Semi final day in Paris seen two new Super Series finalists in Minatsu Mitani and Viktor Axelsen reach their respective singles finals.
Axelsen takes on Liew
It is an unlikely men’s singles final, as Viktor Axelsen takes on Malaysia’s Daren Liew. Jan O Jorgensen was Liew’s victim at the semi final stages with an impressive display of attacking play being simply too strong for the Dane. Axelsen defeated his second seed of the week, disposing of Kenichi Tago in straight games to secure his place in his first Super Series final.
Nehwal against Mitani in Women’s Singles final
The top seeded Nehwal was expected to reach this stage, unlike her opponent in tomorrow’s final who started the week with a victory against Jiang Yanjiao and has gone from strength to strength. Her stunning 21-7, 21-18 victory over Tine Baun was the story of the women’s singles to that point and a victory over another Japanese player, Eriko Hirose booked her place in tomorrow’s final. Nehwal has been impressive in her two most recent matches against Inthanon and Schenk and will go into tomorrow’s final Semenax as the undoubted favourite.
Ma Jin Into Two Finals
Ma Jin is looking for back to back titles in both the women’s and mixed doubles to follow up from her Denmark Open triumphs and has reached both finals this week. Ma and Xu are the top seeds in the mixed doubles and defeated Adcock and Bankier to set up a final against Bao and Qiu in an all-Chinese final. Her new partnership with Tang Jinhua hasn’t been beaten to date and defeated their team mates Bao and Zhong for the second week running at the semi final stage to set up a match against Pedersen and Rytter Juhl in the final.
Lee and Ko have bounced back from their opening round loss in Denmark to reach the final in Paris this week and take on the Thai pairing of Issara and Jongjit for the men’s doubles title. The 7th seeded Thai pair defeated Hong and Shen of China in their semi final whilst Lee and Ko won their all-Korean semi final against Kim and Kim to book their place in the final.
The hope that at least one title would remain in Japan ended on finals day as Lee Chong Wei returned to winning form after his Olympic heartbreak as Eriko Hirose came within a game of the women’s singles title.
Lee Chong Wei Claims Title
It was a triumphant return to action for Lee Chong Wei in Japan as he cruised to the men’s singles title without the loss of a game for the entire week. His victory over Boonsak Ponsana was the closest of his five matches this week but the victory was never in doubt as the Malaysian won 21-18, 21-18.
Eriko Hirose took the opening game in the women’s singles final 21-9 over Tai Tzu Ying to put herself within a game of the title only for the Chinese Taipei player to reverse the scoreline in the second game. Hirose never recovered and never led in the third game as the 5th seed won the third game 21-14 to take the women’s singles title.
Koo and Buy Cialis Tan Beaten
The 2nd seeded Koo and Tan were defeated in two games by the Korean pair of Kim and Kim in the quickest of the five finals, with Koo and Tan never looking like taking either of the games as the 7th seeds took the men’s doubles title. Chan and Goh ensured a second title for Malaysia in the mixed doubles with a two game victory over the new Indonesian partnership of Rijal and Natsir.
The women’s doubles final offered Japan’s best chance of a title as the 4th seede Matsuo and Naito took on Poon and Tse of Hong Kong. At 15-15 in the first game, the Japanese pair gave up four points without reply to give away the opening game. At 16-16 in the second game, they claimed a precious lead ay 17-16 only to fall behind and after saving one match point, they allowed the Hong Kong pair to win another 2 points without reply to claim the women’s doubles title.
The hope of four titles for the Japanese was ended on semi final day, as three of the five remaining Japanese hopes ended on a day that seen all but two seeds progress to the finals of the five events.
Hirose Into Final
Eriko Hirose was one of the few success stories for the home fans as se defeated Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in three games to reach the women’s singles final against Tai Tzu Ying. The Chinese Taipei player defeated the higher seeded Sung Ji Hyun of Korea in three games to book her place in the final and a fifth meeting between the two, with the unseeded Hirose winning their previous 2 matches.
Lee Chong Wei will take on the unseeded Boonsak Ponsana in the men’s singles final, with the top seeded Malaysian defeating Simon Santoso in an impressive one-sided semi final taking just 32 minutes. Ponsana defeated on the on-form Hu Yun of Hong Kong in three games to set up the opportunity to take his third victory over Lee Chong Wei in what will be their 16th meeting.
Seeds Too Strong In Doubles
Six seed remain in the doubles, with the 2nd seeded Koo and Tan taking on the 7th cialis prescription seeded Kim and Kim in the men’s doubles final after both secured straight forward two game victories in their semi final. The lower seeded pair of Kim and Kim won their only other meeting between the two, winning in Malaysia at the start of the year in three games.
Matsuo and Naito are Japan’s second chance of a title tomorrow, with the pair taking on Poon and Tse of Hong Kong who defeated their team mates Maeda and Suetsuna in their semi final. It will be their fourth meeting in tomorrow’s final, with the Japanese pairing leading the head to head 2-1 but the Hong Kong pair took the last meeting in March at the All Englands.
Chan and Goh are the last of the top seeds left in the doubles and reached tomorrow’s final with a two game victory over Japan’s Kamura and Yonemoto. Their opponents in the final will be Rijal and Natsir, who defeated Ikeda and Shiota in the other semi final in a one-sided matchup lasting just 24 minutes. It will be the their first meeting as the Indonesian pair have only formed at this event and will hope to the perfect start to their partnership.
The weekend will be without some of the top players in the world, with the Chinese squad pulling out before the start of play over rising political tensions with Japan which opened up the draw for the field but resulted in some big names crashing out in the early stages.
Lee Chong Wei Into Last 4
Lee Chong Wei’s first tournament since his heartbreaking defeat in London has been a straight forward progression into the semi finals, with impressive wins over Anand Pawar, Chong Wei Feng and Viktor Axelsen setting up a semi final with Simon Santoso. The 3rd seed has been equally as impressive as the Malaysian, with a 21-9, 21-14 victory over Taufik Hidayat booking his place in the last 4.
Hu Yun has been an impressive run of form recently and it continued with an opening round victory over the 2nd seeded Peter Gade, playing his final event in Japan in his “retirement tour” that will end with the two upcoming European Super Series events in Denmark and France. The unseeded Hong Kong player defeated Tien Minj Nguyen to book his place in the semi finals, where he will take on Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand who ended Sho Sasaki’s run at the second round with a 21-12, 21-12 victory.
Baun Crashes Out
The top seed after the mass withdrawal of the Chinese squad was Tine Baun, who reached the last 8 without much resistance but was defeated by Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in three games today. The 6th seeds reward is a semi final against home favourite, Eriko Hirose who started the week unseeded but in her quarter final match defeated the 4th seeded Bae Yeon Ju of Korea to book her place in the the Buy Levitra last 4.
The second semi final sees Tai Tzu Ying take on Sung Ji Hyun of Korea, with both players entering the week as seeded players but it was the higher seeded Korean player who struggled the most on route to the semi finals and needed three games to defeat the 8th seeded Ai Goto in the quarter finals.
Top Seeds Struggle In Doubles
Boe and Mogensen were the second Danish top seed to crash out early this week, losing in the second round to Indonesia’s Dasuki and Gunawan in three games. The second seeded Koo and Tan had no such problems in reaching the last 4, where they will take on another Malaysian pair in Hoon and Tan for a place in Sunday’s final.
Fujii and Kakiiwa were the big Japanese hope this week, but they lost out to Japanese team mates Yonemoto and Miki in their opening game this week. The other big Japanese hope, Maeda and Suetsuna are safely into the last 4 where they will take on Poon and Tse of Hong Kong for a chance at a Japanese title on Sunday. Matsuo and Naito have the opportunity to make it an all-Japanese final if they defeat the unseeded Choi and Kim in the second semi final.
Chan and Goh are the last of the top seeds remaining in the doubles events, defeating two Japanese pairs to book their place in the last 4 against another Japanese pair, Kamura and Yonemoto. The second semi final sees the 2nd seeded Ikeda and Shiota of Japan take on the 5th seeded Rijal and Natsir for a place in Sunday’s final with the Japanese pair progressing without the loss of a game this week.
It was a day that seen the top seeds progress without much resistance, apart from the shock exit of Olympic champion Li Xuerui.
Sindhu Shocks Li Xuerui
There will be at least one finalist from the home nation in the men’s singles, with Chen Long and Du Pengyu securing their place in the last 4 against one another. Ajay Jayaram and Hu Yun meet each other in the second semi final and their first meeting in over 3 years.
An all-Chinese is still possible in the women’s singles also, but it is not the expected pair that might meet in Sunday’s final. P.V. Sindhu stunned the 2nd seed and Olympic champion Li Xuerui in three games to book her place in the last 4 against another Chinese player – the 4th seeded Jiang Yanjiao. Top seeded Wang Yihan takes on Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand in the second semi final, with their only meeting to date resulting in a two game victory for the world number 1.
Chinese Pairs Loom Large In Doubles
There is a massive Chinese presence in the semi final stages of all three doubles events, with a guaranteed finalist in the men’s doubles as Hong and Shen, seeded 2nd take on the unseeded pair of Chai and Zhang for a spray hgh place in Sunday’s final. Endo and Hayakawa take on the Thai pairing of Jongjit and Issara in the second semi final for the second time, with the Japanese pairing winning their previous encounter.
Only three matches were needed to reach the semi final stages of the women’s doubles, with top seeded Bao and Zhong needing three games to progress into a semi final match against Goh and Lim of Malaysia. The second semi final sees the 3rd seeded Naito and Matsuo of Japan take on the 5th seeded Cheng and Luo of China, who received a walkover in their quarter final match to reach this stage without playing a match this week.
The top 3 seeds in the mixed doubles have all successfully reached the semi final stage, with the top seeded Ma and Xu taking on Chan and Goh of Malaysia for the third time – with their most recent match at the Olympics being a one-sided win for the Chinese pairing. The second semi final sees Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam taking on the unseeded pair of Qiu and Tang of China, ranked 164th in the world. It will be their first meeting as the Chinese pairing is a relatively new one, with this event being their 3rd event together.
The first Super Series since the London Olympics is without most of the medalists from 6 weeks ago but nevertheless has provided a lot of entertainment with several of the seeded players already crashing out.
Li Xuerui Into Last 8
The Chinese have the majority of the singles players left in the draw, with top seeded Chen Long surviving an opening round scare against Viktor Axelsen before his routine 21-13, 21-3 victory over Misha Zilberman to book his place in the last 8. Du Pengyu, Wang Zhengming and qualifier Qiao Bin are also into the last 8, with Qiao Bin defeating Hans Kristian Vittinghus to reach the quarter finals. India are also well represented, with 3 men left in the draw also. Gurusaidutt, Varma and Jayaram are also all safely into the last 8.
Olympic champion Li Xuerui headlines an excellent women’s singles event, with a potential rematch with Wang Yihan waiting in the final. The top two seeds needed just two games each to book their place in the last 4. There has been disappointment also, with Wang Shixian and Liu Xin both losing in two games to unseeded opponents but there is a third Chinese woman in the last 8 with Jiang Yanjiao reaching the quarter finals with a two game victory over Eriko Hirose.
Poor Turnout In Doubles Viagra
The scheduling of this Super Series was meant to give players ample recovery time after the Olympics, but in the doubles there is simply a lack of pairs in the events. Just 13 pairs entered the women’s doubles, which has been reduced to 8 before any play this week and the 2nd seeded Huan and Tang have already pulled out to allow the 5th seeded Cheng and Luo a semi final spot.
The men’s doubles offers some sort of depth, but there are still the opportunities to reach the latter stages without playing a match. Anugritayawon and Prapakamol are one pair that have benefitted from this, as they have reached their quarter final match against Hong and Shen without playing a match today after the withdrawal of the 6th seeded Goh and Lim.
The top 3 seeds in the mixed doubles have all received byes into the quarter final stages, whilst another two Chinese pairs booked their places in the last 8 as well as two Chinese seeds. Liu/Yuo as well as Qiu/Tang have both defeated seeded pairs on route to the quarter final, with Liu and Yuo hoping to defeat the second Thai pairing of the week after their victory over the 5th seeds Anugritayawon and Voravickaikul, they now take on the 2nd seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam.
9 Days, 5 Chinese Golds and 8 disqualified athletes as the wait for another Olympics begins once more. The Great British dream turned into a nightmare inside the opening two hours of play whilst a legend was born in the final two hours of play.
Lin Dan successfully defended his Olympic crown with a performance that to an extent, surpasses his victory in Beijing four years previously. There was no partisan crown in Wembley Arena and there was an equal on the court in Lee Chong Wei. It is to date, the greatest Olympic match ever.
Li Xuerui was a relative unknown inside this arena 12 months ago, as she watched on as the world championships took place. Now she leaves London as Olympic champion as the Chinese justified her inclusion ahead of Wang Shixian. What Li Xuerui brings is a trait that is rarely seen in Chinese players, an absolute desire to win that surpasses her talents and ability.
Cai and Fu achieved the final piece of their careers with an Olympic gold, the only title that the Chinese pair had never won. They lost in the final in Beijing four years ago and had to wait until now to redeem themselves, which they did in spectacular fashion as they won gold without the loss of a game.
Indian badminton will consider this a triumph for what they have achieved, with Kashyup Parupalli’s run to the quarterfinals and with Saina Nehwal’s bronze medal. With high hopes going into the 2013 World Championship in Guangzhou as well as the remainder of the 2012 season.
Alex Bruce and Michelle Li were the story of the women’s doubles in the aftermath of the group phase scandal. Their semi-final match was a testament to what the Olympics set out to achieve – despite their defeat to Fujii and Kakiiwa, they had inspired a generation.
Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier came into the Olympics with medal expectations, those expectations were tempered after an opening match defeat and before several of the world’s best singles players had set foot on court, their dream was over. Their success in 2011 was partly due to the lack of expectation and the surprise of their unlikely run to the World Championship final, there was nothing like that in 2012. A nation expected.
Lee Chong Wei came within two points of an Olympic title, only for Lin Dan to snatch glory from the Malaysian’s grasp for the second year running. It is perhaps not has heartbreaking as his defeat in 2011, where he did have a match point in the final but his reaction after his final shot was one of total dejection. Comforted by his coaches as he was forced to watch Lin Dan celebrate in his defeat. Only one final chance in Guangzhou waits for the Malaysian to claim a major title.
Lee Yong Dae and Chung Jae Sung were touted as the favourites for the men’s doubles titles going into the Olympics Online Pokies. Lee Yong Dae’s mixed doubles campaign lasted a mere three games but in the men’s doubles, the Korean pair breezed into the semi finals only to be outdone by the brilliance of an inspired Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen. They ended up with the bronze medal, with the Olympics being Chung Jae Sung’s final event as Lee Yong Dae will have a new partner after this week.
Indonesia will leave London without an Olympic medal, with the failures of Taufik Hidayat, Simon Santoso and the mixed doubles pairing of Ahmad and Natsir failing to secure a bronze medal against Fischer and Pedersen.
Peter Gade’s Olympic career came to an end at the quarterfinal stage, with Chen Long defeating the Dane in two games in a match that Gade claims he played some of his best badminton in recent memory. Just three events remain in the legendary career of Peter Gade – Japan, France and a final farewell in Denmark.
The Disgraced Eight
The criticism that has been widespread is not that they opted to lose the matches, but the manner in how they chose to do it. The distain and arrogance on show to blatantly throw the matches with serving into the net and not allowing a rally of more than four points has questioned the professionalism of every badminton player, not just the eight players expelled.
The feeling from within badminton is that given the opportunity to do it once again, all of the pairs would have no problem doing it again. The counterargument is that they are ultimately playing for an Olympic gold medal, which is four years of work and that after putting in so much effort to reach the Olympics – the possibility of making the job easier in one that should be taken.
The Chinese squad, wanted gold and silver from the women’s doubles which was indeed achievable. The Korean and Indonesian pairs merely wanted to avoid the Chinese pairs in the later stages. This all stemmed from a match earlier in the day between Pedersen and Rytter Juhl, who defeated Tian and Zhao in their group. Little did they know that the effect of that victory would eliminate four of their biggest rivals in the next 24 hours as well.
Yu Yang has allegedly retired, walking away from the game that she adores. Wang Xiaoli has promised to regain people’s trust in her and in the middle of it Li Yongbo takes sole responsibility for the actions of his players. It has been a problem throughout the Olympic qualification process, with phantom injuries leading to walkovers.
What the BWF have done with this landmark decision is opened the door for more walkovers instead of these farcical matches but also forced sporting integrity to be upheld. There will undoubtedly be a change to the format of the competition in Rio come 2016, but there will be little change in the nations that dominate the sport as China claimed all five gold medals in London.
With six medals still on offer, the final day of Olympic badminton promised to be special. China were assured of two medals with the possibility of three as Lin Dan defended his Olympic title in another classic.
Lin Dan Claims Gold
The 2011 meeting in this arena between Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei was widely considered to the greatest match ever played. The 2012 meeting for Olympic gold will definitely be a contender to that title. An animated Lee Chong Wei took the opening game as a lackluster Lin Dan made several critical areas as the Malaysian dominated at the net. The second game was a role reversal, with the drift inside the arena playing it’s part over the first two games.
The third game had everything you could ever wish for, long pulsating rallies and two of the best players of this or any generation retrieving shots that nobody thought possible. Lin Dan turned 11-9 up, but the ascendancy changed throughout the second game, with Lee Chong Wei taking an 18-16 lead as Malaysia hoped for gold. Lin Dan replied with the play that won him Olympic gold in Beijing four years previously. The score became 19-19 after the Malaysia left a lift that landed on the line, with Lin Dan going on an all-out attack to claim the first gold medal point.
The rally drew comparisons with Lin Dan’s match point a year previously, pushing deep into Lee Chong Wei’s forehand rear before a tight net shot from Lin Dan forced a high lift from the Malaysian that Lin Dan watched out of the back of the court before sprinting off court in celebration with the Chinese coaches in his wake. Lee Chong Wei remained on court to be consoled by his coaches. Lin Dan claimed his second gold medal 15-21, 21-10, 21-19 in 79 minutes.
Chen Long claimed the bronze medal in a three game victory over Lee Hyun Il to ensure an 8th medal out of a possible 15.
Cai and Fu Win Gold
The men’s doubles final was between Cai and Fu of China against Boe and Mogensen of Denmark, who defeated the world number 1 pairing of Lee and Chung, won had already won the bronze medal in the morning session. The match was competitive, but there was only going to be one winner as the Danish pair had already played their final in the semi finals in beating Lee and Chung. The 21-15, 21-16 score was an accurate representation of the match as a whole, with the Chinese pairing just too strong for the Danes.
The win ensured a clean sweep of the medals for China, with four new gold medalists in Li Xuerui, Cai and Fu, Tian and Zhao Yunlei, who claimed two golds, one in the women’s doubles and another in the mixed with Zhang Nan.
The day begun with Cai and Fu reaching the men’s doubles Olympic final and ended with a pair of gold medals for China with the injury of Wang Xin the only low point in a day riddled with success for the Chinese.
Gold For Li Xuerui
The form player in 2012 justified her selection for the Olympics ahead of Wang Shixian and won China’s second gold in two days. It was talent over willpower in the women’s singles match, with Wang Yihan’s talent failing to defeat Li Xuerui’s will to win in a three-game classic. Saina Nehwal claimed the bronze medal, but not in the way the Indian would have hoped as Wang Xin retired at the beginning of the second game after claiming the opening game. A knee-injury hindered Wang Xin’s movement before she crumbled on court after the opening point in the second game that forced her into retirement and gave Nehwal the bronze medal.
Tian and Zhao Claims Women’s Doubles Gold
There was a Chinese winner in the women’s doubles, but not the pair that many expected. With the group stage farce decimating the draw, it was the 2nd seeded Tian and Zhao who claimed gold – with Zhao Yunlei winning her second gold of the Olympics after her mixed doubles success. An easy first game victory for the Chinese required a response from the Japanese pairing of Fujii and Kakiiwa to ensure there wasn’t a Chinese rout. A tighter second game ensued, but the Chinese eventually took the second game 25-23 to ensure China’s third gold. Sorokina and Vislova took the bronze medal, after a one-sided victory over the Canadian pair of Bruce and Li.
Boe and Mogensen stun Lee and Chung
The “dream final” in the men’s doubles was put on hold for at least four years by the Danish pair of Boe and Mogensen who defeated Lee and Chung in a sensation men’s doubles semi final which will be a contender for match of the tournament. The Korean pair took an early lead, claiming the first game only for the Danes to respond and take the second game. After squandering a match point, Boe and Mogensen earned a second match point and a Mogensen lift was left by Lee Yong Dae, only for the shuttle to hit the lead and send the Danes into tomorrow’s final. Cai and Fu will be their opponents tomorrow, after the Chinese pair defeated Koo and Tan in a one-sided semi final that the Chinese pair took with their third match point to ensure their second successive Olympic final.
Day 8 Results:
The first medals were awarded as the mixed doubles reached it’s conclusion, with the current world champions claiming Olympic gold over their Chinese rivals and team mates.
Zhang and Zhao Claim Gold
The 2011 world champions became the 2012 Olympic champions, claim both titles inside Wembley Arena. Their opponents this time around were Xu and Ma, who were defeated in the semi finals 12 months previously. What many hoped would be a tightly fought contest were left disappointed, as Zhang and Zhao outclassed their Chinese team mates in a 21-11, 21-17 victory.
The bronze medal was won by Joachim Fischer Neilsen and Christinna Pedersen of Denmark, who defeated Ahmad and Natsir in another one-sided match to ensure at least one European medal, with the world number 4 pairing winning 21-12, 21-12.
All Chinese Finals In Women’s Singles
One space was guaranteed for the Chinese, as Wang Xin took on Li Xuerui in the second semi final. Wang Yihan ensured an all-Chinese final with an excellent two game victory over Saina Nehwal of India, with the world number 5 being the sole hope remaining to ensure there wouldn’t be a Chinese monopoly of the medals.
Li Xuerui continued her stunning form in 2012 with a two game victory over her higher ranked team mate Wang Xin in two tight games to book her place in the final against Wang Yihan. It will be their 8th meeting between the two, with Wang Yihan leading 4-3 but Li Xuerui has won the previous three occasions, with their last meeting being a two game victory in the Indonesian Super Series Premier.
Lee Against Lin
It will their 30th encounter between the top two players in the world in a repeat of the 2008 Olympic final as Lin Dan takes on Lee Chong Wei. Both players comfortably defeated their semi final opponents in two games, with Lee Chong Wei defeating Chen Long whilst Lin Dan defeated Lee Hyun Il.
It will be the first time in the sports history in the Olympics that the same two players will play for the gold medal in two consecutive Olympics in what could potentially be the final match of their historic rivalry.