NZ’s top-ranked badminton player is a newly-arrived migrant from India

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Abhinav Manota, an Indian immigrant, who came to New Zealand in 2014, to study Diploma in Business and Enterprise Management (Level 7) from Christchurch-based Abacus Institute of Studies, is now the New Zealand men’s singles champion in Badminton.

In the recently concluded New Zealand National Championships and North Harbour Open, Mr Manota defeated Mr Edward Lau. He was leading the first game by 20-4 when Mr Lau retired due to injury.

To top it, Mr Manota partnered with Ms Justine Villegas to defeat Mr Lau again in the mixed doubled final, who was partnering with Ms Alyssa Tagle. The match score was 21-17, 21-17.

Unfortunately, though, the Indian badminton sensation, couldn’t complete a treble of titles when he and his men’s double partner Mr Dylan Soedjasa was beaten by the reigning Oceania Junior champions Mr Oscar Guo and Mr Dacmen Vong. The hard fought match, which lasted 53 minutes, ended with the scoreline of 21-18, 20-22, 26-24.

Mr Manota, who turned 25 recently, and works as Development Officer at the North Shore Badminton Association, credited his wins to years and years of hard work. He was the Punjab State badminton champion when he moved to Christchurch three years back.

Describing his exemplary journey, he noted, “Along with my studies, I started playing with Badminton Canterbury players when I was a bit settled in Christchurch. That gave me an opportunity to represent Canterbury in the nationals. Dylan saw my potential and invited me to shift to North Shore so that we can train together. I did. Nowadays, I train at least four hours every day and have equipment sponsorship from Badminton New Zealand. Their support in my success has been great.”

“As I am still only a NZ resident, I can’t represent the country in tournaments such as the Olympics or the Commonwealth. But I intend to play at least 3-4 open tournaments this year including the Badminton World Federation’s Grand Prix Gold, Grand Prix Series and Super Series,” he added.

“Once I get my citizenship, I aim to bring glory to New Zealand by winning medals in these international competitions [Olympics, Commonwealth and Oceania] as well.”

Courtesy: Indian Weekender
Photo courtesy: nzbadmintonopen.com
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