Thursday, February 26, 2009

Maria to skip All England due to injury

Following the withdrawal of men's doubles pair Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan, women's singles shuttler Maria Kristin Yulianti has also decided to skip the All England Super Series due to injury.

"Maria will not go to this year's event. Her *right* knee injury has prevented her from playing," team manager Lilik Sudarwati said Wednesday on the sideline of the national squad's farewell ceremony at the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) training camp in Cipayung, East Jakarta.

The squad will depart for Birmingham on Friday. The All England, the world's oldest badminton tournament, will take place from March 3 to 8.

Maria, the 2008 Olympics bronze medallist, complained of a nagging pain in her right knee during training on Feb. 19. The pain subsided after intensive medical observation, but returned on Wednesday.

Earlier, Kido and Hendra, the 2008 Olympics gold medallists and world No. 2, pulled out of the tournament after Kido suffered a left knee injury.

With three of its top shuttlers out, Indonesia still has three men's doubles pairs (Yonatan Suryatama Dasuki/Rian Sukmana, Bona Septano/Mohammad Ahsan and Joko Riyadi/Candra Wijaya) and two women's singles players (Pia Zebadiah Bernadet and Adrianti Firdasari) for the tournament.

PBSI chairman Djoko Santoso expressed hope the national squad would perform its best.

"Just stay focused and play. I will be responsibility to the government and the public should we lose. But if we win, it will be the result of everyone's hard work," he said.

He added he had high hopes in the country's mixed doubles pair, world No. 1 and 2008 Olympics silver medallists Nova Widianto and Lilyana Natsir, saying, "I also hope we reach the final in the men's singles and women's doubles."

Two-time world champion Lilyana said she would not let the high expectations pressure her.

"I will let the game flow and stay focused in each match. It's what we always do at every tournament, especially in a major like the All England," she said.

During their career, Lilyana and Nova have reached two semifinals and one final at the 110-year-old All England.

In the men's singles, Indonesia will rely on world No. 5 Sony Dwi Kuncoro, world No. 7 Taufik Hidayat, world No. 10 Simon Santoso and unseeded Tommy Sugiarto. It will be the first campaign for Taufik, the 2004 Olympic champion, after he resigned from the national training camp last month.

World No. 8 women's doubles pair Shendy Puspa Irawati/Meiliana Jauhari and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii will also be competing at the tournament.

Clark & Kellogg to face Robertson & Wallwork in Yonex All England draw

THE luck of the draw deserted England’s two big hopes for the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham from February March 3-8.
THE luck of the draw deserted England’s two big hopes for the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham from February March 3-8.

Just two days after helping Team England win the silver medal at the European Team Championship at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England’s European champions and fourth seeds Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg, the 2007 runners-up, were drawn against their team-mates, 2005 champion Nathan Robertson and new partner Jenny Wallwork, in the first round of the mixed doubles.

And the winners could face another England pair in teenage stars Chris Adcock and Gabby White in the second round.

On top of that Anglo-Scottish pair Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier, who are the seventh seeds, must take on England’s world No 16 pair David Lindley and Suzanne Rayappan in the first round.

But it wasn’t only England who were out of luck. Three-times champion Lin Dan is on course to meet his team-mate Bao Chunlai in the second round of the men’s singles if the world and Olympic champion overcomes a qualifier and Bao beats Dutchman Eric Pang in the opening round of the men’s singles. China’s third seed Chen Jin, who beat Lin Dan in last year’s final, starts his title defence against Japan’s Kenichi Tago.

Andrew Smith, the hero of England’s valiant bid to beat Denmark on Sunday with his win over world No. 6 Joachim Persson, is the only home player in the main draw of the men’s singles and he faces India’s Chetan Anand in the first round.

Two-time English National champion Rajiv Ouseph and runner-up Carl Baxter both have to qualify. Ouseph faces Ireland’s Scott Evans while Baxter meets India’s Anand Pawar, who beat him in the Bank of Scotland quarter-finals in Novermber before Ouseph defeated the Indian player in the final.

In the women’s singles Jersey’s Elizabeth Cann is the only English player in the main draw and she faces a tough opener against seventh seed Wang Lin of China. Scotland’s Commonwealth bronze medallist Susan Hughes will face a qualifier. English National champion Jill Pittard meets Finland’s third qualifying seed Anu Nieminen in the first round of qualifying.

In the men’s doubles Clark and Robertson are seeded eighth and face a tricky opener against Korea’s Han Sang Hoon and Hwang Ji Man. England have three other pairs in the main draw with Chris Adcock and Robert Blair in the same quarter as Clark and Robertson. Adock and Blair face Simon Mollyhus and Anders Kristiansen of Denmark in their opening match.

Lindley and Chris Langridge will fancy their chances against Dutch pair Jorrit De Ruiter and Jurgen Wouters but Andrew Eidestedt and Andrew Ellis face a tough time against Malaysian third seeds Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, the 2007 champions.

In the women’s doubles Wallwork and Gabby White face Malaysians Goh Liu Ying and Ng Hui Lin while England also have a second pair through to the main draw in Heather Olver and Samantha Ward, who take on Japan’s Fujii Mizuki and Reika Kakiiwa.

The entry for the 99th Yonex All England Open championship is one of the strongest on record and tournament director Darren Parks is urging fans to book early. “We have a terrific entry,” he said. “It is like a Who’s Who of current world stars.”

Tickets are available from or call 0844 444 9994. Don’t forget tickets are available for the qualifying rounds on Tuesday March 3 as well as the main draw.


YONEX ALL ENGLAND Preview - All the Best to Birmingham

The world of badminton is in the midst of the perennial big awards season where winners’ names become etched in hallowed history and the memories of winning are more special than anywhere else for competitor and spectator. For music, it was the Grammies 10 days ago; for the movies, it's the Oscars this weekend; and in badminton, it is the 2009 Yonex All England Badminton Championships, which begin on March 3 in Birmingham.

By Aaron Wong, Badzine Correspondent. Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)
First Impressions

The draw is overflowing, unlike the most recent Super Series in Korea. There will be several high profile casualties in the opening rounds: namely Peter Gade or Simon Santoso, Lin Dan or Bao Chunlai, and Saina Nehwal or Pi Hongyan.

The red army is back! Their racquets will have something to say about a new world order in which exists a Danish world #1 in women’s singles, and Taiwanese as women’s doubles world #1. And, Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng are reunited in men’s doubles after successfully playing in new partnerships at their last Super Series outings.

China's women’s singles line up demonstrates that their regeneration of players program in this category is a success as all their youngsters are in the main draw and dark horses no less. The large cast from each badminton powerhouse nation shows their succession plans are underway too.

India, a second-tier badminton nation, have begun to focus their energies in recent months and, thus, produced players that appear in the main draw in all except men’s doubles in the very year that they will host the World Championships in Hyderabad. It is an achievement worth mentioning. It is worrying that their top singles talents Chetan Anand, for men's, and Saina Nehwal, for women's, will arrive at the All England having pulled out of their national championships owing to injury.

Men’s Singles: Not Unable to Fulfill Vow

Fresh lofty vows need to be proclaimed now that the Olympics are spoken for. In badminton, two vows which grow more famous as they do longstanding: Peter Gade wants to be World Champion; and Taufik Hidayat's untiring desire for an All England crown, the solitary major title missing on his shelf.

"This year, I plan to play in at least eight of the 10 Super Series events. Winning the All England and Swiss Super Series will definitely be my short-term goals," the Indonesian told the Jakarta Post last month.

So can Hidayat do it this time? The men’s singles draw is the toughest so far this year. The three Indonesians are in the same half of the draw along with Peter Gade and world #1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia. The three top Chinese (all former world #1’s) feature in the bottom half and will cancel one another out as early as the second round and ultimately by the semi-finals, which are odds on to be Lin Dan, Olympic champion, versus Chen Jin, the defending champion and 3rd seed.

Desire is what humans need to achieve great things. Never mind so much that Hidayat arrives with this as his first tournament for 2009, having had 2 months to mend an injured wrist, and once again after recently going independent from his National Federation PBSI. The answer is that, given his quality in the last year, he is not unable to reach the final. The bigger question is would a Taufik Hidayat final be third time lucky? A decade of experience chalked up since his first All England final and his pent-up desire ought to make a difference.

Women’s Singles - When the Unstoppable Spear Meets the Unbreakable Shield

Should Tine Rasmussen, the defending champion and world #1, retain her title it would be 3 Super Series victories in row in 2009. In fact, three former queens of the All England court will do battle including Zhou Mi (photo, right) of Hong Kong, and three-time champion Xie Xingfang leads 5 comrades into battle.

What happens when an Asian Champion meets (Jiang Yanjiao) a World Champion (Zhu Lin) in the first round? Every one of the Chinese ladies is highly decorated in her own right and, therefore, a big occasion player. Any one of them is capable of toppling her teammate. In the aftermath of the Olympics, China has pitted its entire premier team in the same event to assess current potential. In light of this, the ladies are aware that this is a fresh test to prove their worth and previous accolades or legacy do not count. All six of them walking away without the prize would definitely be something for the rest of us to talk about.

It is tough to pick a race winner this early because we have not seen these Chinese players in action for months. Based on the draw, Xie has a better than even chance but she is prone to not finding her rhythm in the middle of a competition. Look out for the young, vibrant and tall Wang Lin as the real threat to Rasmussen in the top quarter of the draw.

Men’s Doubles: Mix and Match

It is a pity that the current world #1’s Jung Jae Sung / Lee Yong Dae have no opportunity to consolidate their ranking or defend their title as Jung has compulsory military service. The men’s doubles has been won by a different pair every other year this decade and so it will be once more. The seeded players are set to make the greatest impact. The exciting pair on the rise are Korea Open winners Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen as well as the rejuvenated Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong combination from Malaysia.

Lee Yong Dae will partner Shin Baek Cheol in a partnership of World Junior Champions from 2006 and 2007 that will appear as the 6th seeds. The trend of not having your usual partner continues with Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach, former World Champions, reteaming. Gunawan's best friend Candra Wijaya teams with Joko Riyadi. Logic prevails and the All England is to be commended for its sensible seeding policy. It wasn't that many years ago when top ten players who were split into new pairings and left unseeded still made it to the semis and finals.

Women’s Doubles: Rematch?

The most celebrated figure this century at the All England is missing. Gao Ling, the 6-time women’s doubles champion and 4-time mixed doubles champion, is currently an independent player and the national team takes priority at major tournaments. Most of us would trade her recent Malaysia and Korea SS appearances for an All England one.

The women’s doubles final could be a rematch of last year's All England (or the Olympic Final) as Lee Kyung Won / Lee Hyo Jung and Du Jing / Yu Yang are in either half of the draw. Both pairs are well rehearsed for long enough and are the outstanding ones still playing together at this level. The top Malaysians Chin Eei Hui / Wong Pei Tty , who held the world #1 spot briefly at the beginning of the year, are sobre in their self assessment.

"We are still not the top pair, as Du Jing / Yu Yang and other Chinese pairs haven't been regularly playing on the international circuit," Eei Hui told the New Straits Times. "Our aim is to do better when the top pairs from China are playing as this is where our ability will be gauged."

Mixed Doubles: The New Frontier

In mixed doubles, 5 local pairs meet early on and Donna Kellogg/Anthony Clark should be one of the pairs to emerge from the second round scrum. Kamilla Rytter Juhl / Thomas Laybourn are on the ascent in terms of confidence and will be looking to translate the feeling into their first Super Series tournament in a while after clinching the Super Series finals.

Malaysian level doubles specialists have earmarked mixed doubles as an untapped market for their talents. Three pairs are in qualification including Wong Pei Tty / Mohd Fairuzizuan, whilst Ng Hui Lin / Koo Kien Keat start in the main field. It will be interesting to see where this initiative leads. The surprise is seeing former men’s doubles All England winner Halim Haryanto popping up in a different event after years away from major tournaments, and now representing the USA instead of Indonesia.

Notable Absences

Jung Jae Sung/Lee Yong Dae, MD world #1, Korea.
Wang Chen, WS, world #4, Hong Kong.
Vita Marissa, WD world#5 & MX. Indonesia.
Park Sung Hwan, MS world #8. Korea.
Wong Mew Choo, WS world #12. Malaysia.
Nguyen Tien Minh, MS world #15. Vietnam.
Peter Mikkelsen, MS. Denmark. Recent nationals finalist
Wang Chen, WS. Hong Kong. Recent SS Masters finalist.

The All England Attraction

The break from the Chinese players and their imminent return helps the rest of the field appreciate the space in the sport filled by them. This is looking at the players purely as talented individuals or names that we miss rather than as China. The thing about competition is you want to be competitive. Professional sportspeople embrace competition and variety, and opponents who bring out the best in them. It benefits all concerned that all the top players can participate.

The All England is the brightest (Super Series) spot on the badminton calendar and it is excellent there has been unanimous agreement by way of turn out.

Monday, February 16, 2009

EUROPEANS – Demark Champions but only just!!

Denmark retained their European crown at the Echo Arena in Liverpool this evening but only after been taken right to the wire by a determined English team. In a surprise turn of events Denmark lost both the mixed doubles and men’s singles to trail the English by two matches only to turn it around by winning the remaining three matches to claim the title by 3 matches to two

By Mark Phelan. Photos: (live in Liverpool)

Denmark entered the arena today as strong favourites to retain the title they won in Herning last year and it was a foolish man that would have bet against them. In fact one eminent commentator said it was theirs to loose and in some respects they did there best to do just that early on.

Denmark fielded the world number six pair of Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christina Pedersen in the first mixed doubles match after using Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl in yesterday’s semi final. The Danes were up against top English pair and veterans of the Super Series tour, Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg. The English pair stormed into an early lead as they left the Danes in their dust as they sprinted to a 21-10 win in the opening set. In the second set the Danes seemed to find their rhythm as they never let the English out of their sights as both sides traded point for point for the bulk of the set. At 21-20 to the Danes it appeared that they might have the edge to take the game to a deciding rubber but the English had other ideas and rattled off 3 points without reply to take the set and the match 2-0.

Next up was the men’s singles and many felt that world number 6 Joachim Persson had the game to leave Andrew Smith (photo up) in his wake. Smith obviously thriving on the atmosphere in the stadium controlled the opening set to win 21-16 in a game that he was never headed. In the second set Persson had his chances and at 18-15 looked like taking the English number one to a third set. Smith then won the next five points to set up match point at 20-18 and even though Persson managed one more point Smith wrapped up the match to send the crowd wild and to give the home nation an unexpected 2-0 lead in this best of 5 final.

Tine Rasmussen then appeared on court and as Denmark’s banker it was clear she was in no mood to let her lower ranked opponent get into the match and get the crowd on her side. In a match that lasted only 25 minutes Rasmussen eased to a 21-14 21-10. Only once did the great Dane ever surrender the lead in this match and that was when Cann went 1-0 up at the beginning of the second set. What a player to have on your team and with her win brought her Denmark team back into the overall match at 2-1 to England.

In the men’s doubles the Danes fielded the in form pairing of Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen They were up against the English might of Clark and Robertson and one felt that this match was to be the key if either side were going to claim victory. This was an excellent match that had it all, drama, excitement and some tremendous badminton from some of the world’s best exponents. The Danes took the opening set 21-17 but the wily English battled back to level with a 21-16 win in the second. In the deciding rubber it was the Danes who held their nerve to keep the English in their rear view mirror for the entire set as they took the game 21-15 and in doing so levelled the overall match score 2-2 to send the match down to the wire.

The final match of this European championships would be fought out between Jenny Wallwork and Donna Kellogg for England and Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Marie Ropke for Denmark. In the first set the Danes seized the initiative when going to a 6 point winning streak to take a 18-11 lead and from that there was no recovery for the English. The second set continued in much the same mould as the previous with the Danes etching out a slender 6-3 lead early on. The Danes were now growing in confidence and both Ropke and Rytter Juhl’s calm demeanour on court was never going to be threatened by the partisan crowd. The Danes continued to press home their advantage and bit by bit frustrated the English pair to the point at 18-11 no one could envisage any way back for the new English pairing. The Danes wrapped up the game with a 21-15 win and with it the title as European Champions yet again.

“I'm so disappointed because we’d been 2-0 up in the match but just couldn’t finish them off.We hadn't played the Danish girls before but we knew it was going to be tough.“Kamilla Juhl is number one in the world at mixed and the plan was to try and play on the younger girl (Marie Roepke) but they were too strong. It's been a hard week, especially for Donna who has had to play two events on the same day. Personally, I’ve been pleased as myself and Nathan Robertson have started to gel as a pair and we had a good victory over the Ukrainians so there’s plenty to be positive about going into the All England Championships in Birmingham next month.” Wallwork told the Bolton News after her heartbreaking defeat

In what was an amazing tournament played at an amazing venue it is truly fitting that best team throughout the week should claim the ultimate prize. That prize as gold in the European Championships will be taken back to Denmark yet again as once again the Danish set the benchmark for everyone else to follow. England too can be proud of their achievements as they continue to develop ahead of the 2012 Olympics and congratulations to Poland and Russia who claimed historic bronze medals for their nations.


In an epic semi-final played in the afternoon session England beat Poland in the final set of the final match to set up the mouth-watering tie everyone wants to see with reigning champions Denmark in tomorrow’s final. Elizabeth Cann turned the tide in England’s favour as she fought back from a set down to beat Kamila Augustyn which acted as a catalyst for team England as they went on to win the tie 3-2.

By Mark Phelan. Photos: (Live in Liverpool)

England certainly knew they were in a battle today as they took to the court against a Polish team who had reached this semi final stage without causing a fuss. From the outset this turned out to be a battle royal. In the opening mixed doubles the experience of world number three pairing of Clark and Kellogg had too much in their locker for Logosz and Pocztowiak in two straight sets.

Przemyslaw Wacha restored parity as he overcame the stubborn challenge of Andrew Smith. Wacha took the opening set with apparent ease 21-11 but had to call on all his experience to finally kill of the match with a 22-20 win in the second to level the match at 1 match apiece.

Eliabeth Cann was next up for England and needed to improve on the form that had seen her lose her previous two women’s singles matches in these championships. Cann was certainly under pressure to deliver today and in true Elizabeth Cann fashion she did just that. Things started terribly for the English number 1 as she lost the first set 21-11. In the second set she bounced back to level the match with a sublime display of controlled badminton to allow her opponent only 4 points in the entire game. Cann finished the job in the third, to rapturous home support, as she destroyed Kamila Augustyn 21-9. England now had a slender lead and were in no mood to surrender it lightly.

England were confident that they could wrap up the match in the men’s doubles but Clark and Robertson failed to sparkle to allow Logosz and Mateusiak cruise to an easy two set win 21-18 21-12 to take the match into the deciding game.

Who would win? Who would have the mental reserve and determination to take their team through to the final? The answers to these questions lay in the hands and hearts of the final two pairings Donna Kellogg and Jenny Wallwork of England and Kamila Augustyn and Malgorzata Kurdelska of Poland. It was the English who set the pace in the match by taking the opening set 21-12 but the Polish pair came right back in the second set to win 21-17 to take the tie and match into the final set of the final game. At 5-5 the home support were on the edge of their sets but Kellogg and Wallwork seemed to find an additional gear and pulled clear to eventually take the set 21-12 and with it a place in the final against Denmark.

Tomorrow’s final takes place at 2pm local time and while Denmark are clear favourites the English team are sure to have an extra man on their team in the form of the home support.

EUROPEAN Semi Finals – Rasmussen Unleashed

Denmark flexed their European muscles today at the European Championships as they destroyed Russia 3-0 to book their spot in tomorrows final. For the first time this week Tine Rasmussen was introduced in the women’s singles and after a slow start against Ella Diehl the world number one kicked into overdrive to signal that the sharp end of the tournament has well and truly begun.

By Mark Phelan. Photos: (Live in Liverpool)

As if we were in any doubt that the team to beat this week are Denmark, in today’s semi final the Danes fielded an awesome team which had people talking and discussing for hours before play even commenced as to how Russia would ever break them down. All the talk and all the discussion proved pointless as Denmark coasted to an easy semi final win over a shell-shocked Russia.
Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl made their first appearance as a pair in this years event and the world number 5 pairing expended little energy in handing Denmark a 1-0 lead as they happily disposed of Vitaly Durkin and Nina Vislova 21-13 21-16. All this achieved with Joachim Fischer Neilsen and Christinna Pedersen watching from the sidelines. What a luxury to have the world number 6 pair in reserve if needed.
Joachim Persson made his first appearance since his shock defeat to Pablo Abian in the first qualifying match and this time the Dane was in no mood for extended three set battles. Persson took just 25 minutes to quell the advances of Ivan Sozonov 21-14 21-12 to give coach Kenneth Jonassen a massive headache as to whom he selects for the final tomorrow. Jan O Jorgensen has, without doubt, done his part for the Danish cause this week and is sure to be in Jonassens mind. Will Gade appear for the final? Who knows, but one thing is for sure whoever plays will more than likely start as favourite.
In the women’s singles today Denmark unleashed the force that is Tine Rasmussen on the Echo Arena. The world number 1 looked a bit rusty to start with and at 11-4 down in the opener the crowd sensed a shock on the cards. Even a 7 point lead is obviously not enough against a player who is at the summit of the world game as Rasmussen clawed her way back into the opening set to tie the game at 16-16. At this point her opponent Ella Diehl appeared to admit defeat as Rasmussen just coasted over the line to take the opening set 21-18. The second set was over in a blink of an eye as Rasmussen went on a 10 point winning streak to take a 15-3 lead. There was never going to be anyway back for Diehl at that point and Rasmussen just went into freewheel mode as she took the game 21-7 and with it a place in tomorrows final for her and her Danish team mates.

“Our team is feeling very good and we were ready for today’s game. We knew we had a better team than Russia but we were aware that they had some very good players and we needed to get the job done. Kamilla and Thomas were excellent in the mixed and Joachim Persson played vey well today in the men’s singles to give us a good lead. Tine needed a set to settle but after that she played to her best” said Marie Ropke after her team’s semi final win today

The Russians celebrated at the end as a bronze medal for them is a first in this European badminton team event. The Danes progress to the final, as was expected, and have clearly only one thing on their minds…. GOLD!!!

EUROPEANS – Germany and Russia go the distance!!

Quarter finals day at the Echo Arena in Liverpool and all eyes were on court 1 as the home English team attempted to book their place in tomorrow’s semi finals. Meanwhile at the opposite end of the arena Germany and Russia played out the match of the day which went right down to the wire.
By Mark Phelan. Photos: (Live in Liverpool)

All the talk around the fantastic Echo Arena on quarter finals day was centred on England and their attempt to take another step in their efforts to make Sunday’s final at the European Team Championships. However, the most open match of the day was always going to be Germany V Russia and as predicted it lived up to its billing as Russia came through in the final women’s doubles match to win 3-2.
The match turned out to be a doubles versus singles game as Germany’s superior singles capabilities were always going to be to strong for Russia. The opening match went the way of the Russians as Valeria Sorokina and Alexander Nikolaenko took little time in beating Birgit Overzier and Johannes Schoettler 21-11, 21-13. The Germans then bounced back to take both the men’s and women’s singles as the cow bells rang around the stadium from the boisterous German support. Marc Zwiebler was first to level the overall match as he beat Vladimir Malkov 21-9 21-13 and Juliane Schenk followed with a 21-14 21-19 win over Ella Diehl to give the Germans a 2-1 match lead. Alexander Nikolaenko and Vitaly Durkin levelled the match in a tight men’s doubles game as they beat Ingo Kindervater and Michael Fuchs 21-17 21-19. Russia completed the 3-2 win when experienced women’s doubles pair of Valeria Sorokina and Nina Vislova beat the crack pairing of Xu Huaiwen and Birgit Overzier to book their place in tomorrows semi final.

The Russian will now meet Denmark in the semi final as the tournament favourites were taken to the fourth game before finally seeing off a very young French team. Jan O Jorgensen started well for Denmark by beating Brice Leverdez 21-13 21-14. France bounced back in the women’s singles as world number 5 Pi Hongyan defeated Nanna Brosolat Jensen 21-9 21-9. Brosolat Jensen appeared disappointed after the game but her epic wins earlier in the week have helped the Danish team reach this stage and she can, without doubt, be proud of her weeks work to date. Denmark finished off a professional days work with wins in the men’s and women’s doubles as Boe and Mogensen beat Careme and Labar 21-16, 21-11 and Ropke and Rasmussen defeated Choinet and Rahmawati 21-12 21-13.

England defeated Ukraine on the TV court 3-1 with wins in the men’s doubles, men’s singles (Andrew Smith, pictured here had to go all the way to three games) and mixed doubles. Andrew Smith was taken to three sets in his singles match to give England a valuable 2-0 lead before Larissa Griga consigned Liz Cann to her second defeat in two days in straight sets 21-15 21-19. England wrapped up the match with a win in the men’s doubles with an easy 21-14 21-12 win.
Poland continued their march to a medal with a 3-1 win over The Netherlands. Wacha struggled in three sets against Eric Pang which proved to be the turning point in an eventful match. Polands lack of competitiveness is sure to be their Achilles heel if they are to secure a medal as yet again they failed to deliver in the women’s individual event.

Friday, February 13, 2009

EUROPEANS – Quarter finals line up decided

Marc Zwiebler, Germany

Elizabeth Cann

The evening session on the final day of the round robin stages of this years European Team Championships drew few surprises as all 8 seeds booked their place in tomorrow’s quarter finals. Denmark were first to show their true colours as they whitewashed a young Irish team 5-0 to top group 1. England and Germany duly followed with Susan Hughes supplying the only ray of light in the battle of Britain in beating Elizabeth Cann in three sets.

By Mark Phelan (Live) Photos: (Live in Liverpool)
Denmark took to the court this evening fielding almost a full strength team against Ireland and in doing so dented some Irish pride as the Danes sailed into the quarter final with a somewhat easy 5-0 win. Joachim Persson refuelled his confidence tank after his defeat yesterday with a 21-13 21-18 win over Scott Evans. Nanna Brosolat Jensen, playing her 3rd match in two days, saw off a resurgent Chloe Magee but had to fight hard in her 24-22 21-15 victory over the Irish number 1. Boe and Mogensen came together for the first time this tournament and cruised to a 2 set win over Irish national champions Gleave and Magee in the men’s doubles. Roepke and Pedersen followed their team mates and in just 16 minutes claimed a 21-8 21-8 win over Sinead Chambers and Donna Scott. Denmark completed the rout as the experienced duo of Laybourn and Rytter Juhl defeated a visibly jaded Evans and Magee 21-11 21-19 after the Irish pair had given all for their country this week.
“In the first set I was in control at 15-4 but relaxed to much and mentally was not there so I became angry instead of enjoying the game. I just injected a little bit more speed into my game then and I managed to win. I was really great for me to win the three games I played in this week” Brosolat Jensen commented after her win over Magee.

Poland never looked in trouble against Bulgaria in the top of the table group 6 match as they cruised to a 4-1 win but are sure to be worried about their continued lack of prowess in the women’s singles department. Once again the Poles lost the discipline as Linda Zechiri beat Anna Narel in two sets. Poland now play number 5 seeds The Netherlands in tomorrows quarter final. Germany coasted to a 5-0 win over former champions Sweden but were pushed the distance in both the Men’s singles and the women’s doubles. In the quarter final the Germans will play Russia who beat Belarus earlier in the day to top group 4.

The anticipated final between Denmark and England is still on course as the English beat near neighbours Scotland 4-1 in an entertaining match on court 2. The English didn’t have it all their own way as Susan Hughes kept the Scots in the game with a 3 set win over Elizabeth Cann in the 3rd match on court. Clark and Robertson took three sets to finally see off the challenge of Briggs and Bowman before Donna Kellogg and Jenny Wallwork beat Jillie Cooper and Imogen Bankier in two sets.
“It was great to get this win today and was made all the more sweet given the fact it was against England” said Susan Hughes after her win
Elsewhere Spain Beat Slovenia to take third spot in group 1 and Czech Republic defeated Wales in the bottom of the table clash in group 8.

All Results can be found HERE.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

EUROPEANS – Ireland and Spain steal the show.

In this mornings session Russia defeated Belarus to claim the top spot in group 4 and advance to the quarter final where they will meet the winners of the Germany V Sweden in Group 3. Ukraine topped group 7 to set up a potential ¼ final against England and Denmark stamped their authority on group 1 with an easy win over Slovenia while in the same group Ireland and Spain fought out a titanic battle in a match that lasted 3 hours 35 minutes on court number 5.

By Mark Phelan (Live) Photos: (Live in Liverpool)

Russia are the first team to progress to the quarter finals as they defeated their nearest rivals in group 4 Belarus 5-0. After stuttering in the opening set of the opening match Ekaterina Aninina and Ivan Sozonov composed their nerves to take the remaining sets and the game to give Russia a 1-0 lead. The rest of the Russian team capitalized on the good work of their opening mixed doubles as Russia won the remaining 4 matches without dropping a set to move untroubled into the quarter final.

Ukraine were hot on the heels of the Russians as they booked their quarter final spot with a 4-1 win over Iceland. After beating Italy and Hungary 5-0 it was not until the very last match that Ukraine dropped their very first point of the tournament as they failed in their effort to capture a three in a row 5-0 whitewash.

Denmark continued on their merry way with a 5-0 win over group 1 outsiders Slovenia. In the process the Danes blooded Jan O Jorgensen (photo top left) in the men’s singles and introduced world number 1 Tine Rasmussen albeit in the unfamiliar position as partner to Marie Ropke in the women’s doubles. Jorgensen captured the first men’s singles point for Denmark after the defeat of Joachim Persson yesterday. The Danish world number 34 beat Luka Petric 21-13 21-11 in the opening match. Nanna Brosolat Jensen won her second match in two days but had to fight hard against Slovenia premier women’s singles player Maja Tvrdy.

“I felt really good on court and I really like this hall as in some ways it is great preparation for the upcoming All England’s. I probably need to get on track again after my poor performance at the nationals so this win has been important to me for that reason. We are playing well as a team and we are motivated to win this tournament as anything less would be a disaster” commented Jorgensen after his debut win

Without doubt the game of the session was Ireland and Spain as their marathon match went right down to the wire as all but 1 game went to three sets. Pablo Abian and Scott Evans served up a badminton delight that lasted an hour. Evans took the first set 21-15 but Abian, spurred on by his victory over Joachim Persson yesterday, fought back to take the second and third 21-19 21-19 to give Spain a slender lead. Anything Abian could do Chloe Magee could do as she also fought back from a set down to take the women’s singles in the deciding set. In the men’s doubles Evans and Sam Magee teamed up to blast past Pablo Abian and Carlos Longo in two 21-8 21-17 and Spain immediately bounced back to take the women’s doubles again in another three set battle. The tie now hung in the balance with only the mixed doubles up for grabs. With all other matches over on the 5 adjoining courts the brother sister duo of Sam and Chloe Magee (photo right) pitted their skills against Spanish pair Carlos Longo and Haidee Ojeda. The Spanish took the opening set 21-16 but the Irish battled back into the game with a 21-12 win in the second. The final set was a cliff-hanger as both pairs battled with their countries pride on there sleeves and with the attention of the whole stadium firmly fixed on the final few points it was the Irish, at 20-20, who seized the initiative and took the next two points to claim an historic victory for the small Island nation.

“This is amazing for Ireland and amazing for our young team. We have such a great team spirit going and to win that third set in that final match was as about as good as I have ever felt on a badminton court. There is such an amazing buzz within this squad and now we can go and enjoy the game against Denmark later and who knows what might happen” said an elated Chloe Magee after her epic doubles win in this mornings match

Results Day 2 European Mixed Team Championships ’09 Pablo Abian Makes A History

24 years old player from Spain, Pablo Abian succeed to make a history and the biggest upset of yesterday’s match. Against Denmark #2, Joachim Persson, Pablo played tactics and effectively before winning rubber set match, 21-19, 19-21, 21-18 for more than two hours. Eight country who will booking tickets to quarterfinal also could be predictable now.

Group 2 :

France vs Cyprus 5-0
MS : Matthieu Lo Ying Ping beat Charis Charalambous 21-8, 21-8.
WS : Barbara Mathias beat Dometia Ioannou 21-7, 21-14.
MD : Sylvain Grosjean/Laurent Constantin beat Charis Charalambous/Vasilis Vasou 21-11, 21-15.
WD : Weny Rahmawati/Pi Hongyan beat Maria Ioannau/Dometia Ioannau 21-12, 21-13.
XD : Baptiste Carame/Laura Choinet beat Vasilis Vasou/Maria Ioannau 21-19, 21-14.

France playing clever strategy when put Pi Hongyan in Women’s Doubles. Pi replacing Elodie Eymard and partnering with Weny. Most of France players are ‘new comer’ and need more experience.

Switzerland vs Portugal 3-2
XD : Anthony Dumartheray/Sabrina Jaquet lost from Alexandro Paixao/Telma Santos 21-14, 17-21, 18-21.
MS : Christian Bosiger lost from Pedro Martins 17-21, 20-22.
WS : Jeanine Cicognini beat Telma Santos 21-13, 16-21, 21-9.
MD : Christian Bosinger/Anthony Dumartheray beat Alexandre Paixao/Gil Marthins 17-21, 21-17, 21-12.
WD : Jeanine Cicognini/Sabrina Jaquet beat Helena Pestana/Ana Reis 21-14, 21-14.

What a great comeback from Switzerland after went down 0-2 from Portugal. Thanks to Jeanine whose not effected by previous results and played very well in her singles and doubles matches. Bosi finally gave 1 point to Switzerland when partnering with Anthony in doubles sector.

Switzerland vs Cyprus 5-0
XD : Anthony Dumartheray/Sabrina Jaquet beat Vasou/Maria Ioannau 21-13, 21-9.
MS : Livio Dorizzi beat Charis Charalambous 21-15, 21-12.
WS : Monika Fischer beat Dometia Ioannau 21-18, 22-20.
MD : Christian Bosinger/Anthony Dumartheray beat Charis Charalambous/Vasilis Vasou 21-16, 21-16.
WD : Jeanine Cicognini/Sabrina Jaquet beat Dometia Ioannau/Maria Ioannau 21-15, 21-8.

Switzerland finallay swept away 5 points in their 2nd match yesterday against Cyprus. Jeanine and Bosi take a rest from their singles and let their younger palyers, Livio and Monika gets more experiences.

France vs Portugal 4-1
XD : Baptiste Careme/Laura Choinet beat Alexandre Paixao/Telma Santos 21-14, 21-17
MS : Brice Laverdez lost from Pedro Martins 19-21, 21-11, 13-21
WS : Pi Hongyan beat Telma Santos 21-13, 21-7
MD : Baptiste Careme/Sylvain Grosjean beat Alexandro Paixao/Gil Martins 21-13, 21-16
WD : Laura Choinet/Weny Rahmawati beat Helena Pestana/Ana Reis 21-7, 21-7

In the afternoon session, Pi just play once in singles and lets Laura Choinet replaced her job in doubles. Brice seems little bit tired when he has to play 3rd set and gave his point to Pedro Martins

Group 6 :

Bulgaria vs Lithuania 4-1
MS : Blagovest Kisyov lost from Kestutis Navickas 21-10, 21-10
WS : Petya Nedelcheva beat Akville Stapusaityte 21-11, 21-8
MD : Julian Hristov/Krasimir Yankov beat Klaudijus Kasinskis/Kestusis Navickas 21-11, 21-14
WD : Petya Nedelcheva/Dimtria Popstoykova beat Kristina Dovydaityte/Akvile Stapusaityte 20-22, 21-12, 21-12
XD : Stiliyan Makarsi/Diana Dimova beat Ramunas Stapusaitis/Ligita Zukauskaite 21-12, 21-17

The semiquarterfinalist, Kestusis Navickas showed off his talent when he successfully stole 1 point from Bulgaria. But two Bulgarian whose has more experience, Petya and Diana secured other 3 points and wrapped up quarterfinal ticket.

Poland vs Finland 4-1
XD : Robert Mateusiak/Kamilla Augustyn beat Tuomas Nuorteva/Noora Virta 21-18, 21-6
MS : Przemyslaw Wacha beat Ville Lang 21-7, 25-23
WS : Natalia Pocztowiak lost from Anu Nieminen 21-17, 21-19
MD : Michal Logosz/Robert Mateusiak beat Mikko Vikman/Tuomas Nuorteva 21-10, 21-9
WD : Kamilla Augustyn/Malgorzata Kurdelska beat Noora Virta/Sanni Rautala 21-11, 21-12

The 32 round Olympic player, Anu Nieminen succeed give 1 point to her country. But Wacha seems too strong for another Olympic player from Finland, Ville Lang although he can forced Wacha with 3 match point in set 2.

Group 1 :

Denmark vs Spain 4-1
MS : Joachim Persson lost from Pablo Abian 19-21, 21-19, 18-21
WS : Nanna Brosolat Jensen beat Beatriz Corrales 21-13, 21-13
MD : Thomas Laybourn/Carsten Mogensen beat Carlos Longo/Eliecer Ojeda 21-7, 21-11
WD : Kamilla Rytter Juhl/Marie Roepke beat Carolina Marin/Ana Ma Martin 21-15, 21-14
XD : Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen beat Haidee Ojeda/Elecer Ojeda 21-9, 21-10

Pablo succeed to make his history when he beats Denmark # 2 MS, Joachim Persson. After suffereing for 2 hours tight match, Pablo celebrate his winning which is the only point for Spain. Nuller whose usual partnering with Boe now having another edge with Thomas when Kamilla stopped playing for a while with Lena Frier whose gets injury and try to play with another doubles player, Marie Roepke.

Ireland vs Slovenia 3-2
XD : Sam Magee/Chloe Magee beat Luka Petric/Spela Silvester 21-18, 17-21, 21-15
MS : Scott Evans beat Iztok Utrosa 21-12, 21-8
WS : Chloe Magee lost from Maja Tvrdy 15-21, 17-21
MD : Scott Evans/Sam Magee beat Iztok Utrosa/Luka Petric 21-12, 21-19
WD : Sinead Chambers/Dona Scott lost from Spella Silvester/Maja Tvrdy 18-21, 11-21

The 32 round Olimpyc player, Maja Tvrdy had great performance yesterday and stoles 2 points for Slovenia. But in the men side, two Ireland Scott Evans and Sam Magee are too strong for Slovenian. Those two finally won 3 points which put their victory over Slovenia.

Group 4 :

Russian vs Norway 5-0
XD : Vitaly Durkin/Nina Vislova beat Matz Menkin/Mari Helena 21-6, 21-8
MS : Vladimir Malkov beat Jonas Christensen 21-7, 21-8
WS : Ella Diehl beat Sara Kverno 21-10, 21-12
MD : Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov beat Jonas Christensen/Maz Menkin 21-6, 21-14
WD : Nina Vislova/Valeri Sorokina beat Mari Helena/Ingrid Teistung 21-10, 21-3

Another big victory for Russian to take huge step for quarterfinal. Not with their full team appearance but they’re still the best in their group.

Belarus vs Latvia 5-0
XD : Aliaksei Konakh/Vlada Cherniavskaya beat Eduards Loze/Kristine Safere 22-20, 21-17
MS : Yauheni Yakauchuk beat Raimonds Cipe 21-17, 21-14
WS : Alesia Zaitsava beat Kristine Sefere 21-12,2 1-12
MD : Yauheni Yakauchuk/Aliaksei Konakh beat Karlis Vidass/Guntis Lavrinovics 24-22, 21-10
WD : Alesia Zaitsava/Vlada Cherniavskaya beat Madara Pukite/Alesia Hodokovska 21-5, 21-3

Within 2 days, Belarus successful swept away 10 points from their opponents. Tomorrow should be their biggest match against Russia to book quarterfinal ticket at Friday match.

Group 3 :

Germany vs Estonia 5-0
XD : Michael Fuchs/Annekatrin Lillie beat Ants Mangel/Koroline Hoim 21-13, 21-10
MS : Dieter Domke beat Raul Must 21-17, 21-19
WS : Xu Huaiwen beat Kati Tolmoff 21-11, 21-16
MD : Michael Fuchs/Ingo Kindervater beat Ants Mangel/Raul Kasner 21-8, 21-6
WD : Sandra Marinello/Annekatrin Lillie beat Laura Vana/Karoliine Hoim 21-15, 24-22

Although adding 2 younger players, Deieter Domke and Annekatrin Lillie from their 1st match, German still keep their record with 5 points swept away. No wonder dan they’ll be the favourite’s one to book quarterfinal ticket.

Sweden vs Slovakia 5-0
XD : Joel Johansson/Emma Wengberg beat Jarolim Vicen/Gabriela Zabavnikova 21-16, 21-13
MS : Kristian Karttunen beat Michal Matejka 21-14, 21-7
WS : Sophia Hansson beat Zuzana Orlovska 21-5, 21-8
MD : Joel Johansson/Johan Kasperi beat Jarolim Vicen/Michal Matejka 21-13, 21-13
WD : Emma Wengberg/Elin Bergblom beat Zuzana Orlovska/Gabriela Zabavnikova 21-14, 21-7

After won tight match 3-2 two days ago over Estonia, Sweden finally easily grab out 5 points from Slovakia. All the games in straight set less than 2,5 hours.

Group 7 :

Iceland vs Italy 3-2
XD : Helgi Johannesson/Tinna Helgadottir beat Rosario Maddaloni/Federica Panini 21-7, 21-15
MS : Magnus Ingi Helgason beat Giovanni Greco 21-16, 21-16
WS : Tinna Helgadottir lost from Agnese Allegrini 18-21, 18-21
MD : Magnus Ingi Helgasson/Helgi Johannesson beat Pierluigi Musiari/Giovanni Traina 21-12, 21-12
WD : Karitas Osk/Snjolaug Johannsdottir lost from Agnese Allegrini/Federica Panini 14-21, 9-21

Magnus and Helgi still on their best form but lack of skill in the women side. The Olympic 2008 qualification player, Agnese Allegrini took 2 points from Sweden for her country.

Ukraine vs Hungary 5-0
MS : Vitaly Konov beat Henrik Toth 21-16, 21-18
WS : Elena Prus beat Sarolta Varga 21-15, 21-14
MD : Valeriy Atrashchenkov /Dmytro Zavadskyy beat David Sarosi/Andras Nemeth 21-10, 21-14
WD : Mariya Dibtan/Anna Kobceva beat Sarolta Varga/Orsolyna Varga 21-9, 21-8
XD : Vladislav Druzchenko/Larisa Griga beat Henrik Toth/Krisztina Adam 21-14, 21-13

Ukraine defeinetely booked their ticket to quarterfinal after taking 10 points from their 2 matches. Really an uniqe way when they change singles players into doubles. Elena Prus replacing Larisa Griga in singles when Larissa played with Vladislav in Mixed Doubles.

Group 8 :

Scotland vs Czech Republic 4-1
XD : Watson Briggs/Imogen Bankier beat Petr Koukal/Martina Benesova 21-20, 24-22
MS : Kieran Merrilees lost from Jan Vondra 21-15, 13-21, 16-21
WS : Susan Hughes beat Kristina Ludikova 21-16, 21-12
MD : Andrew Bowman/Watson Briggs beat Jan Vondra/Pavel Florian 21-10, 22-20
WD : Imogen Bankier/Jillie Cooper beat Kristina Lduikova/Martinea Bensova 21-14, 21-16

MS seems the weakest sector of Scotland. Kieran have to get more experience if he wants to be equal as Imogen or Susan. Bad performance of Petr Koukal from previous match should be the reason he wasn’t played yesterday.

England vs Wales 5-0
MS : Andrew Smith beat Irwansyah 21-8, 21-10
WS : Helen Davies beat Harriet Johnson 21-13, 21-17
MD : Anthony Clark/Nathan Robertson beat Martyn Lewis/Matthew Huges 21-12, 21-5
WD : Jenny Wallwork/Maria Agathagelou beat Carissa Turner/Caroline Harvey 21-12, 21-16
XD : Christoper Adcock/Gabrielle White beat Jonathan Morgan/Kerry Ann Sheppard 21-5, 21-13

Domination of home’s players still continued last night. Ex-Indonesian player, Irwansyah has no chance to repeat his victory on his first match when he has to face England #1 MS, Andrew Smith. Gabby also shows her performance very well when she duet with Chris in XD.

Group 5 :

Belgium vs Austria 4-1
XD : Wauter Claes/Nathalie Descamps beat Roman Zinwald/Elisabeth Baldauf 21-12, 21-15
MS : Yuhan Tan beat Michael Lahnsteiner 21-18, 21-14
WS : Nathalie Descamps beat Claudia Meyer 21-19, 21-10
MD : Wauter Claes/Frederic Mawet lost from Peter Zauner/Michael Lahnsteiner 23-25, 20-22
WD : Steffi Annys/Severina Corvilain beat Belinda Heber/Elisabeth Baldauf 21-14, 21-14

Peter Zauner for the 2nd time proves that he still at his best form. But unfortunately it’s not enough to hold Belgium when they have Yuhan Tan and Nathalie Descamps. Today will be the final moment for Belgium when they meet Netherlands if they really want through quarterfinal round.

Netherlands vs Israel 4-1
MS : Dicky Palyama beat Shai Geffen 21-12, 21-13
WS : Patty Stolzenbach beat Mor Bitterman 21-3, 21-1
MD : Jurgen Wouters/Koen Ridder beat Anton Kracheny/Ilia Konyak 21-8, 21-8
WD : Yao Jie/Pauline Van Dooremalen beat Mor Bitterman/Alina Pugach 21-8, 21-10
XD : Joritt De Ruiter/Ilse Vaessen lost from Misha Zilberman/Svetlana Zilberman 21-11, 16-21, 19-21

The new comer, Israel needs more practice and experience as they’re not being the good one. Lost so easy from Belgium and Netherland they have no chance going through quarterfinal round this year. But participating in this badminton event which is the 1st time for them should be adding valuable experiences to their players.

Results Day 1 European Mixed Team Championships ’09

Results Day 1 European Mixed Team Championships ’09
An Easy Way For Seeded Country
Oleh admin
Rabu, 11-Februari-2009, 12:46:30
Unfortunately Nadiezda Kostyuczyk can’t join with Poland team this year. So Kamilla Augustyn will replace her at Mixed Doubles partnering with Robert Mateusiak. And this has side effect which Kamilla couldn’t play for Women’s Singles and lost point from this sector. Michal and Robert also separate themselves in Men’s Doubles. But I think that’s not a big deal because their younger player, Wojciech Sudlarczyk need more experiences.
Kontributor: Ferry Irawan

Group 6 :

Poland vs Lithuania 4-1
MS : Przaemslaw Wacha beat Kestusis Navickas 21-18, 21-14.
WS : Anna Narel lost from Akvile Stapusaityte 19-21, 18-21.
MD : Michal Logosz/Wojciech Skudlarczyk beat Klaudijus Kasnkis/Kestusis Navickas 21-8, 21-13.
WD : Agniezska Wojtkowska/Malgorzata Kurdelska beat Akville Stapusaityte/Ligita Zukauskaite 21-11, 21-11.
XD : Robert Mateusiak/Kamilla Augustyn beat Ramunas Stapusaityte/Kristina Dovydaityte 21-7, 21-11.

Unfortunately Nadiezda Kostyuczyk can’t join with Poland team this year. So Kamilla Augustyn will replace her at Mixed Doubles partnering with Robert Mateusiak. And this has side effect which Kamilla couldn’t play for Women’s Singles and lost point from this sector. Michal and Robert also separate themselves in Men’s Doubles. But I think that’s not a big deal because their younger player, Wojciech Sudlarczyk need more experiences.

Bulgaria beat Finlad 4-1
XD : Stilian Makarski/Diana Dimova beat Tuomas Nuorteva/Sanni Rautala 21-13, 21-18.
MS : Blagovest Kisyov lost from Ville Lang 20-22, 18-21.
WS : Petya Nedelcheva beat Anu Nieminen 21-11, 21-9.
MD : Krasimir Yankov/Vladimir Metodiev beat Tuomas Nuorteva/Mikko Vikman 21-13, 21-7.
WD : Petya Nedelcheva/Dimitria Poptoykova beat NooraVirta/Sanni Rautala 21-13, 21-13.

As the backbone of Bulgaria , Petya Nedelcheva and Diana Dimova did their jobs very well. They played not only in their main sector, Women’s Singles. Olympic 2008 quarterfinalist, Ville Lang must work hard in 30 minutes tight match before gives 1 point to his country.

Group 5 :

Netherlands beat Austria 5-0
XD : Joritt De Ruiter/Ilse Vaessen beat Roman Zinwald/Elisabeth Baldauf 21-11, 21-17.
MS : Eric Pang beat David Obernosterer 21-12, 21-16.
WS : Judith Meulendijks beat Miriam Gruber 21-6, 21-8.
MD : Jurgen Wouters/Koen Ridder beat Peter Zauner/Michael Lahnsteiner 21-17, 28-26.
WD : Yao Jie/Pauline Van Dooremalen beat Belinda Heber/Elisabeth Baldauf 21-12, 21-9.

With most of their experience players like Yao Jie, Judith Meulendijks, Eric Pang and Pauline Van Dooremalen no worries for Netherland to sweep away 5 points. Yao Jie, Judith and Pauline also play very good in doubles. Otherwise, Austrian player, Juergen Koch can’t join his team this year so Peter Zauner should be ‘the only’ main player for Asutria.

Belgium beat Israel 5-0
MS : Yuhan Tan beat Misha Zilberman 21-13, 21-11.
WS : Lianne Tan beat Alina Pugach 21-14, 21-15.
MD : Wouter Claes/Frederic Mawet beat Shai Geffen/Ilia Konyak 21-6, 21-12.
WD : Steffi Annys/Severina Corvilain beat Alina Pugach/Mor Bitterman 21-15, 21-12.
XD : Wauter Claes/Nathalie Descamps beat Misha Zilberman/Svetlana Zilberman 21-12, 21-19.

With their ‘naturalization’ players, Yuhan and Lianne Belgium picked their 1st winning over ‘new comer’, Israel .

Group 3 :

Germany beat Slovakia 5-0
XD : Johannes Schoettler/Birgit Overzier beat Jarolim Vichen/Gabrielle Zabavnikova 26-24, 21-15.
MS : Marc Zwibler beat Michal Matejka 21-10, 21-14.
WS : Xu Huaiwen beat Zuzana Orlovska 21-7, 21-9.
MD : Michal Fuchs/Tim Dettmann beat Michal Matejka/Jarolim Vichen 21-4, 21-8.
WD : Julianne Schenk/Sandra Marinello beat Zuzana Orlovska/ Gabrielle Zabavnikova 21-13, 21-9.

An easy task for Germany to dust off Slovakia with their full team. As Xu Huaiwen, Juliane Schenk, and Birgit Overzier in the women’s team and Marc Zwibler, Johannes Schoettler, Michal Fuchs, and Ingo Kindervater at the men’s side no wonder that they’ll through to quarterfinal later. Not an interesting match because these 2 teams has different level of players. Unfortunately two Olympic players from Slovenia , Maja Tvrdy and Eva Sadekova can’t join with their team.

Sweden beat Estonia 3-2
XD : Joel Johansson/Emma Wengberg beat Ants Mangel/Karoliine Hoim 21-15, 21-18.
MS : Henry Hurskainen lost from Raul Must 10-21, 21-16, 15-21.
WS : Sophia Hannson lost from Kati Tolmoff 8-21, 12-21.
MD : Joel Johansson/Johan Kasperi beat Ants Mangel/Raul Kasner 19-21, 21-18, 21-11.
WD : Emma Wengberg/Elin Bergblom beat Kati Tolmoff/Karoliine Hoim 20-22, 21-16, 21-17.

Two Olympic qualifaction players from Estonia , Raul Must and Kati Tolmoff shows their level to pick 2 points from Sweden . But lack of experience doubles players when Sweden has Emma Wengberg dan Joel Johansson should be the major cause of their lost.

Group 8 :

Scotland beat Wales 4-1
XD : Watson Briggs/Imogen Bankier beat Martyn Lewis/Caroline Harvey 21-9, 25-23.
MS : Kieran Merrilees lost from Irwansyah 19-21, 19-21.
WS : Susan Hughes beat Caroline Harvey 21-10, 21-5.
MD : Andrew Bowman/Watson Briggs beat Martyn Lewis/Mathew Hughes 21-19, 21-19.
WD : Imogen Bankier/Jillie Cooper beat Harriet Johnson/Kerry Ann Sheppard 21-11, 21-10.

Naturalization player from Indonesia , Irwansyah, stole 1 point from Scotland to his country. But most experience players such as Imogen Bankier, Susan Hughes, and Andrew Bowman helps Scotland to win their 1st match.

England beat Czech Republic 5-0
XD : Anthony Clark/Donna Kellogg beat Pavel Flarian/Martina Benesova 21-9, 21-8.
MS : Rajiv Ouseph beat Petr Koukal 21-17, 21-10.
WS : Elizabeth Cann beat Kristina Ludikova 21-17, 21-19.
MD : Robert Blair/Christoper Adcock beat Jan Vondra/Pavel Florian 21-13, 21-8.
WD : Jenny Wallwork/Gabrielle White beat Kristina Lduikova/Martinea Bensova 21-18, 18-21, 21-14.

No wonder that England will take this match since they have great doubles players but so bad that Petr and Kristina whose have enough experience couldn’t play at their best performance and shows their true skills.

Group 4 :

Belarus beat Norway 5-0
XD : Aliaksei Konakh/Vlada Cherniavskaya beat Jonas Christensen/Mari Helena Boe 21-16, 21-16.
MS : Yauheni Yakauchuk beat Maurius Fartum 21-14, 21-17.
WS : Alesia Zaitsava beat Sara Kverno 21-14, 21-17.
MD : Yauheni Yakauchuk/Aliaksei Konakh beat Jonas Christensen/Matz Menkin21-8, 21-12.
WD : Alesia Zaitsava/Vlada Cherniavskaya beat Sara Kverno/Mari Helena Boe 21-11, 21-11.

Although without Olympic 2008 quarterfinalist. Olga Konon whose beaten Singapore main player, Xing Aiying in first round, and come to Liverpool with ‘small team’ consist of 5 players, Belarus shows their level last night. Less than 2 hours they swept away 5 points from Norway.

Russia beat Latvia 5-0
XD : Alexander Nikoleanko/Valeria Sorokino beat Kristine Safere/Eduards Loze 21-3, 21-7.
MS : Ivan Sozonov beat Raimonds Cipe 21-10, 21-9.
WS : Ella Diehl beat Kristine Safere 21-3, 21-8.
MD : Alexander Nikolaneko/Vitaly Durkin beat Karlis Vidaas/Guntis Lavrinovics 21-13, 21-6.
WD : Nina Vislova/Valeria Sorokina beat Madara Pukite/Zane Metra 21-3, 21-8.

What a match! Russia proves their plan seriously when said they want Olympic medals from Badminton for 2016. Now they’re develop so fast and last night they did very well.

Group 7 :

Ukraine beat Italy 5-0
XD : Dmytro Zavadskyy/Mariya Diptan beat Giovanni Traina/Federica Panini 21-11, 21-10.
MS : Valeriy Atrashchenkov beat Rosario Maddaloni 21-11, 21-18.
WS : Larisa Griga beat Agnese Allegrini 21-11, 21-12.
MD : Vladislav Druzchenko/Vitaly Konov beat Pierluigi Musiari/Giovanni Greco 21-19, 21-14.
WD : Anna Kobceva/Elena Prus beat Elena Chepurnova/ Federica Panini 21-12, 21-16.

The 32 round Olympic player, Larisa Griga succeed to bring her team as the leader of group 7.

Iceland beat Hungary 3-2
MS : Magnus Ingi Helgason lost from Henrik Toth 22-20, 19-21, 17-21.
WS : Tinna Helgadottir beat Orsolya Varga 21-13, 21-14.
MD : Magnus Ingi Helgasson/Helgi Johannesson beat David Sarosi/Andras Nemeth 21-12, 21-14.
WD : Karitas Osk/Snjolaug Johannsdottir lost from Sarolta Varga/Orsolyna Varga 10-21, 21-13, 16-21.
XD : Helgi Johannesson/Tinna Helgadottir beat Henrik Toth/Krisztina Adam 21-15, 21-13.

Magnus, Tinna and Helgi at their top performance last night. Although going with small team, Iceland players has been prepared very well to play not only in one sector.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

EUROPEANS – Scotland beat Wales in Battle of Britain Part 1

This evening in Liverpool Scotland beat Wales 4-1 in the first round of the battle of Britain. Meanwhile England took little time is disposing of the threat of Czech Republic to solidify their position as number 2 seeds for the tournament. Elsewhere the Ukraine showed why they are a force to be reckoned with as they brushed aside Italy
By Mark Phelan (Live) Photos: (Live in Liverpool)
While all the attention was justifiably centred on England (Blair and Adcock photo left) making their debut on home soil there was plenty of quality badminton on show this evening on all courts in the Echo Arena. Scotland got off to the perfect start as they left Wales with an uphill climb if they are now to proceed from group 8. Scotland took control of the tie with the score level at 1-1 in matches as Susan Hughes (photo right) crushed Caroline Harvey 21-10 21-5. Scotland went on to win the final two matches to take the match 4-1 to set up and eagerly awaited tie with England on Thursday which might ultimately decide the group winners.
England meanwhile, play on the adjoining court, had the experienced combination of Clark and Kellogg up first and they duly provided a performance that justifies there status as world number 4. Their 21-9 21-8 demolition of Pavel Florian and Martina Besesova set England on their way to a 5-0 win. England did not have it all their own way however as Elizabeth Cann had to dig deep into her reserves to see of Christina Ludikova 21-17 21-19 and the women’s doubles at the tail end of the match went to three sets.
The Ukraine had a sweeping 5-0 victory over Italy in a match that saw world number 22 Larisa Griga show all the qualities that has elevated her to one of Europe’s top female singles players.

“I felt very comfortable today on court. I am in good form and I think we have a really balanced team this year. We really want to win this group and go on and maybe play England on their home soil in the next round. Personally I feel I am still improving and hopefully there is more to come from me in the coming years as I want to push on into the worlds top 16 which I am close to achieving.”
said Griga after her impressive singles win today
The match between Iceland and Hungary was always going to be a tight affair on paper and as expected it went down to the final match. Iceland managed to steal the victory which is sure to bolster their spirits ahead of their next match against Italy which if they can win will leave them with a realistic chance of advancing beyond the group stages.
In group 4 Russia (with Sorokina and Vislova, pictured left) cruised by Latvia as none of their games extended beyond 20 mins. In the same group Belarus, minus the influential Olga Konon, also completed a 5-0 whitewash to keep the Russians looking over their shoulders.
Tomorrow sees the awaited introduction of championship favourites Denmark in group 1 as they take to the courts at 10am against Spain. France, the number 7 seeds, open their campaign against European minnows Cyprus on the adjoining court.
For all results go HERE

EUROPEAN CHAMPS Day 1 – Favourites Open In Style

As the European Team Championships kicks off in the impressive Echo Arena, Liverpool today both Germany and The Netherlands sent out a clear signal to all their major rivals that they are here, ready, willing and able and in the form to figure in the final shake up come Sunday.

By: Mark Phelan. Photos: (Live in Liverpool)

As play commenced in the newly constructed Echo Arena all eyes were firmly transfixed on both The Netherlands and Germany as they opened their group campaigns.

The Netherlands took to court 3 of the six court arena and faced a potential tricky tie against a determined and youthful Austrian team. The Dutch immediately stamped their mark on the game as they raced into a 2-0 lead courtesy of Eric Pang (photo right) and when Judith Meulendijks brushed aside the challenge of Miriam Gruber 21-6 21-8 the direction of the tie was no longer in doubt. Koen Ridder and Jurgen Wouthers were forced to work hard against Peter Zauner and Michael Lahnsteiner before prevailing in two 21-17 28-26 before Paulien Van Dooremalen and Yao Jie wrapped (photo top left) up the tie 21-12 21-9 to record an emphatic 5-0 victory

“It feels good to win the first match. Everyone on the team played really well today. There is some drift in the hall and the lights are not the best but it’s the same for everyone so we have to just get on with the job. We are really looking forward to the rest of the competition now as we have no individual competition to worry about after the team event so everyone has the chance to play and not be worried about injuries ahead of any individual event.” Said Van Dooremalen after winning her women’s doubles with partner Yao Jie.

Meanwhile Germany announced their arrival in Liverpool with a equally professional 5-0 win over Slovakia. The Germans stuttered to a start as the mixed pairing of Birgit Overzier and Johannes Schoettler struggled to win the opening set of the opening game 26-24 against Jarolim Vicen and Gabriela Zabavnikova but they soon regained their composure to take the second set 21-15 and give the Germans, sporting their fog horns and cow bells, the lead they needed. Easy wins for Marc Zwiebler and Xu Huaiwen in the men’s and women’s singles eased the Germans into a 3-0 win before their mens doubles of Michael Fuchs/Tim Dettman and women’s doubles Juliane Schenk /Sandra Marinello (photo bottom left) sealed the victory with ease.

Number 4 seeds for the tournament, Poland had to endure a loss in the women’s singles before overcoming the threat posed by Lithuania 4-1. World number 9 Przemyslaw Wacha lead the way with a 2-0 win over Kestutis Navickas before Poland sealed the win with a 2-0 win in the mixed doubles.

Other winners in the morning session of day one were Bulgaria as they destroyed Finland 4-1. Bulgaria with world number 13 Petya Nedelcheva firing on all cylinders are sure to offer stiff competition to the Poles in their quest to top the standings of group 6.

In the closest match of the day Sweden had to fight hard to overcome a stubborn Estonian team as the match went to the final set of the final match. Estonia managed to win both the men’s singles and women’s singles through Raul Must and Kati Tolmoff while Estonia levelled up the match by winning the mixed and Men’s doubles. In the final match the Swedish women’s doubles pair of Emma Wengberg and Elin Bergblom had to fight back from a set down to finally clinch the match for Sweden by 2-1 and with it the overall match 3-2

All results can be found HERE


The european team championships kicks off in Liverpool today, with high expectations from the local English team, as Denmark has not sent its full squad.

Raphael Sachetat, photos (archives) :

Peter Gade, and the Pair of Ramsussen/Paaske are not in Liverpool. The rest of the Danish squad (photo) however, supposed to be landing in Liverpool today, is likely to still take the crown for the fifth consecutive time. Joachim Persson, Tine Rasmussen, Boe/Mogensen, Laybourn/Rytter-Juhl should provide their team mates with enough experience to bag the title they had once again clinched at home in Herning, last year.

But England, the second seeds, will have in mind to shine at home with players just as experienced and the home advantage. And end the 25 years title drought - they had won last in Preston, in 1984. The English, however, have a tricky first half of the week as their group matches will see them face their daily training partners as they face Scotland and Wales on top of the Czech Republic.

If England and Denmark are set to meet in the final, no less than 36 countries will fight during the first three days to top their groups and enter the quarter final stage on Friday.

Germany, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Russia, France and Poland are the other seeds and should make it to that stage, with expected confrontations between France and Denmark, Poland and Netherlands, Enland Vs Ukraine and Germany Vs Russia.

It is the first time that the team event has been split from the individual event which will be held in 2010 in Manchester. The Asian Badminton Championships will be held in Suwon, Korea, next April.

For live results, click HERE

Saturday, February 7, 2009

INDONESIA - Olympic champion slams the door

According to Kompas, the daily newspaper from Indonesia, Markis Kido slammed the door of his National Federation PBSI this Friday after a meeting didn't turn out the way he wanted.

The relationship between some players and the National Federation PBSI has been degrading for the past few months, and after the official announcement from Taufik that he would turn professional, it is now another Olympic champion which turns his back on his Federation.

His partner Hendra Setiawan is said to have stayed in PBSI for now, but Kido could be partnering his younger brother Bona Septano - also a top Indonesian shuttler - and possibly his sister Pia Zebadiah Bernadet in the mixed double. Other players are also in the wait for the outcome of this political battle between some players and the new PBSI elected staff while others have already planned to go abroad to seek opportunities