With the 2017 World Junior Championships kicking off today the New Zealand Representatives are looking ready to put their best foot forward as they are set to show the world what New Zealanders are made of.
There are 12 players representing New Zealand include 4 Junior Women’s players who will stay on to compete in the World Junior Women’s Teams event, whilst the 6 Junior Men will compete in a non-sanctioned Teams event.
The Junior Women’s team of Kaitlyn Watts, Anna Hughes, Anika Jackson and Camden Te Kani-McQueen will be looking to match the 2015 teams result of 6th position. The team won’t know their seeding in the team’s event until the last few days of the individuals event where the seedings panel will deliberate and determine teams seedings based on individuals results.
These four Junior Women will compete in the Individuals event alongside Nadia Hubbard and Rhiarne Taiapa. Each country is permitted to have an additional 2 players over above their team to compete in the individual’s event.
Kaitlyn Watts competed in the 2015 World Junior Individual Championships where she was knocked out of the main draw by eventual runner-up Habiba Mohamed of Egypt. Watts proceeded to make the Quarter Finals of the Special Plate before being knocked out by India’s Akanksha Salunkhe.
Nadia Hubbard was part of the 2015 World Junior Women’s Team who placed 6th, Hubbard was knocked out in Round 2 of the Main Draw in the 2015 World Junior Individual Championships by India’s Harshit Jawanda, Hubbard then saw her individual’s road end in the first round of the Special plate where she lost out to Cindy Merlo of Switzerland.
For the other 4 Junior Women, this will be their first time competing on an International stage of this scale. Preparation in the leadup to this event has included competing in PSA events held here in New Zealand as well as the Senior Nationals where they have all performed extremely well.
The Junior Men’s competing in the World Junior Individual Championships includes Finn Trimble, Matthew Lucente, Gabe Yam, Quinn Udy, Mitchell Kempton and Lwamba Chileshe. These players have claimed numerous titles between them all and most recently they competed in the North Island Age Groups.
Finn Trimble is the only player to have competed in a World Junior Championships attending the 2016 edition where he drew the eventual champion Eain Yow Ng in Round 2, Trimble made his way through to Round 3 of the Special Plate before going down in a 5 setter to Ziad Sakr of Egypt the 13/16 seed who was knocked out of the main draw. The 2016 Junior Men’s team was seeded 8th and matched this seeding in the event with some strong wins over Argentina, Poland and Canada and close battles against India.
Matthew Lucente and Gabe Yam will both be eligible for the 2018 edition of the World Junior Championships to be held in Chennai, India. Both of these players will no doubt be looking to take some valuable knowledge from this event and then aim to use it to make their way into the 2018 team and compete at this event.
These Junior Men have also competed in numerous events in their leadup and all competed in the Senior Nationals playing our best Senior Players to round out their preparation.
All our players will have their first match on Wednesday with all their matches being livestreamed at the below links:
The schedule of play for day 1 can be found below with some players back on again Wednesday night. Click below to watch the matches live or rewatch the matches.
Good luck to all our representatives and we look forward to following your progress. All details, photos etc. on the New Zealand players can be found here. All details on the event can be found on the official event website here.