There were not very many surprises on the first day of the 26th Brazil International Cup. Guatemala’s top singles player Kevin Cordon made it through his match without too many problems, winning over USA’s Sattawat Pongnairat 21-11, and 21-11. Ivan Sozonov, Guatemala International Men’s singles and Men’s doubles champion had quite a scare against Czech player Petr Koukal. The match went three games with Sozonov taking the final game 21-18.
Canada’s Olympic hopeful Stephan Wojcikiewicz overtook Brazilian star Daniel Paiola, 21-9, 21-15. And in the women’s singles, first seeded Susan Egelstaff had a frightening first round when Portugal’s Telma Santos forced a third game. The final scores were 21-23, 21-16, and 21-9 with Egelstaff taking the match and moving on to the next round. Michelle Li is looking at attempting to win her second tournament of the season with a first round win over Japan’s Ayumi Mine, 21-7, 21-18.
In the Men’s doubles, the top pairings from Canada, Austrailia, USA, and Brazil all made it past the first hurdle of this tournament. The women’s doubles provided even fewer surprises with the expected teams advancing onto the next round.
A big win in the mixed doubles for Peru’s young team of Mario Cuba and Lorena Duany came early on in the first round. They defeated Brazilian doubles sensation Hugo Arthuso, who paired up with Marina Eliezer in three games, 18-21, 21-13, and 21-10.
The twenty sixth Brasil International Cup is underway today, with some great players from Pan America as well as the world in attendance. Guatemala’s breakout star Kevin Cordon will be attempting to redeem himself after losing to Russia’s Vladmir Ivanoz in the semi-final of his home tournament, Guatemala International. Ivanoz is one of the three Russians in attendance of Brasil International, and they are no doubt the ones to beat in this tournament as Ivanoz and his partner Ivan Sozonov teamed up to win the Men’s doubles title in Guatemala, as well as facing off against each other in the Men’s singles final.
Meanwhile the women’s singles may be very unpredictable. Michelle Li of Canada is definitely the favourite after edging out Scotland’s top seeded Susan Egelstaff in the semi-final and Switzerland’s Jeanine Cicognini in the final to win the title last week in Guatemala.
The home country of Brazil definitely has the strongest numbers in this tourney. No surprise there. However a Brazilian duo to watch would definitely be 4th seeded Hugo Arthuso and Daniel Paiola. They reached the semi-final of Guatemala and now are prepared to go for their home title. They lost to Adrian Liu and Derrick Ng, Canada’s top doubles pair who fell to the Russian team of Ivanoz and Sozonoz in the final.
Matches to watch out for in the women’s doubles will mostly occur in the later rounds. A possible quarter final in the very bottom of the draw could have USA’s top team of Rena and Iris Wang clashing with one of Canada’s top teams Grace Gao and Joycelyn Ko. Gao will also be teaming up with usual partner Toby Ng, to take the top seeded position in the mixed doubles.
So far we are looking forward to a great tournament. A great concentration of North and South America’s finest as well as few top players from abroad.
While Canadian pair Derrick Ng and Adrian Liu may have dreamed of upsetting former World Champions Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach it wasn’t to be. The top seeded pair were at their best when their steamrolled the young pair 21-10, 21-9 to win the mens doubles title. An important learning experience for the Canadian pair who we expect to see big things from moving forward.
Things would turn out better for the older of the Ng brothers when Toby Ng and Grace Gao won the mixed doubles by defeating Americans Halim Ho and Eva Lee 21-11, 14-21, 21-15. This is an important win for the Canadian pair as we head towards the Olympic qualification run.
The womens doubles would be yet another great win for the Canadians as Michelle Li and Alex Bruce continued their fantastic run by defeating Americans Iris Wang and Rena Wang in three games 11-21, 21-15, 21-8. This is yet another important match heading into the Olympic qualification period as these two pairs will no doubt be among the few teams fighting for a top spot in the Pan American qualification.
Rena Wang may have been disappointed with her loss in the doubles, however her singles victory would make up for that as she defeated top seed Nicole Grether 21-19, 20-22, 17-9. It has not yet been reported what caused Grether to retire in the 3rd game.
Finally the only event not to feature either a Canadian or American player was the mens singles. This would go to Pan America’s top player and Olympic qualification favourite Kevin Cordon who defeated Austria’s Michael Lahnsteiner in three games 23-21, 6-21, 21-12.
Full Finals Day Results
Today wrapped up the semi-finals of the Peru International Badminton Championships and as we head into the finals the events are dominated by the Americans and Canadians with the exception of the mens singles event.
The top seeded Austrian Michael Lahnsteiner had a tough but not overly close semi-final match against hometown favourite Rodrigo Pacheco. Lahnsteiner won in two straight games 21-16, 21-15, and now he faces off against Guatemala and Pan America’s top player Kevin Cordon who defeated Iztok Utrosa in two straight games 21-13, 21-14.
The women’s singles held some surprises and disappointment for Canada’s Michelle Li. Li, the second seed, was upset by American Rena Wang 21-18, 21-12. Wang will have to defeat yet another Canadian if she’s to win the title as she now plays Nicole Grether who recently began playing under the Canadian flag after years of representing Germany.. Grether earned her finals place by defeating Cee Ketpura 16-21, 22-20, 21-12.
Grether may have had fortune on her side in the singles, however it didn’t favour her in the doubles as she and her partner Charmaine Reid were upset by their Canadian compatriots Michelle Li and Alex Bruce in three very close games 12-21, 21-18, 21-19. Li will have an opportunity to avenge her singles loss against Rena Wang as her and Iris Wang defeated Grace Gao and Joycelyn Ko in two games 21-18, 21-13.
The mens and mixed doubles events both feature Canada’s Ng brothers who have shown some strong performances domestically and internationally this year. First up in the mixed doubles Toby Ng is paired with Grace Gao and with a semi-final win over his brother Derrick and his partner Phyllis Chan he has found a place in the finals against Americans Halim Ho and Eva Lee who defeated Joycelyn Ko and Adrian Liu in three games.
Finally in the mens doubles we have what could be one of the more exciting finals to watch. Former world champions Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach are set to play the Derrick Ng and Adrian Liu in the finals. The Americans had to defeat French pair Laurent Constantin and Sebastian Vincent and did so with gusto by winning in two decisive games 21-9, 21-13. The Canadian pair also win with little struggle over their opponents Sameera Gunatileka and Vincent Nguy 21-15, 21-12. The Canadian pair are the obvious underdogs, but have shown some high level ability in the last year so it would be unsafe to discount them.
Full Saturday Match Results