NEW ZEALAND OPEN 2008 – Preview

With the participation of a world number one player in the KLRC New Zealand Open for the very first time, the excitement and anticipation is certainly building before the kick-off […]
With the participation of a world number one player in the KLRC for the very first time, the excitement and anticipation is certainly building before the kick-off of the main draw directly, on Tuesday, November 11th. Top women’s shuttler Zhou Mi from Hong Kong will be playing in New Zealand and all eyes will be on her to see whether she can defend her title.

By Selina Ng, Badzine Correspondent. Photos : Badmintonphoto (archives)

Zhou Mi  (photo) had initially entered the tournament as the world number three but she recently rose to the top spot in the world in the latest world rankings, even if Tine Rasmussen from Denmark has since overtaken her. Barring any upsets, the in-form Zhou should not face any problems retaining the title she won last year as she seems to be way above her fellow competitors. A win in New Zealand will strengthen her position at the top but a slip-up could see her lose her top place.

Another two former New Zealand Open champions will also take part in this year’s competition. 2005 men’s singles champion Sairul Amar Ayob and 2006 champion Lee Tsuen Seng, both from Malaysia, have confirmed their participation. The two former champions will most likely face resistance from the likes of Muhammad Roslin Hashim from Malaysia, Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia, Hsieh Yu Hsin of Chinese Taipei and from local boy John Moody. It is anybody’s game as any of these players could spring a surprise or two on his competitors.

The men’s doubles event sees a few shuttlers coming out of retirement to compete in the tournament again. New Zealand’s John Gordon and Daniel Shirley will team up to compete in top level competition again and they face teammates John Moody-Craig Cooper in the first round. The winner will most likely face top seeds Fernando Kurniawan-Lingga Lie of Indonesia.

In the women’s doubles, the entry list is predominantly New Zealand pairs. However, the battle for the title is likely to be between top seeds Haw Chiou Hwee / Lim Pek Siah of Malaysia and second seeds Chien Yu Chin / Chou Chia Chi of Chinese Taipei.

Chinese Taipei looks set to dominate the mixed doubles event as top seeds Chen Hong Ling / Chou Chi Chia will fight it out with compatriots Hsieh Yu Hsin / Chien Yu Chin for the title. Local hero John Moody (photo, right) who will be taking part in 3 events, will team up with Kate Wilson-Smith who came out of a short retirement, to challenge the top pairs for honours.

This year’s NZ Open promises a showcase of talent from local shuttlers and juniors from different countries.  The tournament had  been in jeopardy of not being held because of a lack of sponsorship, but last minute additional funds from the New Zealand federation’s usual partners made it possible.  For coverage of the week-long tournament, be sure to follow Badzine.

Official website HERE: http://www.klrcnzopen.com/

Live results Here

 

About Guest Contributor