The VICTOR Oceania Championships 2021 will return to North Harbour, New Zealand, six years after hosting the full event in 2015 and the Mixed Team competition in 2016.
The annual Continental Championships have since toured around Tahiti (2016), New Caledonia (2017), New Zealand (2018), and Australia (2019/20), before returning to the Harcourts Cooper & Co North Harbour Badminton Centre from 15 to 21 February, 2021.
The 2021 edition combines the biggest elements of the Continental Championships, forming the pinnacle event for Oceania’s juniors as the tournament will combine the open and junior individual and mixed team events. The junior disciplines only take place every second year and are a pivotal part of Badminton Oceania’s Player Development pathway.
Badminton Oceania’s Athletes’ Commission led a poll among the players in the first quarter of the year which decided that the Championships will open with the mixed team events (15-17 Feb), followed by the individual events (18-21 Feb). 2019 celebrated the largest entry ever in the Mixed Team event, with nine countries competing; Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Guam, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga.
The Open Mixed Team Championships will act as the qualification event for the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2021 (the Mixed Team World Championships), with the winning team going on to claim Oceania’s single spot in the prestigious biennial event which is scheduled to take place in Suzhou, China, from May 23 to 30. This is the first time that the Continental Championships will act as the qualifying events for the Sudirman Cup, which has previously been open entry. Australia were hosts of the Sudirman Cup in 2017, which acted as a test event for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
This will be swiftly followed by the open and junior individual event. In 2019, Australia were the prominent force throughout the competition winning both the open and junior mixed team events and six out of ten gold medals across the individual events, with the other four claimed by New Zealand players. It was a similar story in 2020, where Australia took home three gold medals in the individual competition and reigned supreme in the men’s and women’s team event.
Despite the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games being postponed to 2021, the amassed World Ranking points will not contribute towards the Road To Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification. As per the regulations provided by the BWF in June, only the points from the 2020 Championships will count towards Olympic qualification.
Former New Zealand junior representative, Glenn Cox, is the CEO of Badminton North Harbour. Glenn and his team have extensive experience delivering events at all levels including the 2015 Championships along with the YONEX North Harbour International in 2018 and 2019. Cox is determined to lead another successful event in 2021.
“As hosts of the inaugural Continental Championships in 1997, Badminton North Harbour is delighted to host the VICTOR Oceania Championships for the fourth time, after also staging the tournament in 2015 and the Mixed Team event in 2016. For many years, we have hosted several international tournaments including the BWF grade three event; theYONEX North Harbour International, which we plan to host in the week following the VICTOR Oceania Championships 2021.
These Championships will take place at the Harcourts Cooper & Co North Harbour Badminton Centre, which is home to 11 badminton courts that has recently had new VICTOR court mats, net posts and umpire stands installed and will this year host the New Zealand National Championships.
Our association is one of the highest performing in New Zealand and we are committed to the development of badminton in the region, having also hosted junior development programmes with Badminton Oceania and Badminton New Zealand in the past, and hopefully many more in the future.
Our venue is the training base for previous Oceania Champions, including Abhinav Manota and Oscar Guo, who have taken the Oceania men’s singles title over the last three years. Additionally, North Harbour was home to one of New Zealand’s most successful badminton players, Sara Runesten Petersen. She has collected two bronze and two silver Commonwealth medals and claimed New Zealand’s first and only medal from a World Championships, winning bronze in 2005 alongside Daniel Shirley.
We look forward to welcoming everyone to North Harbour in February 2021,” concluded Cox.
Badminton Oceania, Badminton North Harbour and the BWF will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect on international sports competition. More information about the event will be available on the 2021 Events page soon.