It was a quick final day for the Czech International Grand Prix tournament. No matches went to three games, and no matches lasted longer than fifty minutes.

The finals kicked off with the mixed doubles finals of Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeri Sorokina of Russia against Gert Kunka and Amanda Hogstrom of Estonia and Sweden respectively. Both the Russians had another final later in the day in their respective Men’s and Women’s doubles, making a double crown for each possible. The entire match lasted only twenty six minutes with the Russians taking the prize, 21-15 and 21-12.

The first final with a Czech player was the women’s singles final, featuring Czech sensation Kristina Gavnholt, who had not dropped a set in the tournament yet, against India’s Arundhati Pantawane. The Indian player had a much tougher road to the final having a three set semi-final the day before. The match was the second longest of the day coming in at forty minutes. The home crowd had a reason to cheer in the end as Kristina came out the victor, 21-10, and 21-18.

The women’s final was the next one to be played, and it was Valeri Sorokina’s second final of the day. The Russian team of Valeri Sorokina and Nina Vislova faced off against Canada’s Nicole Grether and Charmane Reid. The Canadians only lasted a total of thirty-four minutes, with the Russian duo walking away with the title, 21-10, and 21-16. This was Valeri Sorokina’s second title of the day.

Next up we had the Men’s doubles, with Russians Vitalj Durkin and Alexandr Nikolaenko facing off against Poland’s first seeds Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz. The Polish pair kept their magnificent form, defeating the Russians 21-13, and 21-16 in only thirty minutes.

The men’s singles was the match most came to watch. It featured Czech super star Petr Koukal who had made a brilliant run to the final, defeating second seed Brice Leverdez and therefore ending the Frenchman’s winning streak. Koukal was slotted against top seeded Polish player Przemyslaw Wacha. The match was the longest of the day, lasting a total of forty-one minutes. Unfortunately for Koukal, he could not take his home title this year, with Wacha taking the match 21-19, and 21-16.

View Full Draws

Czech badminton fans have a good reason to be joyous right now, as the Czech International Grand Prix started off with a bang this week. Poland’s men’s singles number one Przemyslaw Wacha, is also the top seed in the men’s singles event. He slipped by two of India’s top players, both in straight games, in the first and second round of the tournament. Czech fans have even more reasons to rejoice as Czech star Petr Koukal ousted second-seeded Brice Leverdez of France in two sets, 21-14, 21-17.

In the women’s singles, top seed Nicole Grether of Canada (Formerly of Germany) saw an early exit from the tournament as she was defeated by Arundhati Pantawane of India, 21-19, and 21-18. Another hometown hero, Kristina Gavnholt advanced to the next stage of the tournament defeating Italy’s Orsolya Varga, and Norway’s Sara Kverno . Kristina won both matches in straight sets.

Poland, Russia, France, and Chinese Taipei all share an equal presence in the men’s doubles quarter finals, each with two teams remaining in the tournament. The second round in the women’s doubles is far more diverse with teams from at least six nations are still in the tournament. Nicole Grether and Charmaine Reid, Canada’s experienced pair triumphed over Natalia Pocztowiak and Stasa Poznanovic, 21-6, and 21-4.

There few surprises in the mixed doubles. Qualifiers Paul Van Rietvelde (Scotland) and Lim Alyssa (England) defeated English compatriots Chris Coles and Jessica Fletcher, 21-18, and 22-20.

Wojcikiewicz Wins Second PanAm Title

The women’s singles final was an unexpected win for American Cee Nantana Ketpura, as she was pitted against Canada’s top women’s singles player Michelle Li. The unseeded Ketpura had fought her way to the final and would not stop there beating Li in a lengthy three game match 17-21, 21-17 and 21-19.

Next up was Canadian Stephan Wojcikiewicz who was relieved after a great performance against Peru’s Rodrigo Pacheco Sunday Morning. Wojcikiewicz won the men’s singles event defeating Pacheco in a tough three game match 15-21, 21-17 and 21-13.  This is the second Pan Am title for the Canadian.

Women’s doubles would be the last final of the morning. Again an all Canadian final, Grace Gao and Joycelyn Ko up against Alex Bruce and Michelle Li both unseeded teams. The previous matches Bruce and Li knocked out first seeds Aicardi and Rivero as Gao and Ko did the same to second seeds Wang and Wang. Both teams have played incredibly well, still only one can win. After the three game battle Gao and Ko came out on top winning 16-21, 23-21 and 21-12. This is the second gold medal Gao has collected having earlier won the mixed doubles.

Last but not least wass men’s doubles. The American team Sameera Gunatileka and Vincent Nguy ran into second seeds Hugo Arthuso and Daniel Paiola from Brazil. At the end of the day the Americans can wave their flag after winning the men’s doubles. It was very close three game match Gunatileka and Nguy winning the first 21-19. Arthuso and Paiola coming back in the second 21-19. Again Gunatileka and Nguy winning the third 21-17, finishing the match and bringing the United States their second gold medal.

Michelle Li In Two Finals

After success in the team event, and some hard fought battles throughout the individual event Canada is positioned to possibly win 4 of 5 titles.

The first final will guarantee a Canadian title with Toby Ng and Grace Gao set to face off against their compatriots Alex Bruce and Kevin Li.  Ng and Gao had a tough fight in their semi-final match against another Canadian pair, Adrian Liu and Joycelyn Ko, but pulled through 19-21, 21-13, 21-18.  Li and Bruce had a somewhat easier semi-final against Americans Sattawat Pongnairat Cee Nantana Ketpura winning 21-11, 21-16.

Next up is the womens singles final between Canadian Michelle Li and American Cee Nantana Ketpura. Ketpura is unseeded and booked her place in the final after a thrilling 21-19, 22-20 win over Li’s compatriot Phyllis Chan. Li’s semi-final win was much less climactic with a 21-12, 21-14 scoreline over second seeded American Rena Wang.

With a couple of final appearances and a gold medal on his resume, Canadian Stephan Wojcikiewicz will be looking to add one more to his gold medal tally today, but will have to defeat Peruvian Rodrigo Pacheco. Wojcikiewiz had to play Sattawat Pongnairat once again after splitting matches against the American in the team event. This time Wojcikiewicz won when it mattered most with a 15-21, 21-16, 21-19 scoreline. Pacheco had a decidedly easier time against American Nicholas Jinadasa winning in two straight games 21-10, 21-19.

In the womens doubles final we have another guaranteed Canadian gold with Alex Bruce and Michelle Li set to play Grace Gao and Joycelyn Ko. Both pairs had tough matches to make the finals, Bruce and Li defeated the top seeded Christina Aicardi and Claudia Rivero 23-21, 18-21, 21-12, and Ko and Gao defeated Iris and Rena Wang 15-21, 23-21, 21-15.

Finally the last final of the day, the only one not featuring a Canadian player, is the mens doubles final. Americans Sameera Gunatileka and Vincent Nguy are set to play Hugo Arthuso and Daniel Paiola of Brazil. Nguy and Gunatileka knocked out top seeds Derrick Ng and Adrian Liu 22-20, 21-19 while the Brazilian pair defeated Bruno Monteverde and Rodrigo Pacheco 25-23, 21-19.

Pan Am Championships 2010 Full Results

Canada Takes Pan Am Team Title

Later on in the day the United States had a definitive win over Chile 5-0. Meanwhile in the B pool Mexico defeated Brazil 4-1, losing only the men’s doubles game to Hugo Lemos Arthuso and Danial Paiola. The final matches Tuesday went to Peru and Canada, Canada beating Chile 5-0 and Peru beating Brazil 4-1. The Brazilian men’s doubles team Andres Lopez and Lino Munoz spoiled Peru’s chances of a shut out, by defeating the Peruvians Martin Del Valle and Mario Cuba 21-18 and 21-18.

Day 2 wrapped up the 2010 Pan Am Championships Team Event. Canada faced-off against Mexico, Canada winning 3-0. Wojcikiewicz defeated Munoz 21-13 and 21-13, then Canadian women’s singles player Michelle Li won two straight games against Mariana Ugalde 21-18 and 21-14. Men’s doubles went to Liu and Ng on the account Lopez and Castillo were unable to compete. On court two Peru went up against the United States, with Peru losing 3-1. Peru took one win in men’s singles with Pacheco defeating Pongnairat in in two 21-11 and 21-12. Women’s singles went to the American player Ketpura winning 21-17 and 21-11 over Aicardi. Men’s doubles Nguy and Gunatileka beat Cuba and Monteverde 21-13 and 21-18, setting the United States up for win. Completing the victory for the American team was the women’s doubles team Wang and Wang defeating Aicardi and Rivero in three games 21-12, 23-25 and 21-7.

The bronze medal match Peru against Mexico, Peru takes the win 3-1. Rodrigo Pacheco Defeats Mexican Lino Munoz in three 21-17, 17-21 and 21-18. Next Peruvian Claudia Rivero makes quick work of Aileen Chinas 21-6 and 21-14. Mexico’s Munoz and Lopez over came men’s doubles team Cuba and Monteverde in a close three game match 15-21, 23-21 and 21-18. Women’s doubles team Aicardi and Zornoza finished off Mexico by defeating Gonzalez and Montero 22-20 and 21-18 winning them the bronze.

Canada and the United States battled it out again for the gold medal match. Ng and Gao taking the first win defeating the American team Jinadasa and Wang in two games 21-17 and 21-12. The United States responded in the men’s singles with Pongnairat beating Wojcikiewicz in three games 18-21, 21-13 and 21-18. Canada came back strong with women’s singles player Michelle Li defeating Nantan Cee Ketpura in two 21-15 and 21-17. Finalizing the win for Canada in men’s doubles team Liu and Ng won in two against Nguy and Gunatileka 21-18 and 21-14. This is Canada’s 3rd consecutive win in the team event at these games.

Pan Am Team Event Final Results

Pan Am Individual Event Draws

Badminton Life would like to welcome our newest contributor to the website, Charles Neufeldt.  Charles is a Canadian badminton player and coach based in Saskatoon.

Top Mens Singles Seed Stephan Wojcikiewicz

Top contenders back this year are Canadian men’s singles players Stephan Wojcikiewicz, David Snider and Alex Pang. Also back 2nd seed from Brazil Daniel Paiola, along with Charles Pyne and Gareth Henry from Jamaica. This should make for strong competition. Missing from the men’s singles draw this year is last years winner Kevin Cordon, as well as the rest of the Guatemalan team members. Joseph Rogers last years semi finalist is also missing from the draw. From the looks of the draw it looks like Paiola will have his work cut out for him to make it to the final, he will have Pang or Snider to go through first before he gets his chance at gold.

Following suit with the men’s singles, the women’s singles draw also lost last years winner Anna Rice as she has retired officially after her performance at the Commonwealth Games. Even with the loss of Rice, Canada looks favourable to come out on top with the addition of Charmaine Reid 1st seed and Michelle Li ¾ seed. I am predicting early problems for Karyn Cecilia Velez as her possible 2nd round match up is Joycelyn Ko, last year women’s singles runner up.

Men’s Doubles are not showing much representation from last years top teams. Missing teams are Guatemalan winners Kevin Cordon and Rodalfo Ramirez, as well as runners up Martin Del Valle and Antonio De Vinatea from Peru. Also not attending are the American and Peruvian semi finalists. This year teams to watch out for are the 1st seeds Derrick Ng and Adrian Liu from Canada along with Brazilians Hugo Arthuso and Daniel Paiola seeded 2nd. Other Teams looking Strong are Gareth Henry and Charles Pyne from Jamaica and Peruvian team Bruno Monteverde and Rodrigo Pacheco.

Canadians Valerie St. Jacques and Milaine Cloutier are missing this year after placing first in women’s doubles last years Championships. Strong returning teams this year are Peruvian team Christina Aicardi and Claudia Rivero seeded 1st along with 2nd seeds Iris Wang and Rena Wang of the United States. Other title contenders are Canadians Alex Bruce and Michelle Li with fellow teammates Grace Gao and Joycelyn Ko. All of these teams will have to work hard to make it through the semi finials.

Returning mixed doubles champions Toby Ng and Grace Gao are accompanied by their fellow Canadian’s teammates Alex Pang, Michelle Li, Kevin Li, Alex Bruce, Adrian Liu and Joycelyn Ko. Pang and Ko were last years runners up, they are back with new partners Pang playing with Li and Ko playing with Liu. I would expect to see an all Canadian mixed final. The 2nd seeds Bruno Monteverde and Claudia Zornoza have a tough 1st round match against Pang and Li. The Brazilians could be something to watch out for. Brazil has the most team entered in this category, they stand total five teams strong.

Team Event Draws and Results

Individual Event Draws and Results

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Navickas Powers Through

After a long week and some hard fought battles Lithuanian Kestutsis Navickas is the champion of the Atwater International 2010.  In spite of the relatively straight forward scores he had throughout the tournament Navickas fought very hard powering his way through his matches by virtue of his gritty play, fighting harder than all of his opponents.  His final match against France’s Brice Leverdez was his most challenging of the week, and the only match to go three games with Navickas winning 21-16, 18-21, 21-14.

Canada’s Wunderkind Michelle Li seemed poised for her first international title, but it wasn’t to be as her second Japanese opponent was able to just sneak past her in the end.  Oka Hitomi would be the second consecutive Japanese shuttler to dash Li’s hopes in a thrilling three game win 15-21, 21-12, 23-21.

Dutchmen Ruud Bosch and Koen Ridder were dominant all week in Montreal, and the finals were no different.  They made their way to the finals without dropping a game, and American pair Halim Haryanto and Phillip Chew would be no different losing 21-13, 21-10.  The women’s doubles was unfortunately a default victory for Charmaine Reid and Nicole Grether as Huang Ruilin and Lim Yee Theng were unable to play.

Perhaps the most impressive match of the day was the sibling rivalry in the mixed doubles between Derrick and Toby Ng.  The two brothers faced off for family pride, but it was Toby and his partner Grace Gao taking the title in a nailbiter over Derrick and Jiang Xuelian 21-18, 20-22, 26-24.  No doubt the Ng household has much to be proud of these past few weeks with Derrick’s recent victory in Peru with doubles partner Adrian Liu.

Atwater International 2010 Results

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Ng and Gao Book Finals

For her second consecutive international tournament Canada’s Michelle Li has booked herself a final.  Japan’s Ito Kana fought hard, but it wasn’t enough as Li won the match in three games 13-21, 21-14, 21-13 to set up an encounter against Ito’s teammate Oka Hitomi who defeated Charmaine Reid 21-15, 21-6 in the other semi-final.  Li has yet to win an international event, but this could be her best chance yet.

Canada had two hopefuls in the mens singles as well, unfortunately neither produced as David Snider fell in three close games to Brice Leverdez 21-11, 15-21, 21-15, and Stephan Wojcikiewicz lost to Lithuanian Kestutsis Navickas 21-12, 21-13. The Snider-Leverdez match was an extremely entertaining battle, unfortunately for the Canadian he was unable to keep it close going into the final few points.

As in the men’s singles, the men’s doubles final will feature no Canadian participants and instead will have a Dutch pair, and an American pair facing off for the title.  Top seeds Ruud Bosch and Koen Ridder defeated the recent Peru International champions Derrick Ng and Adrian Liu 21-15, 21-15 to solidify their top seeding, and tomorrow will face off against America’s Halim Haryanto and Phillip Chew who defeated Canada’s Maxime Belanger and Francois Bourret 21-11, 21-10.

Top seeds Nicole Grether and Charmaine Reid did well to fend off the challenge from Japan’s Ito Kana and Oka Hitomi in three close games 21-18, 19-21, 21-14.  Their opponents in the final will be another Canadian hybrid team after Huang Ruilin of Canada and Lim Yee Theng from Malaysia defeated second seeded Peruvians Christina Aicardia and Claudia Rivero in two straight games 21-13, 21-17.

It’s a sibling rivalry in the mixed doubles as Toby Ng takes on his brother Derrick Ng.  Toby and his partner Grace Gao took their semi-final match against Kevin Li and Alex Bruce in two straight 21-12, 21-18.  Derrick partnered with Jiang Xuelian to knock out Canadian national champions Jon Vandervet and Milaine Cloutier in three games 21-18, 20-22, 21-8.

Tomorrow promises some exciting matches so stay tuned for more results.

Atwater International 2010 Draws

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Canada Takes Three Titles

In spite of recent retirements from a number of top players, the Canadian team managed to pull out a superb performance at the Peru International in Lima.

The mens singles was the one and only final that did not feature at least one Canadian player with both players hailing from Japan.  While both players may have been unseeded they were clearly the strongest two of the tournament with Yuichi Ikeda defeating his teammate Hiroyuki Saeki in two close games 21-19, 21-19.  The womens singles was also taken by a Japanese player, Manami Ebuchi.  Manami faced Canadian youngster Michelle Li in the final and took the title with a 21-18, 21-17 scoreline.

In the mens doubles Canadian pair Adrian Liu and Derrick Ng were on a mission from the beginning.  Dominating the majority of their earlier round opponents, including a decisive win over the top seeded Peruvians 21-8, 21-9, the Canadians snuck out a close win in the finals to take their first ever international title.  Their opponents from Japan, Hiroyuki and Hajime came close, however 21-18, 10-21, 22-20 was not close enough.

The womens doubles was a much more decisive win with the Canada/Germany pairing of Charmaine Reid and Nicole Grether taking the title with a 21-15, 21-10 win over Claudia Rivero and Christina Aicardi.

Finally the mixed doubles final featured a sibling rivalry with Derrick Ng and Phyllis Chan facing off against Toby Ng and Grace Gao.  Derrick Ng was however only able to take the one title for the day as his brother Toby and Grace Gao won the mixed in a very close three games 11-21, 21-19, 22-20.

Peru International 2010 Finals Results

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Team Peru

The draws for the 2010 Peru International have been posted and with the exception of the women’s singles all of the draws appear to be filled with a lot of new talent.  With players like Bobby Milroy and Andrew Dabeka retiring from international play the men’s singles is a much more open field in the Pan Am zone.  The same goes for the doubles with Will Milroy retiring, and American players Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach not being present.

Mens Singles

Pan American Champion Kevin Cordon is the top seed and strong favourite.  His first major challenge comes in the round of 16 where he will face unseeded Japanese player Ikeda Yuichi.  If Cordon can pull through in that match he will likely face either Andres Corpancho or the recent Canadian Champion Alex Pang who is fresh off a strong European performance after recently beating Ville Lang in Poland.  Other notables in the draw include Jamaica’s Charles Pyne and India’s Aditya Adbul.

Womens Singles

Nicole Grether is the top seed and shouldn’t have too much trouble in the early rounds, however she faces a number of tough opponents if she’s to live up to her top billing.  Peru’s Claudia Rivero is her likely quarter-final opponent.  There are also a number of strong Canadian players present including Anna Rice, Jocelyn Ko, Charmaine Reid, Phyllis Chan and Michelle Li who defeated Nicole during a local Canadian tournament in January.  However the toughest of these two Canadian players must face off against each other in the round of 16 when Anna Rice and Michelle Li will relive their recent national championship final.

Mens Doubles

The top seeds in the mens doubles hail from Peru as Martin Del Valle and Antonio De Vinetea partner up against Jamaica’s Gareth Henry and Charles Pyne in the first round.  The second seeds are American veterans Mathew Fogarty David Neumann.  Canada also has a strong contingent with third seeds Derrick Ng and Adrian Liu as well as recent national champions Alvin Lau and Jonathan Vandervet coming into the even unseeded.

Womens Doubles

The top seeds for the event are the German/Canadian pairing of Nicole Grether and Charmaine Reid.  With the most diverse international experience they are the favourites for the title.  There will however be strong opposition from Peruvian second seeds Christina Alcardi and Claudia Rivero and a potential tough start against Americans Rulan and Rulien Yeh.

Mixed Doubles

Canada’s Toby Ng and Grace Gao will be the top seeds in the mixed doubles.  After a disappointing nationals the pair will be looking to get back on track with their international events.  This is perhaps the most wide open of the events as few big name teams have made the journey down to Peru including recent Canadian national champions Milaine Cloutier and Jon Vandervet.  The second seeds for the event are the relatively unknown Bruno Monteverde and Claudia Zornoza.

Peru International 2010 Draws

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