Hopefuls eye ranking points at local tournaments

Published 14 September 2015 (AEDT)

Leanne Choo (L) and Renuga Veeran (R) of Australia return a shot at London 2012. © 2012 Getty Images

BADMINTON: Two local tournaments could shape Australia’s badminton team for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Around 40 athletes will compete at the Victor Maribyrnong International Tournament in Victoria and the Sydney International Challenge, both in mid-September with their eye on securing valuable world ranking points.

The road to Rio is dependent on a good world ranking, with the top 38 singles athletes and 16 doubles pairs in the world to secure Olympic qualification.

In the mixed doubles event, London 2012 Olympian Leanne Choo and Robin Middleton will look to increase their world ranking of 37. The due were the most successful Australian team at the recent World Badminton Championships, making it through to the second round.

Joining them in the mixed doubles will be Matthew Chau and Gronya Somerville, currently ranked 99 in the world.

Both Somerville and Chaue will play back-to-back in the men’s double and women’s double.

Somerville will partner up with Setyana Mapasa in the women’s doubles. The pair took out the Waikato International in New Zealand earlier this year.

Chau will be joined by Sawan Serasinghe in the men’s event, and the pair will be looking to dominate after having collected the 2015 Oceania Championships at the start of the year, as well as the Waikato International tournament.

In the singles events, young-gun, Joy Lai will compete in the women’s matches. The 16-year-old has had a number of stellar performances this year, to increase her world ranking from 132 to 85.

Glenn Warfe, Junior Development and High Performance Manager and London 2012 Olympian stressed the importance of these tournaments in adding to world ranking points.

“Good performances will also set the athletes up well for their tournaments later in the year, as good points here can help them earn seeded positions in stronger competitions ahead,” he said.



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