THAILAND OPEN 2008 – Golden duo to shine in Bangkok

After a long first day in the qualification draw in Thailand, the journey begins for the big guns, amongst whom are Xie Xingfang and Lin Dan, who skipped both the […]

ImageAfter a long first day in the qualification draw in Thailand, the journey begins for the big guns, amongst whom are Xie Xingfang and Lin Dan, who skipped both the Singapore and Indonesia Opens. This is a last opportunity for them to see what kind of form they’re in before the Beijing Olympics.

By Raphael Sachetat. Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

Even though they might have skipped the Aviva Singapore Open, they will be able to catch up on their shopping in Bangkok. Xie Xingfang and Lin Dan (photo) are in Thailand this week for the annual SCG , the qualifying stages of which kicked off today in the heat of the Thai capital. This event comes under the Gold banner on the BWF Circuit.

Most of the qualifiers were from Thailand and there were few upsets but the local spectators will be lucky enough to see the top two players when Lin Dan and Xie Xingfang enter the competition on Wednesday. Lin Dan enters the draw with a fairly easy match against a local player, and should see an easy path towards the quarter-final, unless one of the 4 Indians in his part of the draw have something to say about it. He is set to meet Hong Kong’s Ng Wei in the quarter-final. The second quarter is less easy to predict with players like Persson, Zwiebler, Poompat and Lee Tsuen Seng.

The lower half of the draw sees Boonsak Ponsana as the main favourite, with Hafiz Hashim in his half of the draw. The Thai prince, however, could have a tough hurdle as soon as the second round with Jan Jorgensen, the promising Dane who beat Peter Gade last week.

Xie Xingfang will see this Thailand Open as a perfect warmup for the Games, as she is likely to meet Saina Nehwal in the quarters before probably Zhou Mi in the semis while the other semi-final should see Wang Chen and Lu Lan try to fight for the title. Beware however of Yao Jie, who is still hoping that the appeal made by her National Federation to her NOC will finally allow her to go for the Olympic Games even though the chances are slim.

ImageChina scoops the top two seeding positions in the men’s doubles, but there will be some interesting matches, especially in the lower half of the draw where in form Chan/Chew, Boe/Mogensen, and Dasuki/Sukmawan amongst others will be eying China’s Guo and Xie for spot in the final to play, most likely, against Cai and Fu (photo).

In the absence of the top Korean and Indonesian pairs, China should roll into the final with their two duos of Du/Yu and Zhang/Yang, while Thailand’s Sudket and Saralee will probably be China’s main threat for the title in the mixed, where Xie/Zhang and top seeds He/Yu stand a good chance of dominating.

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Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.