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Badminton masters tourney returns with record numbers

Tuesday 14 May 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Badminton, Sports

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Badminton masters tourney  returns with record numbers
2022 winners Kiwi All Sorts. Second from left: Grant DeMenech, Val McLoughlin, Jondy Charlesworth and Steve Milliken with Bank of the Cook Islands representatives. 24051064

Nineteen teams including seven from the Cook Islands will be participating in the Badminton Oceania Masters in Paradise 2024 tournament to be held from May 23-28 in Rarotonga.

The tournament to be held at the National Sports Arena in Nikao will feature a new format called “golden game”. This will be used when the score is a tie at the end of four matches to determine the winner.

Thomas Mereana-Ngauru, president of Badminton Cook Islands, said there will be 95 players and 20 supporters from New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and the Cook Islands converging for the tournament.

Mereana-Ngauru said the event was originally planned for 2020 but had to be cancelled due to Covid. It was then successfully held in 2022, coming out of the Covid restrictions, with 40 players participating.

“The success of 2022 is why the numbers have grown significantly – word of mouth, particularly in NZ was what encouraged the increased entry this year.”

Mereana-Ngauru explained there will be three division based on age and competition level (competitive or recreational).

Compared to the 2022 event, this year’s event will see competition in each division such as the 35+ competitive, 55+ competitive and 40+ recreational.

Mereana-Ngauru said each competition will be played on a round robin basis, with all teams playing a minimum of five matches.

He explained that it’s a team event, with each team consisting of up to eight players (both men and women). Only doubles matches will be played, including men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. Each team tie will be decided by winning the majority of the four matches played.

“The event is structured in such a way to enable people to play some badminton and enjoy all that Rarotonga has to offer through social functions, the lagoon cruise and other activities the participants will choose to do in their down time,” Mereana-Ngauru said.

“The focus is on ‘social’ however when on the court some of these players become very competitive as they all want to be crowned an Oceania Masters in Paradise champion.”

Mereana-Ngauru said the winning team in 2022 from New Zealand, Kiwi All Sorts, enjoyed their time in Rarotonga so much that they donated a perpetual trophy for the winners. The trophy is a Cook Islands pate or drum carved by local carver Kiikii Tomokino.

“This team was one of the first to register for the 2024 competition and are again favoured to win the 55+ section,” Mereana-Ngauru said.

Badminton Cook Islands is also using this event to raise some funds for the junior players travelling to the World Junior Championships in China in September.

Polo shirts featuring the Oceania Masters logo were pre-sold to all teams at a special price of $50 with a handful more to be sold at the playing venue during the tournament.

Badminton Cook Islands thanked sponsors Bank of the Cook Islands, Vodafone Cook Islands, Vonnias Ltd, The Edgewater Resort and Cook Islands Tourism for their support. The association also thanked Badminton Oceania, CISNOC and CIIC for making the event happen.

Sessions playing times are: Friday 24th May 9:30am, 12:30pm and 3:30pm; Saturday 25th May 9:30am & 1pm; Monday 27th May 9:30am, 12:30pm and 3:30pm; Tuesday 28th May 9:30am and 1pm.

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