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NZ teams claim top prizes

Thursday 2 June 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Badminton, Sports

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NZ teams claim top prizes
The New Zealand ‘All Sorts’ team and the Cook Islands ‘Mighty Royales’ after the division one gold medal playoff. Photo: Melina Etches/22060109

The visiting New Zealand teams claimed the top prizes in the inaugural Oceania Masters in Paradise Badminton 2022 tournament which concluded with the finals on Tuesday.

Age proved no barrier in the first Oceania Masters in Paradise Badminton tournament which saw players aged 70 and over, taking to the courts and showing no signs of backing down during matches.

There were fierce battles between New Zealand teams against the local home side. The Hawkes Bay versus Coco Smash of Cook Islands was one of them – the Coco Smash was unable to keep up with the number two seeded players, and lost 186 points to 91 points.

Auckland Pinoy’s versus Mighty Royales (Cook Islands) was another tough encounter. The local Mighty Royales team managed to win against Auckland Pinoy’s 129 points to 165 points, banking them a spot in division one.

On day two on Saturday, a Yankee style tournament was run, generally made of junior players, to engage with other players, including those from New Zealand.

President of Badminton Oceania Loke Poh Wong participated in local team the Mighty Royales for the Oceania Masters in Paradise. Photo: Melina Etches/22053109

During the tournament, an umpires course practical test was facilitated giving an opportunity for 11 individuals of mixed ages to undergo the theory and practical, to become a Pacific Umpire accredited by Badminton Oceania.

On day four on Monday, stormy weather prompted a venue change from the National Sports Arena to the National Auditorium.

Despite the weather affecting the venue, Badminton Cook Islands president, Thomas Mereana-Ngauru says: “It’s been a great event and the players from overseas have had a great time on and off the courts.”

“We were very fortunate to have one of our local teams make it into the Gold finals playing against top number one team from New Zealand, the All Sorts.

“Our visitors also had an opportunity to be with our juniors, which has been amazing,” said Mereana-Ngauru.

The Oceania Masters in Paradise will be held every two years, and Mereana-Ngauru said “we look forward to a much bigger event in 2024”.

Local player Toru Tupa for team Might Royale. Photo: Melina Etches/22053110

On Tuesday, the tournament concluded with the finals played in the afternoon followed by the prizegiving event later in the evening.

The results for the Oceania Masters in Paradise Badminton tournament are as follows:

Division 1: Gold - Kiwi All Sorts, New Zealand, Silver - Mighty Royales, Cook Islands, Bronze - Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Division 2: Gold - Auckland Pinoy Smashers, New Zealand, Silver - Kathy’s Team - Cook Islands, Bronze - Coco Smash - Cook Islands.