Momentum – The Key To Success In Life and Badminton

On February 24, 2011, in Instructional, by Peter Rasmussen
Peter Rasmussen

Objects In Motion Tend To Stay In Motion

When I use a word like “momentum” while talking about badminton you might think I’m talking about footwork and movement around the court. While it is true that you need to be aware of your momentum for smooth footwork, that’s not what we’re talking about today.

The concept of momentum is something that people have used to become successful in many areas, including badminton. Let’s take a look at a recent example, World Junior Champion Viktor Axelsen and his recent growth as a player. Around this time last year few people outside of Denmark were aware of Viktor, and then he made the finals of the Swedish International. Suddenly he was on all of our minds as we watched him begin to perform at a higher and higher level. This all culminated in a history making performance at the World Junior Championships in April of 2010 where he became the first European to win a world junior title in singles.

When you observe a player like Viktor’s progress you can’t help but feel like he has some sort of invisible energy pushing him to even greater performances. This is momentum working in his favour. You see this happen within a single tournament where a player seems to play better and better with each round, and they seem unstoppable. You also see this happen over the course of several tournaments where a player’s performance seems to carry over from one week to the next.

The best players know how to harness momentum, and most importantly they know how to prevent it from disappearing. That’s the real key, because once you lose momentum it’s a lot harder to get it back.

The easiest way to lose your momentum in badminton is to hurt yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re Lin Dan or Lee Chong Wei, if you’re injured and have to take time off to recover you lose all of your momentum. The most successful people in this world know how to leverage one success into another. This is why Lin Dan is the most successful men’s singles player of all time. One tournament win leads to another, and another. People begin to fear you, and you begin to believe in yourself without compromise.

So what is the key to maintaining our momentum? We need to understand how growth and improvement works. Many of you may already be aware of this, when you train you are actually breaking down your muscle tissues. It’s when we rest between training sessions that our body and mind regenerate resulting in performance improvements. If we over train we prevent ourselves from building up momentum in our training.

So is momentum a straight forward process? No, unfortunately it doesn’t quite work that way. As we’re training we inevitably run into plateaus where we struggle to see improvements for a long time. Then as if from nowhere we see a sudden surge, improvements seem effortless and our progress unstoppable. It’s important to realize that we need to be realistic with our training. We will not improve constantly and we will have down periods. With this understanding in mind you will be much stronger mentally and emotionally when you do hit a plateau.

Here are some common ways that we lose momentum and how to deal with them:

Injuries – Perhaps the most common and most damaging way to disrupt your momentum. The best way to deal with injuries is to prevent them. To do this you need to pay very close attention to what your body is telling you. Do lots of off court training to deal with common injuries that badminton players experience and you’ll be far less likely to get hurt. If you’re already dealing with an injury treat it well, see a physiotherapist and don’t push yourself too hard. This was a mistake I made too often and it shortened my career.

Distraction – Whether it’s unavoidable like school work, or simply socializing, anything that distracts your focus from the game will hamper your momentum. That being said, balance is also important in your life although that’s probably a topic for another article. You need to have other things in your life so the game doesn’t get boring for you, but there is a limit to how many different things you can do at one time.

Lack of motivation – When you’re stuck in a rut and aren’t playing great it’s hard to stay motivated. Simply by understanding that this is inevitable you can be prepared and give yourself the positive self talk necessary to get through periods of frustration. Also, make sure that you are having fun with your training because the best sure fire way to kill your motivation is if you hate what you’re doing.

Taking time off – this is an important thing to consider, because we can’t always train and taking a short break can be very helpful, but taking too long a break can kill your momentum. With that in mind sometimes the best time to take a break is when you are struggling to see improvements. Oftentimes you return to the game with a renewed sense of motivation and you see what was blocking your progress previously.

Think back on your badminton, and how momentum has affected your performance. What could you have done to prevent the dips from becoming as bad as they were, and what could you have done to keep the good periods going longer? By paying attention to your momentum you will find ways to accelerate your progress.

Talent Is Overrated

On February 16, 2011, in Instructional, by Emmet Gibney

Talent Can Take You Places, But Not That Far...

Talent is something that we look at as mystical and unexplainable.  We look at these special people who somehow excel at different things with seemingly minimal effort.  In this case we’ll obviously be looking at talent and how it relates to badminton.

Over the course of a number of generations of badminton players we seem to pay special attention to those players who appear to demonstrate exceptional “talent”.  They excel at a young age and seem well ahead of their peers.  The current generation of young phenoms that we are paying the most attention to are Viktor Axelsen from Denmark and Ratchanok Intanon from Thailand, the boys world junior champion and girls world junior champion respectively.  Both players are very young and are starting to show promise at a senior level very early and as a result they garner a lot of attention.  This attention is well deserved, however I think that these types of players tend to develop a certain mythology around them and their “talent”.

Back in the late 90′s the hot young player was Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat.  As a 17 year old he made the final of the All England Championships and surprised the world with his rapid ascent to the top of the badminton world.  Hidayat has always had a reputation of being a lazy player and that he does not work as hard as his counterparts as a result of his talent.  I would argue this to be yet another case of mythology.  You can almost be certain that as a younger player Hidayat played far more badminton than his counterparts, and was no doubt obsessed with the game at a young age.  The hours of work he put into the game would probably astound most of us.

In spite of the exceptional “talents” that have played the game of badminton it is rare that we see someone that is so much better than everyone else.  Even Lin Dan is not invincible in spite of the aura he seems to carry around with him wherever he may be playing.  He loses, and he does so regularly.  Even in the years where he was “dominating” he was not unbeaten.  Also, as far as “talent” goes many would argue that a player such as Lin Dan is not as naturally gifted as Taufik Hidayat or even his compatriot Bao Chunlai who’s shot execution is beautiful.  Something that Lin Dan has above most others is his willingness to push himself in spite of reaching the pinnacle of the sport.

What does all of this mean for you?  Chances are you’re not on the cusp of international super stardom, and if you are thanks for reading our website :)  If you’re a local competitive player, or you just play in your club league you can still learn a thing or two here.  The point that I’m trying to make here is that we often look at talent as some innate characteristic that we are either born with or not, and if we weren’t so luck as to win the genetic lottery then our destiny is decided.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  The most important thing you need in order to win is grit, otherwise known as determination or hard work.  That includes hard work on a day to day basis for your training, and also from point to point when you are playing.  You have to be willing to make things as hard as you can for your opponent.

I have tried to delude myself in the past into thinking that I was talented and that meant I didn’t need to work as hard as other people did.  Big mistake.  The hard workers are the ones who slowly but surely creep up on you, and before you realize it they’ve passed you.  Good luck catching up to them too, because they aren’t going to let up.  Sure, maybe you can improve faster than them if you put in the effort, but when you’re fighting from behind it’s a very daunting task.

So many players who excelled at a young age tend to fall off as they get older.  As 12 year olds they crushed everyone because of they’re “talent”.  Things got closer as they hit 15 or 16 years old, but they still managed to pull out the wins because of their “talent”.  Then they hit 17, 18 and finally the adult categories where their “talent” stopped being the gift it once was, and instead becomes a curse.  How could talent be a curse you ask?  Because after years and years of people telling you how good you were without you needing to push yourself, suddenly you need to work hard and you don’t know how.  The older you get the more competitive badminton gets and the same can be said of life in general.  The best thing you can do is teach yourself how to work hard.  Alternatively you could just wait to enter the masters, but chances are you haven’t been taking care of your body if you don’t know how to work ;)

I’ll leave you with an old Chinese saying about hard work:

No man who rises before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich.

Work hard my friends, and success is only a matter of time.

Axelsen Hoping To Go One Further

Around this time last year the badminton world sat in awe of the young Viktor Axelsen after he brushed aside on opponent after another on his way to his first ever senior international final.  Now the Dane is back in familiar territory as he has found himself once again in the final of the Swedish International, and this time with a much less formidable opponent, an opponent who Axelsen easily disposed of earlier this fall.  The last time Pablo Abian played Viktor he lost 21-10, 21-7.  Hopefully for the crowd this time around will be a much closer match.  Abian has played well this week with a big win over the tall Dutch shuttler Eric Pang in three exceedingly close games 21-19, 19-21, 21-18.  Axelsen’s semi-final was less hostile as he defeated Kestutis Navickas 21-13, 21-14.

The women’s final should hold much less drama and excitement as both finalists hail from Japan.  Nevertheless respect is owed to both players who were required to overcome formidable opponents on their way to this stage.  Qualifier Mayu Sekiya defeated the top seed Judith Meulendijks in the second round, as well as third seed Susan Egelstaff to earn her finals spot.  Her compatriot Kaori Imebeppu defeated the female phenom Carolina Marin in her semi-final match 19-21, 21-16, 21-8 to earn her final spot.

In the mens doubles it appears that Denmark has much talent ready and waiting to fill the places of their top pairs should they retire anytime soon.  With Axelsen shining in the mens singles it looks like yet another young Dane is showing promise as Rasmus Fladberg and his partner Kim Astrup Sorensen have made their way into the finals after defeating Andi Hartono Tandaputra and Gert Kunka 21-18, 21-16.  On a side note Fladberg is the son of previous doubles world champion Steen Fladberg.  They will now face off against Lukasz Moren and Wojciech Szkudlarczyk who made their way through by defeating another Danish pair, Mats Bue and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen 21-15, 11-21, 22-20.

In the womens doubles we have the only top seed to survive through to finals day as Japans Rie Eto and Yu Wakita have gone on relatively unchallenged thus far.  They won relatively comfortably against Maria Helsbol and Anne Skelbaek 21-11, 21-13 in their semi-final match.  They will now place another Danish pair Line Damkjaer Kruse and Maria Ropke who defeated second seeds Heather Olver and Mariana Agathangelou due to a withdrawal part way through the match.

Heather Olver does however have an opportunity to make up for her disappointment in the doubles as she has found herself in the mixed final alongside partner Robin Middleton.  Olver and Middleton defeated Imam Sodikin Irawan and Cecilia Bjuner in three games 15-21, 21-12, 21-10.  Their opponents will be the Dutch pair Dave Khodabux and Samantha Barning.  Khodabux and Barning defeated Ireland’s Sam and Chloe Magee 21-16, 21-18.

Swedish International 2011 Draws

Swedish International 2011

After a quiet last few weeks the EBU circuit is back in action again this week in Stockholm for the Swedish International 2011.  In both the men’s and women’s singles events the Dutch have taken the top spots with Eric Pang and Judith Meulendijks sitting atop their respective draws.

Pang starts off his men’s singles campaign with a tough first round encounter against Ukrainian Dmytro Zavadsky who is known to be a scrappy contender.  Seeded second here is Lithuanian Kestutis Navickas who will likely face off against Denmark’s Peter Mikkelsen in the second round.  Mikkelsen surprisingly had to qualify, but was promoted to the main draw.  Other notables in the men’s draw include Pablo Abian of Spain, Ville Lang of Finland and of course all eyes will be on the young Danish world junior champion, Viktor Axelsen.  This time last year Axelsen gained attention by making it to the finals and upsetting numerous strong opponents on his way.

Meulendijks first major challenge will likely come in the quarter-finals against Denmark’s Karina Jorgensen who is fifth seeded.  Their half of the draw also holds Scotland’s Susan Egelstaff who appears to be a strong favourite to come through to the semi-finals stage.  The second seed Larisa Griga has an especially difficult starting match as she faces off against Spanish phenom Carolina Marin, a match which from the looks of things should be the toughest match on that half of the draw.

The men’s doubles draw lacks the usual punch expected in an EBU event with few big names present.  The top seeds are France’s Baptiste Careme and Sylvain Grosjean, while the second seeds are Russia’s Vitalij Durkin and Alexander Nikolaenko.  Of note is the large contingent of French players in the doubles draw as four pairs are present.

Japan look to be the favourites in the womens doubles with Rie Eto and Yu Wakita in the top seeded position, however England’s Heather Olver and Marian Agathangelou will be trying to upset the Japanese pair.  Japan also has another couple of pairs lurking unseeded in the draws, as does Denmark, so don’t be surprised to see a couple of upsets in the earlier rounds.

Finally in the mixed doubles it’s the Ukrainian pair of Valerly Atrashchenkov and Elena Prus taking the top spot while Baptiste Careme and Laura Choinet are second seeds.  England’s Robin Middleton and Heather Olver are unseeded, and no doubt a threat regardless of their lack of seeding.  Ireland’s Sam and Chloe Magee are also strong threats in the fourth seed position.

For full draws and ongoing results be sure to check back here again tomorrow, and also have a look at the draw page below:

Swedish International 2011 Draws

2011 Osim BWF World Super Series Preview

On January 12, 2011, in BWF Super Series, by Eddie Smith

2011 heralds the beginning of the new top-tier “Premier Series”, a five event series that boasts bigger money than the previous “Super Series” name. There is still seven Super Series events but the five Premier Series events are now stand out events on the 2011 calendar.

As well as the stand out events, there will be clear stand out players for 2011. 2010 was the year of Lee Chong Wei as he widened the gap between himself at the rest of the world. Only Lin Dan can claim any sort of argument what debating the best player in the world at the moment.

The Super Series starts off in Malaysia on January 18 before the opening Premier Series event in Korea taking centre stage at the end of January. The All-England provides another massive injection of money into the game as the second Premier Series event of the year and is followed the next week by the newest Super Series event in India.

The opening 3 months of 2011 offers the top players in the world four Super Series opportunities, two of which are Premier Series events.

The Favourites:

Two players instantly shine out in these kinds of draws. 2010 was Lee Chong Wei’s year, with six Super Series titles, two GP gold titles and the Commonwealth Games gold medal. There is little to debate his place atop the world rankings, all except his Asian Games defeat to his long-term rival Lin Dan who is the only player on the circuit who is in the discussion with Lee Chong Wei when debating the best player on the men’s singles circuit.

The duo played three times in 2010, with Lin Dan winning two at the “major” events in the calendar at the Asian Games and at the Thomas Cup in May where he comfortably defeated the Malaysian in two games like his Olympic triumph in 2008, such was the margin of victory (21-17, 21-8).

These two are the absolute top of the game, however Lin Dan’s schedule has continually decreased since winning gold in Beijing three years ago. Winning just one Super Series last year in September at the China Masters and playing just 6 Super Series events total. Add in two withdrawals in China and Hong Kong, which takes the tally to just 4 events he could have potentially won. Losing one to Lee Chong Wei in Japan and his poor run in March that seen him lose to Bao Chunlai at the All England (Bao Chunlai’s first win over Lin Dan in over three years) and a two game loss to Peter Gade in the Swiss Super Series has only added to the speculation that he has either lost interest in the game or only peaks for major events.

The lure of the new Premier Series could bring the best out in Lin Dan once more, whilst Lee Chong Wei continues to perform at a level that the rest of the players cannot match.

The Title-Chasers:

Peter Gade, current European Champion and Europe’s #1 is never to be overlooked in this events. In a year shortened by a back injury, he rolled back the years at the All-England until meeting Lee Chong Wei in a one-sided semi final. He followed up the performance at the Swiss Super Series, beating Lin Dan before losing to Chen Long. He has played just three events since the World Championships in August, reaching the semi finals in Japan and then losing to Joachim Persson at the French Super Series after withdrawing from his home Super Series the week previously. Since then, question marks have surrounded his future especially in light of losing to Joachim Persson, a player tipped a few years ago to take over Gade’s mantle as Denmark’s number 1. His recent return of form at the Super Series Finals shows he still has the ability to win at this level, but only proved that the gap between himself and Lee Chong Wei was a large one.

Gade’s time is slowly fading, without a Super Series win since the Korean Open in 2009. However, the future is bright in Danish badminton with the emergence in recent years of Jan O Jorgensen this year, Jorgensen played 11 of the 12 Super Series events, the most of anyone (only Hu Yun played 11 also) but only featured in one semi final in Denmark, a title that he won but the early part of 2010 was marred with four defeating in the second round and a second round defeat to Rajiv Ouseph in the World Championships. There was little to promote Jorgensen’s chances of winning in Denmark after another set of defeats in Japan and Indonesia at the third round stage. He lost his seeding in Hong Kong in December last year and had to play Lin Dan in the opening round, a match he lost comfortably in two games.

Question marks loom over Taufik Hidayat’s future also but there is little doubt that he still has the ability at win at the highest level. He narrowly missed out in winning the Denmark Super Series, but bounced back to take the French Super Series the very next week. He is one of the few people to claim a victory over Lee Chong Wei in 2010, winning their quarter final matchup in the World Championships and going all the way to the final before losing to Chen Jin.

The Chinese contingent this year is as strong as ever, with as many as five potential winners entering every event this year. Current world champion Chen Jin will hope to reclaim his 2008 All England title, with his Swiss Open title he won last year no longer on the Super Series circuit. Chen Long goes into the opening event of the year as the highest ranked Chinese player in the world at the moment, ranked 4th. Bao Chunlai and Du Pengyu are also ranked inside of the top 15 in the world, with the pair battling it out for the China Open title in May last year.

Boonsak Ponsana has cemented his place as a top-10 player in the past year but still needs to have that landmark victory to push him into the world’s elite however early defeats in the later half of 2010 need to be resolved before he is considered a real contender every event.

The Ones To Watch:

Viktor Axelsen burst onto the scene in 2010, taking the junior world title and then the Cyprus International. His performances in qualifying for the French and Denmark Super Series has already established himself as capable of playing at the very highest level and his second round match to Jan O Jorgensen in the Denmark Open was much closer then anyone expected.

Joachim Persson has made an unlikely resurrection of a career almost forgotten by Jorgensen’s emergence. He has slipped to 20th in the world rankings but still managed to reach the French Super Series final after venturing back into the European circuit to regain the confidence lost in the past few months.

Kenichi Tago burst onto the world scene with his unlikely run to the All-England final last year and has continued to progress on from his experience in that final, reaching a world ranking of 17 but as yet no Super Series titles to show for his efforts.

The 2011 Calendar:

Malaysia – 18-23 January

Korea Premier – 25-30 January

All-England Premier – 8-13 March

India – 16-21 March

Singapore – 14-19 June

Indonesia Premier – 21-26 June

China Masters – 13-18 September

Japan – 20-25 September

Denmark Premier – 18-23 October

France – 25-30 October

Hong Kong – 15-20 November

China Open Premier – 22 – 27 November

Super Series Final – 14-18 December

Gade Feeling Fit Again

The seeded players were all in fine form today, with only the 3rd seeded Chandra and Gunawan losing out in the men’s doubles to unseeded Adcock and Ellis of England. Peter Gade’s back injury was the big talking point of the day as to whether he would be able to play and defeat Carl Baxter.

Before Gade’s game, several seeds had already booked their place in the last 16. Rajiv Ouseph was first through with a comfortable victory over Kasper Ipsen, he was followed late in the morning by Joachim Persson, who came back from a game down to defeat Eric Pang. Gade’s return in the first of the evening matches was a stunning performance from the top seed, winning 21-11, 21-6 to book his place safely into round 2. He was joined later that hour by Jan O Jorgensen, who came through against Przemyslaw Wacha in three games. Viktor Axelsen however fell at the first hurdle this week, defeated handsomely by Du Pengyu 21-11, 21-11.

The women’s singles provided little shocks either, with all 8 seeds progressing safely. All except one, Pi Hongyan was forced into a third game by Tai Tzu Ying before coming through and progressing into round 2. The 3rd seed plays the Commonwealth bronze medals Elizabeth Cann in her second round match. Last week’s finalist Liu Xin also progressed into round 2 and will be a tough test for the 5th seeded Juliane Schenk in the second round.

The only seed to fall was the 3rd seeded Chandra and Gunawan, the only other seed to be in any danger in the opening round was the 5th seeded Conrad-Pedersen and Rasmussen who were taking to three games by their Malaysian opponents.  The mixed doubles was a similar affair, with the top seeded Gunawan and Marissa being taken to three games by the Russian pairing of Durkin and Vislova. Every other seed in the mixed doubles progressed to the last 16 without any of the other 7 seeds dropping more than 26 points on route to Thursday’s second round.

Day 1 Results

Pi Hongyan Is France's Top Hope

Even without Gade or Baun picking up a title last week in Odense, Danish badminton is on a real high after their trio of titles. Jan O Jorgensen proved his credentials as a Super Series winner and the teenage sensation Viktor Axelsen breezed through the qualifying rounds to add another Danish contender in the biggest events for years to come.

Peter Gade returns to action this week, or he will at least try on Wednesday. He is unsure himself about the level of his play going into tomorrow’s opener against Carl Baxter. Last week’s winner Jan O Jorgensen takes on Przemyslaw Wacha in a tough opening round match and could face another rematch with Viktor Axelsen in the second round, however the 16-year old faces the tough task of defeating Du Pengyu of China in his opening round match. 2nd seeded Taufik Hidayat also starts with a tough opening round match against Wang Zhengming, the Chinese qualifier.

Pi Honygan will be under similar pressure as when the World Championships were held in August with a nations expectation on her shoulders. Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying is the French 3rd seeded first round opponent on the show court on Wednesday afternoon. Wang Yihan continues to play whilst most of the Chinese squad have opted not to play in Europe this month, she takes on Marie Maunoury of France who came through the qualifiers to reach the main draw.  Tine Baun will want to put last week’s disappointment behind her with a strong performance this week, she starts her campaign against Elena Prus of Ukraine.

Last weeks winners of the men’s doubles, Boe and Mogensen look to continue their excellent run of form this week, they take on the French pairing of Careme and Grosjean in their opening round match. Last week’s runners-up will hope to go one better as Kido and Setiawan start their campaign against the Dutch pairing of Bosch and Ridder.

The Japanese contingent that has been progressing deep into tournaments has chosen not to play in France this week, leaving the door open for last weeks runners-up, Vislova and Sorokina to go one better this week. The seeds for the women’s doubles have a European look to them, with 7 of the 8 seeds coming from a European nation.

One big name pairing who are playing this week are the top seeds in the mixed doubles, Marissa and Gunawan of Indonesia. They start with a tough opener against Durkin and Vislova of Russia. Last weeks winners Laybourn and Rytter Juhl start against the American pair of Lee and Ho whilst last weeks runners-up Robertson and Wallwork start against Moren and Pocztowiak of Poland in their opener.

Day 1 Matches

Taufik Through After Tough Semi Final

In spite of a strong presence in the semi finals Japan only succeeded in pulling through with two pairs into the finals, however both pairs are in the womens doubles so the title is assured for Japan. Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna easily defeated their Russian opponents Valeria Sorokina and Nina Vislova 21-11, 21-9 while their compatriots Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito benefited from a withdrawal during the third game against yet another Japanese pair, second seeds Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa.

The mixed doubles features our only all European final with England’s Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork through after a win against Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoungthongkam in three games 21-16, 18-21, 21-16. The English pair now plays Denmark’s top pair Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl who knocked out Indonesia’s Hendra Gunawan and Vita Marissa in two straight 21-19, 21-11.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_jvEzYAO_4[/youtube]

Both the mens doubles and singles feature Denmark vs Indonesia line ups. First off in the mens doubles Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen will play Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan. Both pairs had relatively straight forward wins, and both had Japanese opponents with the Danish pairing winning 21-11, 21-16 over Yoshiteru Hirobe and Kenta Kazuno, and the Indonesian pair defeated Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa. Boe and Mogensen defeated Kido and Setiawan in last year’s edition of the Denmark Open, and the hometown crowd is no doubt hoping for a repeat.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns2p1aTJH8M[/youtube]

The other Denmark vs Indonesia line up features young rising star Jan Jorgensen against the tricky veteran Taufik Hidayat. Jorgensen easily disposed of Hu Yun 21-12, 21-17 while Hidayat struggled against China’s Du Pengyu and was pushed to three games 21-15, 17-21, 21-17. This is an important match for the Dane who has yet to win a Super Series title, and a win here would certainly give some added confidence after a tough last few months.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB7tOF8KBW4[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XM1cLQ-f4qI[/youtube]

Finally the womens singles final will feature an all Chinese line up with top seeded Wang Yihan facing off against unseeded qualifier Liu Xin. Liu ended another surprise semi-finalist’s run when she defeated Salakajit Ponsana 21-19, 21-18 while Wang had a decidedly easier time against her Bulgarian opponent Petya Nedelcheva winning 21-8, 21-10.

For more complete results and draws:
Denmark Open Super Series 2010 Draws and Results

Wang Yihan Through To Semi-Finals

While still not heavily favoured the Japanese contingent has proven formidable this week in Odense with five pairings left heading into the semi-finals stage.  However, in spite of their strong numbers remaining in the doubles, their premier player, Kenichi Tago, fell to the second seed Taufik Hidayat in two close games 21-19, 21-19.  Hidayat will now face the unseeded Du Pengyu of China who easily disposed of India’s Kashyap Parupalli.

With the withdrawal of Peter Gade from competition the top half of the draw is up for grabs and Jan Jorgensen has continued to show his ability to perform on home soil with a win over last year’s finalist Marc Zwiebler in two games 21-16, 21-19. Jorgensen will now play Hu Yun who defeated Poland’s Przemyslaw Wacha.

In the womens doubles Japan looks almost assured the title with 3 of the 4 remaining pairs.  The only barrier to Japanese success remaining are Russians Valeria Sorokina and Nina Vislova who will be looking to upset top seeds Miyuki Maeda and Satoko Suetsuna.  The Russian pair had to go through Thailand’s Kunchala Voravichitchaikul and Duanganong Aroonkesorn while the Japanese disappointed the hometown crowd by defeating Lena Frier Kristiansen and Marie Ropke. The other half of the draw features Japanese shuttlers exclusively.

The top seeded men’s doubles pairing of Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen succeeded in continuing their campaign with a victory over Mak Hee Chun and Tan Wee Kiong of Malaysia in two straight 21-16, 21-12. The Danish pair now face Japan’s Yoshiteru Hirobe and Kenta Kazuno.

The womens singles features a couple of Cinderella stories with Salakajit Ponsana’s previous win over Tine Baun, and now another win over Ai Goto to put her into the semi-finals against Liu Xin. Liu has been another surprise as she has upset Eriko Hirose and Ella Diehl en-route to her semi-final placement.

England has not a particularly strong showing in Odense this week, however Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork succeeded against the Polish opponents Nadiezda Zieba and Robert Mateusiak in three close games 21-14 17-21 22-20. The English pair will now face Saralee Thoungthongkam and Sudket Prapakamol.

For more complete results and draws:
Denmark Open Super Series 2010 Draws and Results

Tine Baun Fails To Defend Title

Peter Gade’s withdrawal put added pressure onto Tine Baun for success in the singles disciplines this week in Odense. She went into her second round against Salakjit Ponsana as a massive favourite but her opponent pulled out a surprise two game victory to end Denmark’s hopes in the women’s singles.

There is however, interest in the last 8 of the men’s singles. Viktor Axelsen’s first foray into the Super Series ended at the second round at the hands of the 4th seeded Jan O Jorgensen in two games and Joachim Persson also lost in Round 2, losing to the 2nd seeded Taufik Hidayat in two games. Hidayat takes on Kenichi Tago in the quarter finals whilst Jan O Jorgensen takes on the 6th seeded Marc Zwiebler in the last 8.

Even without a full compliment of players, China still has 3 entries in the last 8 of the women’s singles. Wang Yihan progressed safely in two games whilst Li Xuerui defeated the 6th seeded Juliane Schenk in two tight games to book her last 8 place against Wang Yihan. Qualifier Liu Xin defeated another Chinese qualifier, Zhu Lin in three games to book her place in the quarter final against 8th seeded Ella Diehl. Salakjit Ponsana takes on Ai Goto in the last 8, who also defeated a seed to reach this point, beating Yip Pui Yin of Hong Kong in two games.

Denmark’s interest in the men’s doubles is done to just 1, the top seeded Boe and Mogensen survived a day of Danish disappoint in the doubles with the most notable defeat being the loss of the 6th seeded Conrad-Petersen and Rasmussen to German qualifiers, Fuchs and Roth in two games. Larsen and Skovgaard lost out to Mak and Tan of Malaysia, who now take on the top seeded Mogensen and Boe in the last 8. The 2nd seeded pair of Kido and Setiawan are also safely into the last 8 with a two game win over English qualifiers Adcock and Ellis.

One Danish pair remain the women’s doubles, as Ropke and Kristiansen defeated the 8th seeded German pair of Overzier and Marinello in three games to set up a last 8 match against the top seeded Maeda and Suetsuna of Japan. The 2nd seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa won their all-Japanese matchup to book their place in the last 8 and 3rd seeded Nedelcheva and Russkikh progressed safely into the quarter finals after surviving their first round scare.

All 8 of the seeded pairings in the mixed doubles have progressed to the quarter finals, with only the 2nd seeded Gunawan and Marissa and 5th seeded Fischer and Pedersen being taken to three games in their second round matches. Top seeded Mateusiak and Zieba take on the 6th seeded Robertson and Wallwork tomorrow whilst the 2nd seeded Indonesians Marissa and Gunawan take on the 7th seeded Fuchs and Overzier in tomorrow’s quarter finals.

Thursday’s Results

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