2012 National Champions Crowned
Press Report - by Dave Worsley
Title For Waikato Player Who Proves Age Is No Barrier
He may have been 16-years older than his finals opponent but that didn’t stop Waikato player TJ Weistra from taking out the national badminton singles title in Auckland after scoring a straight game win in the final, going one better than last year.
Weistra, 36 is the world 35 years and over world champion but had been defeated in the New Zealand singles title in three games in 2011 to Dan Shirley. However showing a lot of determination to win her defeated Waitakere player Luke Charlesworth in straight games 21-17 21-14 in 39 minutes this time. Using his experience to good effect the Dutch-born player who still coaches at high performance level said it was about the right tactics.
“I had to take away his attacking angles and move him around a lot. For me I might play some internationals and local tournaments, but I don’t think Thomas Cup. Everyone keeps asking me about it. At 36 there won’t be any big international comeback. I just like competing and to keep feeling pretty young. As long as I am loving playing at this level I will keep going,” although Weistra was a little concerned that some of his younger and more fancied opponents weren’t able to beat him.
“It would have been quite happy to have been given a good kick in the butt by some of these younger guys. They need to decide what they want to do and commit to be a full international player. It’s not meant to be easy, but can be done if they remove barriers in their own minds,” said Weistra who was a former professional player.
Meanwhile winning the women’s singles title was Auckland junior Lilian Shih who is just 17-years-old and appears to have a good long future ahead of her. She defeated Southland’s Anna Rankin in three tight games in the final 21-19 9-21 21-15 in just under an hour.
Shih also made the women’s doubles final but was beaten with partner, Carmen Yuen by the Auckland pair of Stephanie Cheng and Kulie Luo. Luo picked up the mixed title with Aucklander Henry Tam who also won the men’s doubles in good contest over with partner Joe Wu over Ashraf Dhoray and Brent Miller.
Men’s singles semifinals:
TJ Weistra(Waikato) bt Samuel Ho(Auckland) 21-18 21-12, Luke Charlesworth(Waitakere) bt Asher Richardson(Waikato) 21-11 21-12.
Weistra bt Charlesworth 21-17 21-14.
Richardson bt Ho 21-16 15-21 21-18.
Women’s singles semifinals:
Lilian Shih(Auckland) bt Anona Pak(Nth Harbour) 29-27 21-16, Anna Ranking(Southland) bt Amanda Brown(Waikato) 21-9 21-11.
Shih bt Rankin 21-19 9-21 21-5
Pak bt Brown 16-21 22-20 17-21
Men’s doubles semifinals:
Henry Tam(Auckland)/Joe Wu(Northland) bt Samuel Ho/Riga Oud(Auckland) 21-13 21-17, Ashraf Dhoray/Brent Miller(Auckland) bt Brock Matheson(Nth Harbour)/Asher Richardson(Waikato) 21-17 21-19.
Tam/Wu bt Dhoray/Miller 21-19 21-15
Matheson/Richardson bt Ho/Oud 30-29 25-23.
Women’s doubles semifinals:
Stephanie Cheng/Kylie Luo(Auckland) bt Amanda Brown(Waikato)/Kritteka Gregory(Waitakere) 21-14 21-6,
Lilian Shih/Carmen Yuen(Auckland) bt Doriana Rivera Aliaga/Madeleine Stapleton(Waikato) 21-18 21-19.
Luo/Cheng bt Shih/Yuen 21-14 21-17
Brown/Gregory bt Rivera Aliagaa/Stapleton walkover
Henry Tam/Kylie Luo(Auckland) bt Kelvin Ngim/Jenny Hawkyard(Auckland) 21-6 16-21 21-8,
Maika Phillips/Anona Pak(Nth Harbour) bt Samuel Ho/Carmen Yuen(Auckland) 21-15 25-23
Tam/Luo bt Phillips/Pak 21-8 21-13
Ngim/Hawkyard bt Ho/Yuen 21-17 21-14