WHITE NIGHTS Int’l – Another win for Koo/Tan, Zieba back

Two former world #1 pairs featured in the finals of the White Nights International Challenge Sunday but the return of Nadiezda Zieba ended in silver. Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives) After their […]

Two former world #1 pairs featured in the finals of the White Nights Sunday but the return of Nadiezda Zieba ended in silver.

Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

After their win in Sri Lanka just under a month ago, Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong (pictured) once again stepped on the highest step of the podium in Gatchina, Russia, this week-end when they clinched the White Nights International Challenge. The Malaysian pair, now playing as an independent duo, had skipped Mauritius International and the U.S. Open but showed up in Russia, where they had a rather smooth tournament, beating all pairs – including top seeds Cwalina/Wacha, in straight games. This should help them get closer to the top 50 in the world.  They currently are 93.

Zieba back after two years

The success of Koo and Tan was not the only surprise on Sunday. Nadiezda Zieba was featured in the mixed doubles final with her long-time partner Robert Mateusiak (pictured). It was a surprise to see the Polish shuttler who had not played in any competition since 2013, when she announced she was pregnant. Badzine interviewed her then (here) when she had not decided whether she was going to come back as a playing mom.

She was entered in other events this year but withdrew from each one until this tournament in Russia, which certainly shows the formidable Polish player made up her mind. She and Mateusiak, however, did not succeed in winning as in form Chloe and Sam Magee of Ireland scooped the title.

While the Magees did two steps better than in the European Games last month, their women’s doubles counterparts, Russia’s Bolotova/Kosetskaya, went one better, going from silver in Baku to gold in Gatchina.

In the men’s singles, Vietnam’s Nguyen Tien Minh failed to deliver as Vladimir Malkov beat him in the final, while his compatriot Vu Thi Trang beat USA’s Rong Shafer for the women’s singles title.

Final results
MD: Koo Kien Keat / Tan Boon Heong (MAS) beat Marcus Ellis / Chris Langridge (ENG) [2] England 21-10, 21-12
WS: Vu Thi Trang (VIE) [5] beat Rong Schafer (USA) [2]  21-14, 21-14
MS: Vladimir Malkov (RUS) [7] beat Nguyen Tien Minh (VIE) [1]  21-16, 21-12
XD: Sam Magee / Chloe Magee (IRL) [1] beat Robert Mateusiak / Nadiezda Zieba (POL)  21-18, 21-17
WD: Ekaterina Bolotova / Evgeniya Kosetskaya (RUS) [1] beat Ozge Bayrak / Neslihan Yigit (TUR) [2]  20-22, 21-13, 21-15

All results here

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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.