Team Championships, New Caledonia celebrated a huge victory after overwhelming the third seeds from Tahiti, and fourth seeds Fiji in the round robin competition, earning themselves a bronze medal.
All teams from the Pacific will now prepare for the upcoming Samoa 2019 Pacific Games from 7-20 July, 2019.