New Zealand competitors have shown through to make the semifinals of four of the five events at the Sotx Auckland Badminton International at Gillies Ave, despite the strength of players from badminton stronghold, Taipei.
TJ Weistra, the current New Zealand men's singles champion made the last four of the men's draw after a straight set win against one of Australia's best, Luke Chong. Weistra will now play Taipei's Chien Cheng Lai for a spot in the final.
Top seed James Eunson from Southland was beaten in a tough quarterfinal, losing in three sets to Welshman, Raj Popat 25-23 in the third game. Popat will now play Cheng Po Wei (Taipei) in the other semi after Wei had earlier beaten Kiwi Joe Wu in straight games in his quarterfinal.
In the women's singles former Commonwealth Games medallist, Tracey Hallam from England is the one stand out against three Taipei players in the semifinals. Hallam beat Australia's Tara Pilven in straight games in her quarterfinals and plays Yu Chieh Cheng.
Hallam is also in the semis of the mixed after teaming up with Auckland-based Englishman Tom Armstrong. They take on the Welsh/Indonesian pair of Popat and Devi Tika Permatasari.
The other semifinal features the brother and sister pair of Oliver and Susannah Leydon-Davis from the Waikato who had a close contest in their quarterfinal against a Chinese Taipei pair, winning 22-20 in the third game. In the semis they face Australians Chong and Victoria Na.
New Zealand dominates the men's doubles with three of the four semifinal places held by Kiwi players. Top seeds Kevin Dennerly-Minturn and Leydon-Davis take on New Zealand's Robert Batty and Fijian partner Burty Molia in one match while the young pair of Samuel Ho and Riga Oud face the experienced team of Armstrong (England) and Weistra.
The women's doubles has In the womens doubles two New Zealand pairs remain in the draw. Southland's Anna Rankin and Auckland's Carmen Yuen play the Indonesian combination of Nurvita Hanadia Keshya and Devi Tika Permatasari while Amanda Brown(Waikato) and Kritteka Gregory(Waitakere) face the Taipei team of Ting Yin Chen and Ching Chieh Tai for a place in the finals.
Finals play commences on Sunday from 11am.
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