YONEX ALL ENGLAND – Only Shock on Opening Day of All England

In a day of few qualifying round shocks it was the choice of shorts worn by John Moody (pictured) of New Zealand that attracted all the attention on the opening […]

ImageIn a day of few qualifying round shocks it was the choice of shorts worn by John Moody (pictured) of New Zealand that attracted all the attention on the opening day of the Badminton Championships in Birmingham, England. The flambouyant Kiwi certainly grabbed all the headlines with his choice of attire while going down in straight games to Poompat Sapkulchananart of Thailand 21-16, 21-13.

By Mark Phelan, live in Birmingham. Photos : Badmintonphoto

Men’s Singles: After the withdrawal of number 8 seed Peter Gade due to illness, the men’s competition got under way with an all-English affair as Natan Rice, who was promoted to the qualifiers after benefiting from the withdrawal of the popular Dane, took to the court against Rajiv Ouseph. After a close first set, Ouseph took the match 22-20, 21-15.

In the hardest branch of the men’s qualifying draw, the in-form Tommy Sugiarto defeated Dicky Palyama of the Netherlands 21-16, 21-19. Earlier in the same section, Scott Evans went down 21-18, 18-21, 12-21 to his former stable-mate and Michael Kdjejson pupil Kasper Odeum in a match that lasted an hour.

Tago Kenichi continued his good form after getting to the final of the German Open last week and claimed his place in the first round proper with impressive wins over Roman Spitko 21-16, 21-13, Richard Vaughan 21-18, 25-23, and finally a three-game cliff-hanger against Gong Weijie 14-21, 21-17, 21-15.

Eric Pang was rarely tested in his run to the first round proper as he disposed of Pablo Abian of Spain and Shon Seung Mo of Korea without dropping a game. On a roll after exacting this revenge on Shon for his quarter-final defeat in Mulheim last week, Pang was then handed a walkover by Rune Ulsing as the Dane had to withdraw after beating compatriot Christian Lind Thompsen in three games 21-16, 16-21, 23-21.

In the top end of the draw, Nguyen Tien Minh disposed of Hsieh Yu Hsin and Tan Chun Seang and beat Jan O Jorgensen 21-17, 21-18 in the final.

Women’s Singles: In the women’s singles, the home crowd had reason to be cheerful as the top end of the women’s qualifying draw saw four British players in the semi-finals. Eventually Jill Pittard battled her way to beat compatriot Rachel Howard 21-13 21-18 in the final. Other winners on the day were Firdasari ADRIYANTI of Indonesia who beat number 4 seed Salajkit PONSANA 21-12 12-21 21-16 in a match that lasted 52 minutes. Aiying XING of Singapore had two tough three set games before eventually seeing off number 3 seed WONG of Malaysia. Indonesia capped of a fruitful day in the women’s singles qualifier when late last night BERNADET beat the much fancied Susan Hughes of Scotland in another three set cliff-hanger 19-21 21-14 21-14

ImageMen’s Doubles: The men’s doubles proved to be fruitful from a European viewpoint as three of four pairs through to today’s first round are European based. In the top end there was delight for the home crowd when the reserve pair of Bowman and Honey beat the Danish pair of Chemnitz and Delbo Larsen 21-19, 14-21, 21-15.

There was nearly another upset in the cards as another reserve British pairing of Ellis and Langridge almost defied the odds as they battled their way through to the final of section two but were well beaten by Japanese pair Kawugashi and Kawamae 21-17, 21-11.

Late in the evening saw the eagerly awaited match-up between another pair of British pairs as Anthony Clark and David Lindley (photo) squared up to Robert Blair and Richard Eidestedt. Familiarity was certainly par for the course in this match as Clarke and Blair together got to the world final in 2006 as a pair. The match had the large crowd on the edge of their seats and it was Clarke and Lindley who held their nerve to take the match 17-21, 21-16, 21-16. The final qualifying spot was taken by the Danish pair of Steffensen and Andersen, who came through a series of hard three-game matches to book their place in today’s first round.

Women’s Doubles: The women’s doubles again saw reserve combinations dominate with the Polish pair of Kurdelska/Wojtkowska and the Chinese Taipei combination of Chou Chiam Chi/Yang Chia Tseng both booking their places in the first round draw. The home crowd had reason to be cheerful as the combination of Imogen Bankier and Sarah Bok defeated compatriots Mariana Agathangelou and Gabrielle White 21-12, 23-21. In section four of the draw, it was the Indonesian combination of Maheswari and Nurlita who caused a minor upset by dumping the number 2 American seeds Lee/Mangkalakiri out of the competition 21-10, 21-10.

Mixed Doubles: The mixed doubles saw another reserve pair triumph as Hwang Ji Man/ Kim Min Jung secured their first round berth. Other qualifying winners in mixed doubles on the opening day were Michal Logosz/Natalie Munt, number three seeds from Malaysia Tan Wee Kiong/Woon Khe Wei and home favourites Chris Landridge and Joanne Nicholas who defeated Michael Fuchs and Carina Mette 21-18, 21-13.

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