Tara Pilven serving up a storm at Oceania Badminton Championships

TARA Pilven is gaining traction in the 2014 Oceania Badminton Championships.

The Australian womens’ number one defeated New Caledonian Cathy Camerota at Ballarat’s Ken Kay Stadium in straight games and will go head-to-head with Australian Talia Saunders today.

The 20-year-old said a semi-final meet with the number one seed, New Zealander Michelle Chan Ky, would be her toughest challenge for the tournament.

“It’s important to not take it easy. The semi-final will be hard against the number one seed, but I’m confident going into that match,” she said. 

Pilven has continued Australia’s stranglehold on the competition after the national team took the Oceania Mixed Team title in a point-for-point decider against New Zealand on Tuesday.

The home team battled the Kiwis in five games over singles, doubles and mixed doubles categories before the Australian mens’ doubles took the victory with a 21-19 defeat.

Ballarat Badminton Association’s Rhonda Cator said the home team had collaborated well.

“They did exceptionally well and it came down to the last match – it was going point for point,” Cator said.

Badminton Oceania chief executive Corinne Barnard said the tournament had given players from island nations a great life experience.

“There are some players here from Nauru who have never been on an aeroplane or left their country before. It’s a great life experience for them,” Barnard said. 

“We had to provide some of them with shoes because they normally play in bare feet outside.”

Australian and New Zealand players will chase Commonwealth Games ranking points throughout the tournament.

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