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Australia’s Gronya and Setyana look to repeat their Sudirman Cup performance
With only three days to go until the start of the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2019, players from Australia and New Zealand have finished their team training sessions in Melbourne and Auckland, and are traveling to Nanning, China, to compete in group 3A.
Both teams start their Sudirman Cup campaign on Sunday against each other, in a repeat of this year’s VICTOR Oceania Mixed Team Championships final. Australia came out on top in February with a narrow 3-2 victory, but with plenty of the player’s gaining more experience on the international stage since the Championships, who knows what the results will look like on Sunday - it’s all to play for in Nanning.
Australia’s top women’s doubles pair, Gronya Somerville and Setyana Mapasa will be looking to repeat their performance from the 2017 Sudirman Cup in the Gold Coast, where the pair were unbeaten throughout the tournament as they faced USA, Austria, Singapore and Canada.
Having previously been world number 35 in the world rankings, the pair are regaining momentum after Mapasa battled with a leg injury over the last year. Currently, the pair sit at number 60 in the world rankings. The reigning regional champions will be favourites heading into group 3A in Nanning, as they are the highest ranked combination amongst the other teams in Group 3A – New Zealand, Ireland and Nepal.
Team tournaments are a relatively rare occasion for badminton player’s, therefore it comes as no surprise to hear about the Gronya’s excitement heading into this year’s tournament:
What is your favourite memory from a previous Sudirman Cup tournament?
“Being a home event in 2017, it was great to showcase the Gold Coast to all the international players. It was really cool going down to the beach in the morning before games and seeing different countries doing warm-ups, stretches or just chilling and enjoying the beach. Definitely a nice place to have a tournament. We also enjoyed winning that Canada Women's Doubles as it was a close fun game and we were relieved to come off the winners.”
What makes this tournament so different to the rest?
“Team events are fun as we have more players to travel with. Usually, we Australians travel in pairs or as a small group to international events, so the added team dynamics are fun.”
How have you been preparing with the team for this year's event?
“Interstate players have come down to Melbourne for a week of training leading up to this tournament. I also bought some board games to take over to get the team bonding happening..”
What are your aims for this event?
“Being in level 3 we want to win all our matches. Previously, we've been in level 2 and our expectations were different, but this time, with many of our players not having as many tournaments and points to their name, we have a good chance to win in level 3, but we know a tough match will come from New Zealand - our arch rivals.”
Elsewhere in the Australian team, Somerville is likely to partner up with Simon Leung – the pair broke inside the world’s top 100 last week – alongside men’s doubles regional Champions, Sawan Serasinghe and Eric Vuong. Single’s specialists, Ashwant Gobinathan, Jacob Schueler (reigning national champion), Louisa Ma and Tiffany Ho will be also be competing in Australia’s attempt to top group 3A.
- Tiffany Ho (NSW)
- Louisa Ma (VIC)
- Setyana Mapasa (NSW)
- Gronya Somerville (VIC)
- Ashwant Gobinathan (VIC)
- Simon Leung (QLD)
- Jacob Schueler (VIC)
- Sawan Serasinghe (VIC)
- Eric Vuong (VIC)
Australia is in Group 3, Pool A alongside neighbouring country New Zealand, Ireland and Nepal.
Find out more about the tournament on the official event website.