Champions converge on South Australia
The National Champion of Champions has commenced in scintillating fashion this morning, with the sport’s premier club-to-international-representation pathway event throwing up some interesting results during the first rubber of competition. The event paves the way for a club champion to progress through the ranks of district, zone, region and state levels through to the World Champion of Champions event, held next year in Christchurch, New Zealand from November 24 to 30. Last year’s runner-up, Tasmania’s only world champion Rebecca Van Asch was a casualty of the opening rubber in the blue-ribbon women’s singles, with Queensland’s Kristy Thatcher toppling the Invermay ace 21-14, after responding to Van Asch’s full count of 4 with 4 of her own late in the match to seal victory. Van Asch now faces an uphill battle to book a berth in the gold medal decider, although it’s not out of the realm of possibility after progressing to the final last year on two wins. On the same side of the draw, Van Asch’s Australian Jackaroos team-mate Natasha Van Eldik suffered a very similar fate, right down to the same score, stumbling in her encounter to ACT’s Margaret Bacchetto. In the men’s singles, reigning Super 6 singles champion, and finalist at the the $30,000 Australian Indoor Championships earlier in the year, wasn’t able to overcome former English international representative David Holt, 14-21. Kurt Brown, from Queensland’s host venue of the upcoming Australian Premier leaguer, Club Pine Rivers, commenced his campaign with a 21-10 win over Tasmania’s state representative David Genford. On the other side of the ledger, Victoria’s former one-cap Australian player Lee Schraner and Western Australia’s Daniel Patterson clinched wins in tightly contested matches to open proceedings. Each state representative will play three rounds of sectional play against the other states drawn in their pool, before section winners go on to play for the national title tomorrow morning in the men’s and women’s singles, and men’s pairs, while the women’s pairs decider will be staged on Sunday. Click here for full results from the 2013 National Champion of Champions.