It was a second day of big name casualties in Birmingham, with Denmark’s Boe and Mogensen being the biggest scalp of the day. Liu and Qiu claimed one of just eight Chinese victories in their win over the Danes as they stranglehold on world badminton is as loose as ever in recent memory.
Lee Chong Wei Into Last 8
Lee Chong Wei’s spectacular 2013 continued with a two-game victory over Wang Zhengming, his 11th win of the year without a loss to date. Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen will be the Malaysian’s opponent in the last 8, with the previous seven encounters going to the world number 1, all in two games. Jan O Jorgensen is Europe’s last hope of any success in the competition and benefitted from Sony Dwi Kuncoro’s retirement in their match to set up a quarter final against Chen Jin of China, who defeated another Chinese player, Chen Yuekun on route to the last 8.
Chen Long takes on India’s Kashyap Parupalli in the quarter final after he defeated Kenichi Tago in his second round clash whilst Chen Long beat Japan’s Takuma Ueda to book his place in the last 8.
Baun Reaches Last 8
Li Han provided an ample test for Tine Baun in their second round clash, but the 25-year old Chinese player was no match for Tine Baun, in her final All England Championships. Her half of the draw has opened up with the Chinese seeds already out, with Wang Yihan’s conquerer waiting in the quarter final stage. Sung Ji Hyun is the only other remaining seed in the top half, with the 5th seed taking on Eriko Hirose of Japan in the second of the quarter finals.
A lawyer in virginia winning viagra lawsuits full compliment of seeds in the bottom half means two excellent encounters, with Wang Shixian taking on Saina Nehwal and Racthanok Intanon taking on Juliane Schenk for two places in the semi finals. Nehwal has beaten Wang Shixian in their previous three encounters whilst it will be the 7th meeting between Schenk and Intanon, with their most famous encounter coming at the 2012 Olympics that the Thai player won in two games.
Seeds Topple In Doubles
Just three seeds remain in the men’s doubles, with Endo and Hayakawa being the highest seeds left. The 4th seeded Japanese pair take on the 6th seeded Kim and Kim to ensure another seed falls before the last 4. Ahsan and Setiawan are the sole seeds left in the top half of the draw and take on Hoon and Tan of Malaysia for a place in the last 4.
Even the women’s doubles has had it’s share of seeds crash out, the 4th seeded Eom and Jang being the latest pair to crash out at the hands of Hoo and Woon of Malaysia. Wang and Yu take on Jung and Kim in the featured match of the four quarter finals and have played once since their Olympic farce, with the Chinese pair winning in two games.
Chan and Goh’s were the biggest casualty of the mixed doubles draw today, losing to Indonesia’s Kurniawan and Irawati who are rewarded with a quarter final match against the current Olympic champions Zhang and Zhao of China. Xu and Ma also reached the last 8, with an all-Chinese semi final looming should they defeat Rijal and Susanto as well as Zhang and Zhao winning their quarter final clash.
Day 2 Results:
The first full day of play begun in Birmingham with the organisers hoping not to repeat the farcical start to the 2012 tournament. Play begun at 9am on Wednesday and mercifully ended on Wednesday, albeit well after 11pm but the first day of this years edition of the All England will be remembered for the amount of seeds crashing out on the opening day of play.
Seeds Tested in Men’s Singles
Kenichi Tago was the sole seed that progressed into the second round without the loss of a game, defeating Viktor Axelsen in his opening round match. Hu Yun and Du Pengyu were the big name casualties of the first round, with Lee Chong Wei, Chen Long, Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Chen Jin and Tien Minh Nguyen all needing three games to progress to the last 16.
Lee Chong Wei takes on Wang Zhengming in the pick of the second round matches, with Chen Long also likely to be tested against Takuma Ueda of Japan. Jan O Jorgensen flys the flag for Europe and takes on Sony Dwi Kuncoro in a miserable day for European badminton, with just six wins coming in 29 matches over the course of the opening days play.
Chinese Misery In Women’s Singles
There is usually five to seven Chinese players left in the draw at the last 16 stage, but this week just three remain. Li Han takes on Tine Baun whilst the other two Chinese players, Wang Shixian and Jiang Yanjiao play against one another in the second round. The major shocks in the competition come at the expense of China with Olympic champion Li Xuerui losing in two games to Bae Yeon Ju whilst the third seeded Wang Yihan lost to Indonesia’s Lindaweri Fanetri, also in two games.
Both Saina Nehwal and Wang Shixian needed three games to ensure their passage into the second round but there was no such trouble for the European seeds. Juliane Schenk set up a tough second round match against P.V. Sindhu and Tine Baun’s future in the All England and her career will be tested to the full by Li Han of China.
Lee/Ko Crash Out
A pre-match withdrawal from Cai and Cialis Fu weakened the event but the shock loss of Lee and Ko to Germany’s Kindervater and Schoettler was perhaps the biggest positive from a European standpoint on the day. The loss of Cai and Fu as well as Lee and Ko has made the top half of the men’s doubles draw all the easier for the top seeded Boe and Mogensen, who take on China’s Liu and Qiu in tomorrow’s second round.
Moren and Szkudlarczyk provided their own shock in the bottom half, with a three game victory over the 5th seeded Hong and Shen to ensure there would not be a full compliment of seeds in the bottom half of the draw. Koo and Tan defeated Ellis and Adcock to end English hopes in the competition, with Robert Blair partnering Tan Bin Shen who take on the 4th seeded Endo and Hayakawa in the second round.
Asian Dominance In Women’s Doubles
The second seeded Danish pair of Pedersen and Rytter Juhl crashed out to Bao and Tian in the opening round, ending any hope of a European threat in the women’s doubles. Wang and Yu progressed safely into the second round, joined there by Ma and Tang as well as Cheng and Zhao. Zhao and Tian were previously partners but will play against one another for the first time in their new partnerships in the second round tomorrow.
The sixteen remaining pairs all hail from Asia, with all four European pairs crashing out in the first round. Jenny Wallwork’s retirement in the days leading up to the All England surprised many and asks the question about how far her and partner Alex Langley would have gone in the event this year.
Danish Disaster In Mixed Doubles
Christinna Pedersen’s opening day ended in disaster as her and partner Joachim Fischer Neilsen were the only seeds not the progress into the last 16, beaten by the Indonesian pair of Kido and Bernadeth. Xu and Ma defeated Adcock and White to set-up an all-Chinese second round match against Qiu and Bao. Zhang and Zhao made light work of another Danish pair, Pieler Kolding and Rytter Juhl to reach the last 16.
Day 1 Results:
Four titles were a possibility for China on finals day, but managed just half that tally as the host nation took down higher seeds to ensure two titles for the host nation whilst Lee Chong Wei ensured a title for Malaysia in the men’s singles.
Lee Chong Wei started 2013 perfectly with a two game victory over China’s Du Pengyu, with the Malaysian failing to drop a game after his opening round scare to Wang Zhengming and will go into his home Super Series event on a high. Sung Ji Hyun claimed Korea’s only singles title with a two game victory over the 5th seeded Wang Shixian to avenge her 2010 defeat in this event to the Chinese player.
Lee and Ko defeated Boe and Mogensen in the buy valium without prescription men’s doubles final, but not before losing the opening game 21-19 but a far dominant display from the Korean’s in the next two games ensured Lee and Ko’s meteoric rise up the rankings continued. Wang and Yu defeated Ma and Tang in the first final of the day in a straightforward two game match for the 2011 World Champions first title of 2013.
Ma Jin fell short in the mixed doubles final also, losing with her partner Xu Chen to the world and Olympic champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei. The top seeded pair did take the opening game but failed to capitalise and lost the next two games to ensure a 12th defeat to Zhang and Zhao in their 14 encounters to date.
Finals Day Results:
Even with all the Chinese withdrawals that have marred the week’s play, they still have a chance at four of the five titles in Seoul. Only the men’s doubles will not feature a Chinese pair but instead have Korean and Danish interest in tomorrow’s final. Lee Yong Dae will look to go one better than last year after suffering defeat to Cai and Fu in the 2012 final.
Lee Chong Wei has rarely been troubled on route to the final and Wong Wing Ki did little to challenge the top seed in a one-sided semi final. Du Pengyu will be the Malaysian’s opponent in the first Super Series final of 2013 after his two game victory over Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who returned to the top 10 in the world rankings this week.
Wang Shixian will be the sole Chinese player in a women’s singles final as she looks to defend her title against Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun in a rematch of the 2010 final that the Chinese player won in two games. It is Wang Shixian’s fourth consecutive final in Korea and has won two of her three finals to date HGH.
The world number 1 pairing of Boe and Mogensen takes on the form pair in Lee and Ko in the men’s doubles final. They have met once previously in China at the last Premier event of 2012, which the Danish pair won in two games. Only the Danes have dropped a game this week, in their semi final victory over Hong and Shen whilst Lee and Ko defeated the second seeded Koo and Tan to reach the final.
The women’s and mixed doubles final will be all-Chinese affairs, both featuring Ma Jin. Ma and Tang take on the top seeded Wang and Yu after their three game victory over Pedersen and Rytter Juhl, seeded 2nd this week. It was their second win against a higher seeded pair after their victory over Matsutomo and Takahashi in the quarterfinals. The top seeded Xu and Ma take on Zhang and Zhao as they renew their rivalry that begun at this event two years ago. It will be their 14th meeting, with Xu and Ma failing to any matchups in 2012 and winning just 2 of the previous 13 encounters.
Semi Final Results:
20 matches were scheduled for Friday, but only 19 took place as the all-Chinese match between the top seeded Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang and the 6th seeded Zhao Yunlei and Cheng Shu resulted in a wakover victory for the top seeds. Another asterisk will put next to another victory between two Chinese pairs.
Lee Chong Wei successfully reached the last 4 with a two game victory over Hu Yun and takes on Wong Wing Ki in the first of the semi finals. Sony Dwi Kuncoro has been having a renaissance in the past few months and continues his excellent form with a victory over Takuma Ueda to reach the last 4. His opponent in the semi final will be Du Pengyu of China, with the Indonesian holding a 3-1 advantage in their head to head, defeating the Chinese player in their most recent matchup in China just 2 months ago.
Saina Nehwal was the latest big name casualty in the women’s singles, losing to China’s Li Han in three games as the world number 26 continues her incredible rise up the world rankings. Sung Ji Hyun will be her opponent in the semi finals, with the world number 7 being Korea’s last chance of a singles title in Seoul this year. The second semi final will also be a tightly contested match between te enigmatic Wang Shixian and the future of Japanese badminton, Minatsu Mitani. Mitani has rised to world number 10 and defeated Wang Shixian in the last meeting in China in September but a victory for the 5th seed would edge her back closer towards the top 4 in the world rankings.
Lee and Ko safely progressed into the semi finals as they look for their second title of their new partnership. They xanax or prozac take on Koo and Tan in the semi finals, who defeated the Korean pair on their Super Series debut in Denmark last year. Since then Lee and Ko have avenged that defeat and broke into the top 10 of the world rankings. Top seeded Boe and Mogensen take on the 7th seeded Hong and Shen in the second semi final, with the Danes holding a 2-1 head to head lead against the Chinese pair but their only victory came at this event 12 months ago.
Jung and Kim ended any possibility of an all-Chinese semi final with a victory over Bao and Tian to set up a semi final against Wang and Yu. It will the first time since their Olympic farce that these two pairs will be against one another. Ma and Tang ensure there is still a possibility of an all-Chinese final in the event, but they will take on the 2nd seeded Danish pair of Pedersen and Rytter Juhl in their semi final but the Chinese pair hold the advantage in their head to head, winning their only matchup to date at the French Open last year.
Ma Jin and Christinna Pedersen are the last two players left this week capable of taking two titles and in the mixed doubles they are on separate sides of the draw. Ma and Xu take on the 5th seeded Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam in the first semi final with the Chinese pair winning all 4 of their matchups so far. Olympic champions Zhang and Zhao take on the Danish pair of Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen with the 6th seeds claiming two victories at the Super Series finals at the end of 2012 to take a 6-4 advantage in their head to head.
Day 3 Results:
The Chinese tomfoolery overshadowed day 1, but a full day of excellent play delighted the Seoul crowd on the second day with plenty to cheer about for the Koreans. The European contingent was dramatically cut going into the later stages, with surprise losses for some of the biggest names in European badminton.
Three pretenders to Gade’s throne were all dispatched on the second day, with Zwiebler losing to Lee Chong Wei in two games whilst Viktor Axelsen lost to Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki. Jan O Jorgensen’s defeat was the most surprising as he lost out to Russia’s Vladimir Ivanov in two games to set up a quarter final against Du Pengyu of China. The 4th seed is the only seed remaining in the bottom half of the draw and the last Chinese player in the event after Guo Huan’s loss to Chong Wei Feng.
It is a similar story in the women’s singles, with the usual Chinese domination of the event missing with just two players left in the last 8. Wang Shixian has failed to drop a game to date but faces her toughest task yet against Korea’s Bae Yeon Ju in the quarter finals. Li Han takes on Saina Nehwal, with the Indian taking over as the highest seed left in the draw with Wang Yihan’s and Li Xuerui’s retirement on day 1. Minatsu Mitani and Nichaon Jindapon ended the European run in the event with Mitani defeating Tine Baun in three tight games whilst Jindapon disposed of Juliane Schenk in two convincing games.
The Japanese threat in the bottom half of the men’s doubles ended abruptly on day 2 with both HGH seeded pairs crashing out. Endo and Hayakawa, seeded 4 lost to Goh and Lim of Malaysia in two games to set up a quarter final against Lee and Ko of Korea whilst Liu and Qiu ended the end of Hashimoto and Hirata, beating the 8th seeds in two games. The top seeded Boe and Mogensen are safely through to the last 8 and take on Korea’s Kim and Kim in the last 8 clash.
The Chinese has dominated the women’s doubles in recent years and Korea in 2013 this is no different. All 8 seeds progressed into the latter stages, with four of the 8 coming from China. Wang and Yu take on Cheng and Zhao in undoubtedly will be one of the matches of the day, in the same side of the draw Bao and Tian takes on Korea’s big hope in Jung and Kim. Ma and Tang take on the 3rd seed Matsumoto and Takahashi in the bottom side of the draw.
Ma Jin is also safely into the last 8 of the mixed doubles with partner Xu Chen and take on the new English partnership of Adcock and White who defeated the European champions Mateusiak and Zieba in their second round clash. Zhang and Zhao needed three games to dispose of the Russian pairing of Durkin and Vislova and set up a quarter final against Kim and Jung of Korea. Fischer Nielsen and Pedersen take on the 2nd seeded Ahmad and Natsir in the pick of the matches at the quarter final stage, with the Indonesian pair dropping just 37 points on route to the last 8.
Day 2 Results:
A new year offers a new start and a new motivation after the obvious comedown from an Olympic year. The goals for the year alter from London 2012 with all eyes on Guangzhou and the World Championships in early August. Before the summer spectacle, the Super Series and Super Series Premier will pit the best against the best in 2013.
The world’s elite converge in Korea for the first Super Series Premier of the year with the biggest prize fund of the year on offer. 2013 is a year of change within the badminton world, with new events and the last of certain Super Series before the new 2014 schedule. London gains a GP Gold event in early October that leads as a build-up event to the Denmark/France Super Series later in the month.
It will be the last Super Series in Malaysia before it’s upgrade to Premier status in 2013 and China loses its Super Series event this year with Australia claiming Super Series status in 2014 but the China Super Series Premier remains. There will be no Peter Gade in 2013, retiring late last year with a last famous victory over Lin Dan. The double-Olympic champion will pick and choose his events as always and is a noticeable absence in Korea this week.
Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long will be the favourites for the title in the men’s singles but a wealth of Chinese talent looking to defeat the top seed in the opening event of 2013. Wang Zhengming will be the first to claim a victory over the Malaysian and a likely Chinese opponent in the semi final should Lee Chong Wei reach the last 4. Victor Axelsen takes on Taufik Hidayat as the old guard meets the new generation in the match of the opening round.
The women’s singles offers the expected Chinese dominance, with four seeds from the eight but like the men’s singles, a new generation coming through to the overthrow the Chinese hierarchy in the event. Ratchanok Intanon buy xanax without prescription is the newest in line to attempt to defeat the world’s elite and Saina Nehwal will also continue her quest to become world number 1. Tine Baun plays her last Korea Open ahead of her retirement after the All Englands before Juliane Schenk takes over the mantle of the sole European threat at the Super Series level.
Lee and Ko’s meteoric surge up the rankings sees them seeded 6th but any thoughts of a dream final against Cai and Fu will be tempered with neither pair having an easy run to next Sunday’s final. Koo and Tan are the 2nd seeds in Korea and likely semi final opponents for the Koreans whilst Cai and Fu will probably have to defeat the top seeded Boe and Mogensen in order to reach the final.
The women’s doubles is the event to watch after the farcical events of the Olympics. Wang and Yu have returned to competitive action and their biggest rivals of the past few years have been split up to create two new partnerships. It offers Chinese a similar chance to dominate the doubles event as much as the singles with four partnerships that will likely feature in the top 10 in the coming months. Zhao Yunlei forms a new partnership with Cheng Shu, Tian Qing joins with Bao Yixin as well as Ma and Tang will offer Wang and Yu a stern test in 2013.
The mixed doubles offers the closest resemblance to 2012 with a similar field to the previous year. Chris Adcock and Gabby White are the top pairing from the six new English pairings whilst Jillie Cooper and Robert Blair will offer the only chance of Scottish success in the event. The usual suspects are all present in Korea, with Kamilla Rytter Juhl partnering Mads Pieler Kolding after Thomas Laybourn’s retirement after the London Olympics. Ma and Xu are the top seeds, with their Chinese rivals Zhang and Zhao seeded 4th in the 2013 opener.
Play begins in Korea on Tuesday, January 8.
The great British dream ended at the group stages, but the show must go on. 32 players and 24 pairs remain to fight for five gold medals as the world’s elite face one another to edge ever closer to a medal.
Simon Santoso is the latest player to have his chance at Lee Chong Wei, with a pair of impressive victories whilst the top seed struggled past Ville Lang and the rest of the field now know what Lee Chong Wei’s limitations are. The other side of the draw offers the match of the day tomorrow, as the 2008 Olympic champion Lin Dan takes on the 2004 Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat in what could be the Indonesian’s final match of his historic career.
Another player in the twilight of his career is Peter Gade, who takes on Shon Wan Ho in his second round encounter with the winner of Wong Wing Ki and Chen Long waiting in the last 8. Two more Europeans will hope to keep a continents dream alive as Jan O Jorgensen and Marc Zwiebler take on higher seeded Asian opponents tomorrow, with the Dane taking on Lee Hyun Il whilst the German takes on the 4th seeded Chen Jin.
Only Wang Yihan and Wang Xin had the luxury of a group of two, the other 14 women had to progress from groups of 3 with only two seeds falling at the opening hurdle. One of those seeds was Petya Nedelcheva, who was knocked out by Indonesia’s Adrianti Firdasari – who takes on the 2nd seed, Wang Xin in the second round. The top seeded Wang Yihan takes on Bae Youn Joo of Korea in her last 16 match, with a potential world championship rematch with Cheng Shao Chieh waiting in the quarter finals.
Saina Nehwal and Tine Baun are just one victory away from facing one another at the last 8 stage. The Indian takes on Yao Jie in her second round match whilst Baun takes on Sayako Sato of Japan. Yip Pui Yin is the only other unseeded player left in the draw after defeating Sung Ji Hyun in the group stages, the Hong Kong player takes on Pi Hongyan for a place in the last 8.
With the group stages complete, the manipulation of the draw will cease and a winner will be crowned. The marquee match of the day sees the top seeded Wang and Yu take on the 3rd seeded Ha and Kim, with the top seeds losing their final group game to ensure they could not take on their Chinese team-mates until the final. Tian and Zhao take on Chien and Cheng of Chinese Taipei in the half of the draw where they are the only seeds in it, whilst the final seeds – Fujii and Kakiiwa take on the Danish pair of Rytter Juhl and Pedersen, who topped Group D.
The four seeds all won their group and will avoid playing one another at least for another round but there is a refreshing mix of pairs left in the draw but without the defending champion Lee Yong Dae. Four European pairs take on four Asian pairs for a battle of continental supremacy with the 2011 world champions Zhang and Zhao taking on the 2009 world champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl for a place in the last 4 and a potential all-Danish semi final. 4th seeded Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen take on the Thai pairing of Prapakamol and Thoungthongkam for a place in the last 4 as the only European seed hope to keep European hopes alive.
Xu and Ma take on current European champions, Mateusiak and Zieba of Germany whilst the 4th quarter final features the 3rd seeded Ahmad and Natsir taking on the German pairing of Fuchs and Michels, the higher ranked left in the draw at 22.
Updated with video:
Faster, Higher, Stronger. The motto of the Olympics were tarnished and shamed with the performance of Wang Xiaoli, Yu Yang, Kim Ha Na and Jung Kyung Eun. With top spot on offer in Group A, the two pairs gave one of the most disgraceful performances in the history of the sport and both capitulated resulting in neither pair wanting to win.
It was about how fast the Chinese pair could get off could, how high they think of themselves against the rest of the field and how strong they believed in the actions they chose to do on court. From when the Chinese pair took to the court after their introductions until both pair were viciously booed off court took under 30 minutes.
The warm-up offered no clue as to what lay ahead, as Kim served to Wang to start the match.
Wang Xiaoli clumsily drives Kim’s opening serve into the net to begin proceedings. Yu Yang signals with her right hand to Wang Xiaoli as she shadows a drive motion.
Yu Yang plays a lazy net shot from waist height into the net, before looking to the ground to suggest she thought it might have been short.
Kim Ha Na serves into the net.
Yu Yang’s serve is taken at knee-high by Jung, resulting in a mediocre drop from Wang that hits the bottom of the net, resulting in the Chinese player looking at the lights and claiming that was the reason for the poor shot.
Jung Kyung Eun flick serves down the line to Yu Yang, whilst the Chinese player watches the shuttle drop in before looking at the line judge for confirmation. The replay shows it was more than 3 inches in.
Jung serves to Wang, who pushes a full swing lift to the back which Kim soft drops back to the service line only for Yu Yang to half-push the shuttle into the middle of the net. The first boos ring out from the crowd at this point, with that being the longest rally of the match at 4 strokes.
Jung serves to Yu, who plays a knee-high lift to around three quarters deep into the Korean court whilst moving backwards resulting in a lazy drop from Kim landing in the middle of the net.
Wang serves to Kim, who plays an attacking push to the mid-court for a winner. Yu Yang looks to her partner whilst the Korean pair celebrate a winning point for the first time in the match.
Kim Ha Na is called for a service fault and offers a half-hearted motion of her service motion to the service judge.
Yu Yang serves into the net.
Jung serves to Yu, who drives the shuttle at Kim resulting in a drop return that clips the top of the cord that barely affects the shuttle but results in a push from Yu Yang going into the net.
Jung Kyung Eun is called for a service fault. She makes no attempt to contest the call.
Wang serves to Jung, who plays a knee-high lift deep into Yu Yang’s backhand corner. Yu plays a mid-court backhand clear into the centre of the court that Kim smashes into the middle of the net. Groans are heard throughout the arena.
Wang serves to Kim, who plays an flat lift almost off the carpet which Yu Yang looks certain to hit before realising just how far out the shot actually is.
Wang Xiaoli serves into the middle of the net. Ending the 3-point run of the Chinese pair.
Kim serves to Yu, who in a similar fashion to an earlier serve, plays a weak net shot that barely reaches the net. More whistles and jeers are heard.
Kim flicks Wang, who takes one step before lunging to dig-out a shot into the bottom of the net.
The mid-game interval shows the Korean coach complaining to the umpire about the Chinese “tactics” whilst the Chinese coaches spend around 15 seconds speaking to both players before returning to their chairs.
Kim Ha Na serves into the net.
Yu serves to Kim, who plays an attacking shot into the backhand rear corner of Wang, resulting in a weak drop to the middle of the court that Kim lifts out of the side of the court and lands on the carpet.
Yu Yang serves into the net. She shakes her head before firing the shuttle in between Jung’s legs to boos and jeers of the crowd.
Jung Kyung Eun serves into the net, whilst Yu Yang claims not to be ready for the serve. Jung Kyung Eun serves the next service – a flick serve out.
Wang Xiaoli serves into the net. It is at this point that the umpire finally gets involved, motioning all the players towards him to show his discontent at the match to date.
13-9 to 14-11
All four players take turns at serving into the net. The crowd have turned on both pairs, with sarcastic groans as well as general annoyance at the passage of play.
Kim Ha Na flicks her service out.
Yu Yang serves into the net. Yu Yang, as she had done for most of the first game begins a conversation with Wang Xiaoli who seemed the most bothered by what is transpiring on court.
At this point, one of the officials comes onto court to issue a warning to both players:
“We are here to play, to compete. If you don’t play, both teams can be disqualified, both teams can be disqualified and go out of the competition. Understand?”
.Jung serves to Wang, who for the first time in the match attacks a serve and hits a cross net winner. Cheers ring out from the crowd.
Wang Xiaoli serves into the net and promptly looks at her racket.
Expectations of more than a four shot rally are heightened, before Yu Yang hits a backhand shot that flies under the net. The Korean coach stands up and looks unimpressed.
Kim Ha Na serves off the carpet. The biggest boos of the match so far are heard.
Yu Yang serves into the net. Yet more boos are heard.
Hopes for another lengthy rally are quashed by Yu Yang’s drive flying into the net as the Chinese player seems to be instigating most of the tactics. The Chinese coaches look relaxed on their chairs as they watch the world number 1 pair face six game points.
Another four shot rally ends the opening game, with Wang pushing a shot into the top half of the net to ensure their defeat in the first game.
The first game interval sees the Korean coach sarcastically applaud Wang and Yu as he goes to speak to his players. The Chinese coaches spend 15 seconds conversing with Wang and Yu whilst the official reappears and threatens to disqualify both teams.
Both pairs appear back on court before the line judges have finished sweeping the court, almost a minute before the interval is over.
The second game is a more “competitive” contest, with the service faults disappearing and the average rally length almost tripling from the opening game. The Chinese lose the second game, with Yu Yang instigating most of the points that the world number 1 pairing lost.
The overall tone was one of a complete lack of care or respect at what they were doing and has put a black cloud over the rest of the competition.
Yu Yang later confirmed that their actions on course were to ensure an easier passage into the late rounds and that the pair had already qualified so there was no need to expend extra energy. It also meant that the Chinese pairs couldn’t meet until the final.
A second match was surrounded in controversy between Ha and Kim who took on Jauhari and Polii, with the winning pair set to take on Wang and Yu. Both pairs were black carded and were disqualified before being recinded and the 3rd seeded Ha and Kim won the match.
Tonight’s farce will almost ensure the end of group stages at major competitions, with the manipulation of the draw on show this evening. Several high-profile players have spoken out against the two matches, with some claiming that disqualification is the only option as given a similar situation the players would do it again and again.
The real loser tonight is badminton – it will make the headlines for all the wrong reasons as the competitions enters its knockout phase as the world’s elite pairings have somewhat successfully rigged a draw to ensure the possibility for gold and silver in certain events.
There were just 64 shots played in the opening game, with a passage of 9 consecutive service errors where the match referee was on court twice.
There are no winners tonight. Badminton must attempt to recover some pride in the remaining five days of play.
The group stages for the badminton were one of the first events to begin on Day 1 of the Olympics, with every player understanding that whilst the gold couldn’t be won today – any chance of winning it could be lost on the opening days play.
Session 1 – Heartbreak For GB & Denmark
Ahmad and Natsir began play on the opening day, with the 3rd seeds in the mixed doubles defeating V and Gutta of India in two games to start their campaign in the best possible way. Bae Yeon Ju survived an first game scare against Tee Jung Yi to win her match in three games whilst the current European champion pairing of Mateusiak and Zieba defeated Ikeda and Shiota for the first time to win their mixed doubles opener in Group B.
The second and third matches of the session brought the biggest surprises, with Maeda and Suetsuna defeating the Danish pair of Pedersen and Rytter Juhl to top Group D in the women’s doubles. The world silver medalists in the mixed doubles, Adcock and Bankier suffered a three game defeat to the Russian pair of Nikolaenko and Sorokina to make their qualification chances increasingly difficult, with a victory over Zhang and Zhao almost certainly needed to progress to the last 8.
Zhao Yunlei was on an adjacent court in her women’s doubles opener with Tian Qing, with the Chinese pair needing just two games to defeat the Hong Kong pair of Poon and Tse
Session 2 – No Problem For The Seeds
GB got their first victory of the day, with Susan Egelstaff defeating Maja Tvrdy in two games to make her match with Sayaka Sato all the more important. Cwalina and Logosz had the makings of a surprise against Ko and Yoo, before the Korean’s eventually found their form and won the match in three games.
Li Xuerui defeated Claudia Rivero easily to take top spot in Group L, whilst in the men’s singles Shon Wan Ho and Taufik Hidayat both won their opening group games, with Hidayat defeating Petr Koukal 21-8, 21-8 to signal his intend for the week ahead.
Ha and Kim won their Group C opener in the women’s doubles against the South African pair of Viljoen and Edwards whilst in Group D, Fujii and Kakiiwa defeated Gutta and Ponnappa to top Group B. The Group B mixed doubles has two Europeans in the qualfication spots, with Denmark’s Fischer Neilsen and Pedersen defeating Canada’s Ng and Gao to win their first match within the group.
Session 3 – Top Seeds Start Perfectly
Wang and Yu were never in any trouble in their Group A opener against Li and Bruce, winning in two games to top the group. Zhang and Zhao joined Nikolaenko and Sorokina at the top of Group A in the mixed doubles with an impressive two game victory over Fuchs and Michels.
The top three pairs in the men’s doubles, with Cai and Fu beginning their campaign and Smith and Warfe of Australia, headlined the session. The Chinese pair never looked in any danger as they defeated the world number 38 pairing in two games. The 2005 world champions – USA’s Bach and Gunawan, tested Lee and Chung in their Group D opener. The second seeded Korean’s progressed in two games to sit atop Group D with Koo and Tan.
Denmark recovered from their women’s doubles defeat with a pair of victories in the final session. Boe and Mogensen defeated the South African pair of James and Viljoen in two games to top Group C in the men’s doubles whilst in the men’s singles Jan O Jorgensen defeated Israel’s Misha Zilberman to top Group I, with a match with Derek Wong on Tuesday night to book his place in the last 16.
Day 1 Results: