Northern Tasmanian representative Kayden Gardner wins first set at Australasian under-17 badminton titles

SMOOTH MOVE: Territories' Pascal Souksav looks to make the shot in his match teaming with Tasmanian Kayden Gardner. Picture: Neil Richardson.
SMOOTH MOVE: Territories' Pascal Souksav looks to make the shot in his match teaming with Tasmanian Kayden Gardner. Picture: Neil Richardson.

Yolla’s Kayden Gardiner combined to take his first set of the Australasian under-17 championships on Sunday.

But the coastal 15-year-old still didn’t gain much joy in a 21-14, 16-21, 21-11 loss with partner Jun Yin against the South Australians in the June Bevan Trophy teams event.

Gardiner is one of two Tasmanians selected to play in Launceston for a combined Northern Territory-ACT side.

Tournament director Rodney Lockett coached Gardner back in 2013 when the state had representation for the national under-15 carnival.

“He’s probably grew a foot since, and is a big, strong boy,” Lockett said.

“He’s still got a bit to learn, but he’s playing better shots and is a real powerful kid.

“It’s the same old story that if he keeps travelling pretty good, he’ll have a bright young future for Tassie.”

Gardner also lost 21-13, 21-18 to Marcus Kha in his side’s 10-6 defeat. He went down 21-9, 21-13 with Pascal Souksavat and with 21-15, 21-13 with Elysia Viravong during the Territories’ 12-4 loss to Western Australia.

Unseeded Northern New Zealand knocked out seeded rivals, Victoria 11-5, and, Western Australia, 13-3 in big upsets in Launceston. 

“I thought they might cause seeded teams a headache – and basically that’s what’s happening,” he said.