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Badminton Australia Falcons ready to ruffle feathers in Tokyo

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The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has announced the Badminton team for Tokyo that includes three Commonwealth Games Australia alumni in the four selections.

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games team members Gronya Somerville, Setyana Mapasa and Wendy Chen are amongst the four Badminton Australian Falcons selected to the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo, joined by reigning men’s Oceania doubles champion Simon Leung.

Somerville, Mapasa and Leung all will make their Olympic debut, while Rio Olympian Chen returns for her second Games.

Boasting more than 30 Oceania championship gold medals between them, the team of four all qualified for Tokyo with their international ranking in singles (Chen); doubles (Mapasa and Somerville) and mixed doubles (Leung and Somerville).

Two-time Commonwealth Games representative Gronya Somerville, who will play in the women’s doubles with Setyana Mapasa and mixed doubles with Simon Leung, was thrilled to make her Olympic debut.

“It feels unbelievable, very surreal still, but it’s a dream come true,” Somerville said.

“The last few months have been a roller coaster, so to be secured in the team is such an honour but also a relief. I’m going to enjoy it as much as possible and celebrate getting here.”

“When things have gotten tough during this time I just remind myself to be grateful that the Olympics is happening at all, that I will get to call myself an Olympian and represent my country at the greatest sporting event. I can only control what I can which is how hard I train right now.  We just can’t wait to step out on court and perform on the world’s biggest stage!

“I hope when Aussie fans see us competing on TV they are inspired to get active, and that little kids witness some amazing athletic feats that spark a fire in them to want to become an Olympian like what most of us experienced when we were younger.”

 

 

Chen was ecstatic to lock in her spot after a length qualification campaign.

“I feel so honoured to be able to represent my family, friends and community over in Tokyo,” Chen said.

“Going into my first Games was a different experience, I’m going into Tokyo with a different mentality, knowing what to expect and ready for any challenge.

“We’ve all worked so hard over so many years to reach this point to represent Australia at the highest level, it’s such a relief to know we’ll be there in Tokyo.”

Chef de Mission for the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo Ian Chesterman congratulated the athletes on the announcement.

“I’m delighted to announce Gronya, Setyana and Simon to their first Australian Olympic Team and to welcome Wendy back for her second Olympics,” Mr Chesterman said.

“This has been a long and trying qualification process and these players have shown fantastic resilience and determination to secure their place in Tokyo.

“Thank you to Badminton Australia, and the coaches, families, friends and supporters who have helped these four athletes to realise their Tokyo Olympic dreams.”

Today’s announcement takes the number of athletes selected to 287 of an expected 450-480, this number includes 117 Commonwealth Games Australia alumni members who will be donning the green and gold in Japan.

The Badminton competition will run from 24 July to 2 August at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza.

Australian Olympic Badminton Team

Name Event Age State Olympic Games Experience Commonwealth Games Experience
Wendy Chen (Hsuan-Yu) Women's Singles 28 QLD 2nd (2016) 2018 - Women's Singles
Simon Leung Mixed Doubles 24 QLD Debut
Setyana Mapasa Women's Doubles 25 NSW Debut 2018 - Women's Doubles - 4th, Mixed Doubles - Quarterfinals, Mixed Team - Quarterfinals
Gronya Somerville Women's Doubles, Mixed Doubles 26 VIC Debut 2014 - Women's Doubles - Round of 32, Mixed Team - Quarterfinals; 2018 - Women's Doubles - 4th; Mixed Team - Quarterfinals

With thanks Australian Olympic Committee and Badminton Australia.

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