Excellence: Abhinav Manota, a migrant, wins national badminton championship
(caption for the above picture: Abhinav Manota in action; picture courtesy Abhinav Manota and Badminton New Zealand)
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, Manota defeated Edward Lau. Manota was leading the first game by 20-4 when Lau retired due to injury.
To top it, Manota partnered with Justine Villegas to defeat Lau again in the mixed doubled final, who was partnering with Alyssa Tagle. The match score was 21-17, 21-17.
Manota couldn't complete a treble of titles when he and his men's double partner Dylan Soedjasa was beaten by the reigning Oceania Junior champions Oscar Guo and Dacmen Vong. The hard fought match, which lasted 53 minutes, ended with the scoreline of 21-18, 20-22, 26-24.
Manota, who turned 25 recently, and works as Development Officer at the North Shore Badminton Association, credited his wins to years of hard work. He was the Punjab [a state in India] champion when he moved to Christchurch three years back.
Describing his journey, he said, "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 everyday, 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," he added.