Whilst Viktor Axelsen’s quest for title number 2 ended at the hands of Eric Pang, there was delight for India as they guaranteed themselves a place in the men’s singles final. Ajay Jayaram continued his excellent run whilst Anand Pawar defeated Ireland’s Scott Evans in just over an hour to book his place in the all-Indian semi final. Chetan Anand could not make it 3 Indians in the last 4, as he lost out to Sho Sasaki of Japan.
The big local hope is in the women’s singles, as Yao Jie made it through to the last 4 with a three-game victory over Ukraine’s Larisa Griga. She takes on Ai Goto of Japan, who defeated Pai Hsiao Ma in two games. The second semi final is an all-German affair with 2nd seed Juliane Schenk taking on Olga Konon after both came through comfortably in two games in their quarter finals.
The shock in the men’s doubles was the defeat of 6th seeded Endo and Hayakawa to unseeded German pairing of Schottler and Kindervater, losing 24-22 in the third game. The other seeded Japanese pairs had little trouble, with both the top seeded Hashimoto and Hirata as well as Sato and Kawamae making it through to set up a semi final clash against each other.
Wengberg and Lennartsson ended the 4th seeded Jonathans and Van Dooremalen’s dreams of a home victory to join the top 3 seeds in the semi finals of the women’s doubles. Both top seeds Fujii and Kakiiwa as well as 2nd seeded Vislova and Sorokina won in two games, with Matsuo and Naito coming through in three games to book their place in the last 4.
Japan will definitely have a finalist in the mixed doubles, with 3rd seeded Ikeda and Shiota defeating Vislova and Durkin in their quarter final and in the all-Japanese quarter final, the 6th seeded Hayakawa and Matsuo progressed through. The top half of the draw has local interest in Bosch and Jonathans, they take on the 4th seeded Nikolaenko and Sorokina of Russia in the semi final.
Picture Provided by Rene Lagerwaard
The winners of the previous two European events progressed into the third round at the expense of two of the top four seeds. Ajay Jayaram defeated Manuel Batista of Italy in the opening round and then defeated the top seed Marc Zwiebler in two games also to progress into the last 16. Victor Axelsen, recent winner in Cyprus International is also through to the third round, defeating the 4th seed and fellow Dane Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in three games to boost his credentials as Denmark’s third best player. Axelsen also received the news that will be in the qualifying for the Danish Super Series next week also. Dicky Palyama also surprisingly lost out to Shuhei Hayasaki in two games, leaving just Chetan Anand as one of the top 4 seeds remaining in the draw.
If the men’s singles was full of shocks, the women’s singles is the complete opposite. Every seed successfully progressed into the last 16, with the top two seeds Jie Yao and Juliane Schenk winning in two games. Ai Goto was a two game winner also, whilst 5th and 6th seeds Linda Zechiri and Larisa Griga had to come through tough three game encounters to book their place in the last 16.
The mixed doubles lost it 2nd seed, Atrashchenkov and Prus to Japanese pair of Hirobe and Matsutomo in two games. They join four other Japanese pairs in the last 16, including top seeds Hashimoto and Fujii and 3rd seeds Ikeda and Shiota. The Russian seeds are also still in the draw, with 4th seeded Nikolaenko and Sorokina and Durkin and Vislova both progressing without the loss of a game.
After a long road and lots of badminton the big winners at the 2010 Commonwealth Games were Malaysia and hosts India. While these two teams were the gold and silver medalists respectively in the team event, they split the individual golds 3-2. First off in the mixed doubles Malaysian super star Koo Kien Keat would win his first gold of the tournament along with partner Chin Eei Hui. The Malaysian pair defeated England’s Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork 22-20, 21-12. Next would be India’s turn to win their first badminton gold of the tournament. Jwalla Gutta and Ashwini Ponnapa took on Singapore’s Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari and won in two relatively close games 21-16, 21-19.
In spite of Rajiv Ouseph’s strong ability as a mens singles player he was far outclassed when Lee Chong Wei proved once again why he is the number one ranked player in the world. The domineering Malaysian destroyed Ouseph in two fast games 21-8, 21-10 to win his second consecutive Commonwealth Games title.
In the men’s doubles Koo Kien Keat would yet again dash Nathan Robertson’s hopes of a gold medal. Koo partnered with Tan Boon Heong to defeat Robertson and his partner Anthony Clark 21-19, 21-14.
Finally the highlight match of the day for the home crowd was their favourite player Saina Nehwal’s match against Malaysian Wong Mew Choo. Saina was close to being defeated after losing the first game 19-21, and was forced to pull out a close second game 22-20. Saina took the match in the end by winning the third game 21-13 and won her first Commonwealth Games gold medal.
Bronze Medal day in Delhi had local interest as well as a rematch from the 2006 games, as an all-Indian Mens singles match topped the bill for the locals. Chetan Anand was the higher of the seeds, but it was fellow Indian Kashrup Parupalli who took bronze in the mens singles, with a 21-15, 21-18 victory in 39 minutes.
The women’s singles, was a rematch of the 2006 bronze medal match from Melbourne. However the result in 2010 was a reversal of four years previously as Liz Cann of England defeated Susan Egelstaff of Scotland in two games, with the Scot leading in both games but it unable to take a off Cann, who ended up winning 21-18, 21-16 in 36 minutes.
There was a guaranteed bronze in the men’s doubles for Singapore, as Sauptra and Wijaya defeated team-mates Triyachart and Wong in two games, winning 23-21, 21-12 in 29 minutes. Chayut Triyachart however, did come away with a bronze medal from the mixed doubles as him and partner Lei Yao defeated Malaysia’s Chan and Goh in a 51 minute, three game match which they won 21-14, 17-21, 21-17.
The fifth medal of the day went to Australia as He Tian Tang and Kate Wilson-Smith defeated England’s Gabrielle White and Jenny Wallwork in the women’s doubles bronze medal match. The longest match of the day was won by the Australians 21-23, 21-12, 21-16 in 64 minutes. However, Wallwork has already won at least silver in the mixed doubles when she takes to the court tomorrow.
Lee Chong Wei has successfully negotiated the early rounds and defeated the two seeds in his half of the draw in the quarters, then defeating Chetan Anand in the semi finals to set up the gold medal match against England’s Rajiv Ouseph who defeated another Indian in the 5th seeded Parupalli to set up Thursday’s final.
India’s big hope for gold comes from Saina Nehwal, as she successfully progressed into Thursday’s final after beating Scotland’s Susan Egelstaff in the semi final in two games to set up a gold medal match against Mew Choo Wong of Malaysia. The 2nd seed defeated England’s Elizabeth Cann in three games to book her place in Thursday’s final. Cann will take on Egelstaff tomorrow in a rematch of their 2006 bronze medal match for a chance of a medal in 2010.
Top seeds Koo and Tan of Malaysia are through to Thursday’s final against the 2nd seeded English pair of Nathan Robertson and Anthony Clark. The top seeded Malaysians have failed to drop a game on route to the final whilst the English pair had to come through a tight three game match over Triyacha and Wong of Singapore.
India has a second chance of gold in the women’s doubles, with 2nd seeds Gutta and Machiman progressing to Thursday’s final against Singapore’s top seed Sari and Yao, who defeated the 3rd seeded English pair of Wallwork and White in two games to book their place in the gold medal match on Thursday.
Nathan Robertson’s second chance at gold is also Koo Kien Keat’s second chance also as the pair match up in the mixed doubles final also. Top seeded Robertson partners Jenny Wallwork against the unseeded Malaysian pair of Koo and Chin, who have partnered up just for the Commonwealth Games. They defeated the 2nd seeded Gutta and Valiya in the quarter finals and then 3rd seeded Triyacha and Yao of Singapore in the semi finals.
While hardly a huge surprise it was nonetheless a weight lifted off of the Malaysia team’s shoulders today when they secured yet another team event gold medal. Looking back on the history of the games we see only England and Malaysia have ever taken the team title.
The event started out with Malaysia’s doubles super star Koo Kien Keat partnering up with Chin Ee Hui in the mixed doubles against Jwala Gutta and Diju Valiya Veetil. This was an important match for Malaysia to win since their strength lies in their men’s team, and a loss in the mixed would put them in serious danger. However, in spite of going to three games the Malaysian pair managed to pull out the win 21-14, 10-21, 21-10 to secure the first point in the tie.
Perhaps the most assured win for Malaysia would come from the men’s singles with world number 1 Lee Chong Wei taking on Kashyap Parupalli. A surprising choice by the India team to field Parupalli as he is India’s third ranked singles player behind both Chetan Anand and Arvind Bhat at number 32 in the world. Regardless the Indian shuttler faired well against Lee in the first game posting a 21-18 score and seemed a legitimate threat. However, in the second game he failed to maintain the same pressure and was easily disposed of 21-7 putting Malaysia up 2-0 in the tie.
The only loss of the day came at the hands of India’s superstar women’s singles player Saina Nehwal who also happens to be the tournaments top seed in the individual event. Saina faced off against Wong Mew Choo who managed to sneak out a close first game 26-24. It was a good start for the Malaysian but Saina managed to pull things back in her favour in the second 21-17 to set up a final deciding game. This also went in the Indian’s favour as she went on to win the match, and India’s first point in the tie, 24-26, 21-17, 21-14.
To seal victory Malaysia brought out more of their superstars as world number one men’s doubles pairing Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong took to the court against Thomas Sanava and Rupesh Kumar. The Indian pairing are strong players in their own right, but they were no match for Koo and Tan who won the match 21-12, 21-19 to win Malaysian second consecutive team gold in the Commonwealth Games.
In the bronze medal match England defeated Singapore 3-1 with two of their points coming from victories by Nathan Robertson in the mens doubles and mixed doubles.
Stay tuned here for more reports as we start the individual events.
The draws for the 2010 World Championships were made in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, there were little doubts about the top seed in the men’s singles draw with Lee Chong Wei taking the #1 seed but there will be no rematch of the 2009 final in Paris on August 29.
Lee Chong Wei begins his campaign against Kevin Cordon, the world number 46 from Guatemala and could face a tricky second round match against world #22 Muhammad Hafiz Hashim in an all-Malaysian second round encounter. The other seed in Lee Chong Wei’s section is Jan O Jorgensen, seeded 11. The Dane has had a disappointing 2010 after bursting onto the world scene with victory over Peter Gade in Denmark and reaching the Chinese Super Series final in 2009. He begins his campaign against the Austrian Michael Lahnsteiner, ranked 86 in the world. His second round encounter will be a much tougher match with one of the best matches of the opening round with Eric Pang taking on Rajiv Ouseph for the chance to play Jorgensen or Lahnsteiner in Round 2.
Taufik Hidiyat received the 5th seed and with that, he plays Ola Fagbemi of Nigeria who is the lowest ranked player in the draw, ranked #122 in the world. His likely second round opponent is ranked almost 100 places higher in the world rankings, world #23 Yu Shin Hsieh of Chinese Taipei who takes on Portugal’s Pedro Martins in Round 1. The other seed is Kenichi Tago, one of the breakout stories of 2010 who is the #12 seed and faces the Czech national champion Petr Koukal, the world #48 in the opening round.
Lin Dan has barely played in 2010, but is still the Chinese #1 and seeded 3 for the Worlds and begins his campaign against Ali Shahhossieni of Iran, ranked 110 in the world before potentially playing the winner of the all-European match between Henrik Toth and Henri Hurskainen in the second round. The conspiracy theorists will claim that Lin Dan’s opening two matches could be the easiest run to the last 16 of any of the seeds, with only Hurskainen inside the top 50 in the world (ranked 50th). His first big test will be against Bao Chunlai, seeded 10 and the player who defeated him in the 2010 All England. The 10th seed begins against Yan Kit Chan who is current ranked 20th in the world in one of the hardest opening round match for any seed. If anything, the winner of this match will have an easier second round match, playing the winner of David Snider of Canada (ranked 89) and Scotland’s Alistair Casey (ranked 78).
Tien Minh Nguyen may not have won in Chinese Taipei to gain him more ranking points but is still seeded 7 and plays the world number 62 Ukrainian Valeriy Atrashchenkov in his opening round match. The winner of Raul Must and Dieter Domke is likely to play the Vietnamese player in round 2. Park Sung Hwan is the other seed in this section, the 13th seeded Korean takes on Derek Wong Zi Liang of Singapore, ranked 79 in the world with Park likely to play the winner of another all-European clash between Matthieu Lo Ying Ping and Vladimir Ivanov in the opening round.
The opening section from the bottom half of the draw is arguably the hardest one to come out of, with England’s Carl Baxter, ranked 27 in the world taking on Slovakia’s Michal Matejka for the chance to play the 9th seeded Boonsak Ponsana, should he defeat world number 52 Vladimir Malkov of Russia. The other seed is Simon Santoso, winner in Chinese Taipei and seeded 8. He takes on Poland’s Przemyslaw Wacha, ranked 37 in the world with the winner of that match taking on the winner of Scott Evans, ranked 45 in the world and Hsuan Yi Hsueh of Chinese Taipei, ranked 41 in the world.
The 14th seed Chetan Anand begins his campaign against Ashton Chen Ong Zhao, ranked 112th in the world in one of the bigger mismatches of the opening round and likely to play the winner of Dmytro Zavadsky and Stephan Wojcikiewicz, ranked 47 and 56 respectively. The other seed in the section is the 4th seeded Chen Jin who begins his campaign against Finland’s #1 and world #53 Ville Lang in his opening round. The other match and potentially Chen Jin’s second round opponent is between Kestutis Navickas of Lithuania, the world number 59 and Scotland’s #1 Kieran Merrilees, ranked 72 in the world.
Wong Choong Hann received the 16th seed and will take on France’s own Simon Maunoury in his opening round match in the French capital, but the world number 81 will need to play the match of his life to reach round 2. The other match to determine the winner of the Wong/Maunoury match is between Iran’s Kaveh Mehrabi, ranked 92nd in the world and Kazushi Yamada of Japan, ranked 30 in the world. Sony Kuncoro won in Macau two weeks ago and the 6th seed comes into the championships in excellent form and begins his campaign against Misha Zilberman of Israel, ranked 84th in the world in round 1. Another all-European clash is the last match in the section with world #25 Dicky Palyama of Holland taking on the 3rd Frenchman in the draw, US Open runner-up Brice Leverdez for a place in round 2.
The final section is the only one with two European seeds, with 15th seed Marc Zwiebler taking on the Czech Jan Vondra in his opening round match and a second all-European match guarantees at least one European in the last 16, with Sweden’s Magnus Sahlberg taking on Pablo Abian of Spain. Peter Gade comes into the competition as the number 2 seed and starts his campaign against Brazilian Daniel Paiola, ranked 74 in the world. The big news from this section of the draw is world number 15 Yun Hu not receiving a seeding for the event despite Chen Long not being able to play as China’s #4 and world #10 and plays Shon Wan Ho of Korea, the world number 35 in his opening match and a likely second round match against Peter Gade, which would likely be the match of the second round.
Chen Jin was the first player to reach the last 8 with his win over Chan Yan Kit, followed closely by Tien Minh Nguyen after Bao Chunlai, seeded 8 retired in the third game, trailing 11-6, allowing the Vietnamese player a free pass into the quarterfinals.
There was also double success for Denmark as Jan O Jorgensen defeated Kazushi Yamada 21-11, 21-19 to reach the last 8, whilst Peter Gade received a free pass into the quarters after Hsieh Yu Hsing pulled out of their match before the pair took to the court.
Du Pengyu had Lee Chong Wei on the ropes early on after taking the opening game 23-21 over the top seed, but the Malaysian rallied back to take the next two matches to win the match 21-23, 21-17, 21-14. There was more Malaysian success with Chong Wei Feng also reaching the last 8 with a three game victory over Chetan Anand of India, 21-15, 19-21, 21-18.
The Chinese dominance is the main story from the competition so far, with four Chinese women in the last 8. Top seeded Wang Yihan defeated last week’s Korean Super Series winner Wang Shixian to book her place in the quarterfinals, 21-11, 21-13. The top seed will play another Chinese player in the last 8, with Jiang Yanjiao beating Yip Pui Yin in three games to set up an all-Chinese quarterfinal.
The next quarterfinal, is an all-Korean affair. Bae Youn Joo will play Sung Hi Hyun for a place in the last 4, with Joo defeating Salakjit Ponsana in two games, 21-16, 21-11. Sung beat Malaysia’s Wong Mew Choo in three games, 12-21, 21-18, 21-17. Saina Nehwal takes on the third Chinese woman left in the draw, the unseeded Wang Xin after she defeated 3rd seeded Tine Rasmussen 13-21, 21-16, 21-19 to book her place against the 7th seeded Indian.
Eriko Hirose’s victory over 8th seeded Juliane Schenk means she will play the fourth Chinese woman left in the draw, the 2nd seeded Wang Lin for a place in the last 4.
Koo and Tan are through to the last 8 after their two game win over Sun and Tao of China, they will play the 7th seeded Clark and Robertson who beat Kim and Shin of Korea, 21-18, 21-18. Howard Bach and Tony Gunawan are also through, defeating Mak and Tan of Malaysia to book their match against Chandra and Gunawan, the 4th seeds from Indonesia.
Ma and Jin are in frighteningly impressive form, as they defeated White and Wallwork 21-18, 21-2 to book a place in the last 8. They play the unseeded Korean pairing of Kim and Park. The 3rd seeds Chin and Wong are also in impressive form, winning 21-12, 21-8 over Hoo and Woon in an all-Malaysian round 2 match. Du and Yu, seeded 2 are also in fantastic form with their 21-3, 21-9 win to set up their quarterfinal match against Nedelcheva and Russkikh, the 6th seeds.
Lee and Lee’s chances for revenge over Tao and Zhang were dashed when the top seeded Korean’s pulled out before the match begun. Leaving only two seeds remaining, but the world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl are still in the competition after a 24-22, 21-13 win over Shin and Yoo of Korea, they will play Robertson and Wallwork of England after beating their English counterparts Clark and Olver to reach the last 8.
Three Dutch players had an opportunity to secure success on finals day; the All-Dutch Women’s singles final would guarantee at least one Dutch winner. Play started with the Women’s Doubles with top seeded Valeria Sorokina and Nina Vislova playing unseeded German pairing Sandra Marinello and Birgit Overzier.
The top seeded Russian pair dominated through out the game, taking the match in two games 21-12, 21-17. The next match was the all-Dutch encounter between Jie Yao and Judith Meulendijks in the women’s singles final. The match failed to live up to the competitive hype surrounding it, with Jie Yao winning comfortably in two games, 21-11, 21-12.
The all-German encounter between Kristoff Hopp and Johannes Schoettler against Michael Fuchs and Ingo Kindervater was third on court, with the lower seeded Hopp and Schoettler taking the opening set, 21-13. It was a tight opening start to the second set until 5-5 when Hopp and Schoettler won five points in a row to open up a lead, a lead they took full advantage off to win the second game and the match 21-13, 21-16.
Valerina Sorokina took title number two in the mixed doubles as her and partner Alexandr Nikolaenko defeated top seeded pair Durkin and Vislova in three games, taking the final game 21-12 in the longest match of the day. Eric Pang had opportunity to double the Dutch haul in the Men’s Singles final against Chetan Anand of India.
The opening game couldn’t have gone much worse for Pang, losing the game by 21 points to 12. The dream was slowly dying for Pang, and after 33 minutes, Chetan Anand completed his ambition at the start of the week by winning the final 21-12, 21-15.