Gronya Somerville and Setyana Mapasa last played as a women’s pair at the Asian Leg in Bangkok in January, where they lost in the YONEX Thailand Open first round and TOYOTA Thailand Open second round.
They have not seen each other since returning home until this month, when the determination to have a commendable outing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games brought them back together.
With qualification assured for the Summer Games in July, the world No.26 duo, who live 900km apart (Somerville in Melbourne and Mapasa in Sydney), will be training and travelling to domestic tournaments as part of their preparations.
Somerville, overjoyed to be reunited with her partner, told Badminton Oceania: “It feels great.
“After competing in Thailand for the first time in a year, we haven’t had much training. So, being back on court has been important to get our dynamics back and work on things together.
“We have multiple training camps planned, we want to maximise our training time. The camps will involve more coaches, sparring players purely to help feed us, opponent analysis, sports psychology to get us in the best shape.”
Tokyo 2020, which begins on 24 July, would mark the Olympic debut for the four-time Oceania champions.
Seeking “higher-level competition” in preparation for their big bow, the women’s pair were even slated to compete in men’s doubles at the YONEX City of Melbourne Open this weekend but with the Australian city going into a lockdown today, their efforts are likely to be focused elsewhere.
“I’m most looking forward to the training camps and more time on court with Setyana, sparring players and our coaches, being back in a fun team environment,” added the 26-year-old Somerville.