The question marks over the 2008 Olympic champions Lee and Lee making the World Championships were still unanswered as little as 3 weeks ago as Lee Hyo Jung pulled out of Macau just as Lee Yong Dae returned from his own injury layoff, however they are here in Paris. The Chinese squad come here without a seed in the top 5 and will look for an exceptional performance from one of three seeded pairings.
The top seeds are Widianto and Natsir and after their first round bye, they will play another Indonesia pair of Kurniawan and Bernadet ranked 14th in the world but not seeded for the world championships. The 11th seeded Chen and Chou is the other seeds in the section and play against Germany’s Schottler and Marinello for a place in the second round, the other match in the section is between Australian pair Raj and Renuga Veeran and Yoo and Kim of Korea.
Zheng and Ma are the 8th seeds, even though they are provisionally ranked 35th in the world and have failed to live up to the hype surrounding them for the past few years, could this year be their year? They begin their campaign against Zavadsky and Diptan of Ukraine, ranked 91st in the world. Also in this section is the 14th seeds, Thailand’s Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam who begin their campaign against Croatia’s Durkinjak and Poznanovic, the world number 58. The other match in the section is between Wong and Chau of Hong Kong, the world number 62 against the world number 52 pairing of Sam and Chloe Magee.
Poland’s Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk are seeded 3 for the event and have a tough opening match in the second round against the world number 27 duo of Triyachart and Yao of Singapore. This section will clearly be one of the toughest to progress through as the 9th seeded Diju V and Jwala Gutta take on the world number 21 pairing of Adcock and White of England. The final match of the section sees Chan and Goh of Malaysia take on the Belgian pair of Gillis and Corvillain.
The 5th seeded Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen are another high seeding with a tough opening match, against the 23rd ranked Sorokina and Nikolaenko of Russia in their second round match. The 12th seeded Ko and Ha from Korea have an easier start than the other seeds in the section, taking on Jacquet and Dumartharay of Switzerland. The first of the French pairings are in this section also, Careme and Choinet take on the Japanese pairing of Hashimoto and Fujii, who are both seeded in their level doubles events and could be a pairing to watch this week.
Lee and Lee are seeded 7 for the event, even thought they have a world ranking of 5. Perhaps there are still concerns of Lee Yong Dae’s injury, but the 7th seeds take on Larsen and Schjoett-Kristiansen of Denmark, ranked 32nd in the world and will test the Korean’s credentials in their opening game. The 16th seeded Lee and Chien have a tough match to start out also, against Russia’s Durkin and Vislova, ranked 31 in the world. The final match in the section sees Wiratama and Tse of Hong Kong take on Vietnam’s Duc and Ham, ranked 112 in the world.
The 4th seeds are another Indonesia pair in Gunawan and Marissa who begin their campaign against James and Edwards of South Africa, ranked 97th in the world. The 10th seeds Jiaming and Yawen take on France’s Rasadi and Labar in one of the weaker sections of the draw, with the final match of the section between world number 25 Ng and Gao against Hirata and Miyuki of Japan, ranked 34 in the world being easily the most competitive match in the section.
The big Chinese hope is in the 6th seeded He and Yu, who are ranked below Jiamind and Yawen but received a higher seeding. He and Yu begin their campaign against the Spanish pair of Longo and Ojeda. The 13th seeded Anugrtiayawon and Voravichitchalkul from Thailand take on the German duo of Overzier and Kindervater, ranked 67th in the world. The final match of the section sees Misha and Svetlana Zilberman of Israel take on Zirnwald and Prustch of Austria.
The final section sees the 2nd seeded and current World Champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl take on the Polish pair of Szkudiarczyk and Wojtkowska in the second round after their first round byes. The other seed in the section is the 15th seeds, Wallwork and Robertson of England who begin their campaign with a first round match against Prus and Atrashchenkov of Ukraine. The final match in the section is between the Bulgarian pair of Makarski and Dimova and Dutch pairing of Khoabux and Barning in an excellent matchup between the world number 36 and 39 in the world.
Denmark dominance of European badminton was proved yet again with finalists in 4 of the 5 final in Manchester today, only the women’s doubles finalist was certain to have a non-Danish winner.
The top 2 seeds met in the men’s singles final in an All-Danish affair between Peter Gade and Jan O Jorgensen. The opening game started off evenly, with neither player about to create a gap of any merit. Towards the middle of the opening game, Peter Gade begun to string runs of 3 and 4 points together to create a sizable gap that Jorgensen was unable to pull back, Gade served out the opening game from 19-14 to win the opener.
The second game started well for Jorgensen, taking an early 6-2 advantage before the 4-time European champion strung 8 consecutive points together to take a 10-6 lead in the game. Jorgensen fought back to 10-12 but Gade reeled off another 7 point run to take a 19-10 lead which he was never going to give up and served out from 19-11 to take his fifth European title.
2nd seeded Tine Rasmussen was hoping to continue her excellent run of form in 2010 with a victory over 3rd seeded Juliane Schenk of Germany. However, the opening game was very much dominated by the German. Schenk led at 17-12 before Rasmussen brought it back level at 17-17 and the momentum was with the Dane for the remainder of the game, with Rasmussen taking the opening game 21-19.
Schenk response in the second game was fantastic however, domination the game much like the first but this time continued to score points late on in the game and the German levelled the match, winning the second game 21-14. The first part of the third game was very nervy and tight, with neither player being able to pull out a gap. At 13-12, Rasmussen managed to pull out a 4 point gap to 16-12, a gap that Schenk was never able to pull back after saving 2 match points previously, Rasmussen finished the job with her third match point, winning the final game 21-19.
There was another all-Danish final in the men’s doubles as the rematch from the All-England final between Paaske and Rasmussen playing Boe and Mogensen. The top seeded Boe and Mogensen were keen to avenge their All-England defeat but the second seeded Paaske and Rasmussen led throughout the opening game, but squandered three game points at 20-17 to allow the top seeds back into the opening game. They received two more opportunities to win the opening game before converting on their sixth attempt to take the game 24-22.
The second game was a complete role reversal, with Boe and Mogensen dominating the game before failing to convert on two game points at 20-18. Paaske and Rasmussen put together a run of 4 points from 20-18 to win the second game 22-20 and take the European crown to add to their All-England title.
The top two seeds met in the final, with three of the four players coming from Russia. The second seeded Russian duo of Nina Vislova and Valeria Sorokina had failed to drop a game on route to the final and that record remained unchanged with a fabulous display against the top seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh, winning 21-18, 21-14 in just under three quarters of an hour.
Another clash of the top two seeds took place in the mixed doubles final between World Champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl of Denmark and the 2009 Hong Kong Super Series winners, Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk of Poland. The match was three games of dominating badminton, with few lead changes throughout the games. The Danish pair dominated the opening game, with the second seeded Poles never leading in the opening game that they lost 21-19. The second game was a complete reverse, with the Polish pair dominating the second game, allowing the Danes to lead only twice in the entire second game at 1-0 and 6-5. Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk took the second game 21-18 to set up a third game.
The final game was a mirror of the first game, with the Danish pair leading from the start and not letting the Polish pair have a chance to take any kind of lead in the game. The 2nd seeds pulled it back to 13-12 before the world champions strung together 8 consecutive points to add the European title to their world crown, winning the match 21-19, 18-21, 21-12 in exactly one hour.