US-born Kiwi badminton player forced to miss CWG

20 year-old Seguin is a third year management student at Waikato University and has been living in New Zealand for the last six years on a student visa along with his French parents, who are here on a long-term business visa.

Seguin must be a New Zealand citizen to participate in international events like the Commonwealth Games. But for someone who is not a resident of New Zealand, he or she can only gain citizenship through “exceptional circumstances”, granted at the discretion of the minister concerned.

Seguin said he had considered himself to be a local and wanted to compete in the Commonwealth Games for New Zealand.
“If there is one country I want to represent on the world stage, this is it,” Seguin, whose application was dismissed six months after it was lodged, was quoted as saying to a newspaper on Monday.

Seguin’s hopes went up in smoke when he didn’t find any response from the Internal Affairs in time to play in the Oceania Championships, which is a compulsory tournament for those seeking selection to the Delhi Games.
“All the major tournaments - the World Junior champs, the Youth Olympics, the World champs - I miss out on all those,” Seguin said.

Badminton New Zealand chief executive Mike Kernaghan said all documents relating to Seguin’s application were provided by the organisation.
“I had a chat with (national coach) TJ Weistra and he said Bjorn was clearly the No 2 singles player in the country and not far from No 1. In a team event, we would need our two best singles players,” he said.

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