CWG 2010 Team – Big guns have it easy

The round robin stage of the Commonwealth Games mixed team badminton event is almost done, there is one more day to go, and the traditional badminton powerhouses have already made […]

The round robin stage of the mixed team badminton event is almost done, there is one more day to go, and the traditional badminton powerhouses have already made their mark and most already have a foot in quarter-finals.  There were a lot of 5-0 scorelines and very little suspense left only for a few battles to be staged on Thursday.

By Raphaël Sachetat.  Photos: Sukumar for Badmintonphoto (live)

There was obviously little crowd to watch the first two days of the badminton event in Delhi’s Commonwealth Games but those who came and watched had one privilege: they were the only ones to know the results of the ongoing competition, as for the rest of the world is left wanting – or relying on online media and agencies, or the BWF website.  The official website – for badminton at least –  is a mess and gives partial, disorganized results, a disgrace for such a big event.

Nevertheless, there was little to worry about for the fans of Malaysia, England, India and Singapore, the four top seeds, as all four came through their first matches without a single point dropped on the way, with clean 5-0 victories over their opponents.

Nathan Robertson led his team-mates as well as he had led the overall English delegation during the Opening Ceremony and his partner Anthony Clark was able to celebrate his 100th cap in style and ease against Uganda. Clark becomes the 12th Apostle to have reached over 100 caps for England however he wasn’t smiling as he wished as a severe toothache troubled his day off with two visits – and one more to go – to the dentist before England’s final round robin matches on Thursday.  One of which is against Canada to top the group.

We will have to be ready because Canada have got some decent players,” said Team Manager Andy Wood on Badminton England’s official website. “We need to get that one done and dusted.” Canada and England should however both proceed to the quarter-final stage as the best two teams are to qualify.

New Zealand ready to take on Singapore

In group B, Singapore, led by Xing Aiying already has a foot in the quarter-final, with clean victories over Northern Ireland, Jamaica and Sri Lanka, dropping one point only to the latter. It will now be a battle for the top of the group between the Singaporeans and the Kiwis, who also have achieved the same fate with three success over the same teams, with similar score sheets apart from their crucial victory over Sri Lanka 3-2 (photo of Sri Lanka’s mixed doubles right). This specific tie was obviously one of the only tight ties of the first two days. New Zealand has booked their tickets for the quarters but hope to do better to avoid Malaysia in the quarter-final. They’ll have to beat Singapore in Thursday’s match.

We’ve done a bit of scouting on Singapore and there’s no doubt they look strong but the New Zealand Games team motto here is about climbing Everest and we’ve reached that stage now so we’ll see how we handle it,” New Zealand Team Manager Roger Southby told the New Zealand Press Association.

Chong Wei and Saina and team-mates stroll on

It was an easy path for both Malaysia and India, the top two seeds, with their heroes Lee Chong Wei and Saina Nehwal – both top seeds in the singles events of the individual draws – taking it easy for a start. Chong Wei only played once while Saina played already 2 matches. But in both cases, their team-mates completed a clean sweep over all their opponents.

India will cross swords with Scotland for what could prove to be a tricky tie for the hosts while Malaysia will take on Australia on Thursday to probably top Group A. Oddly enough, the Australians have fielded a player who was not too long ago playing under England’s banner – Nicholas Kidd. He played together with Kate Wilson Smith (photo) for a lethal combination and could pose a threat to the Malaysian mixed, while the ladies’ doubles is also quite unsure with Wong Pei Tty’s absence.

Yet Malaysia is already eying a possible final against India, with Rexy Mainaky, the doubles head coach for Malaysia, hoping to deliver crucial points for his team:  “We need to win at least one of the doubles against India should we meet them. If we play England, there should not be an issue as we have enough depth in all departments and should win with ease,” he told the BWF.  England may have their word to say about it.

Headline Photo : Northern Ireland’s Tony Stephenson/Matthew Gleave (Sukumar for Badmintonphoto)

Results and Temporary standings (in purple the two teams qualified for the quarter finals after 2 days of competition)

Group A :

Malaysia (#1) beat Isle of Man : 5-0
Australia beat Seychelles : 5-0
Nigeria beat Isle of Man : 4-1
Malaysia (#1) beat Seychelles : 5-0
Australia beat Nigeria : 5-0
Seychelles beat Isle of Man: 3-2
Malaysia (#1) beat Nigeria : 5-0

Standing as of Wednesday October 5th

1. Malaysia (#1)
2. Australia

3. Nigeria
4. Seychelles
5. Isle of Man

To be played on Thursday October 6th :
Malaysia vs. Australia
Nigeria vs. Seychelles

Group B:

Singapore (#3/4)  beat Northern Ireland  5-0
New Zealand beat Jamaica  5-0
Sri Lanka beat Northern Island  5-0
Singapore (#3/4)   beat Jamaica  5-0
New Zealand beat Sri Lanka   3-2
Northern Ireland beat Jamaica  4-1
Singapore (#3/4)   beat Sri Lanka  4-1
New Zealand beat Northern Ireland  5-0

To be played on Oct 6th :
Singapore (#3/4)   vs. New Zealand
Sri Lanka vs. Jamaica

Standings of Group B (as of Wednesday October 5th)

1.       Singapore (#3/4)
2.       New Zealand

3.       Sri Lanka
4.       Northern Ireland
5.       Jamaica

Group C :

England (#3/4) beat Falkland Islands  5-0
Canada beat Uganda  5-0
Mauritius beat Falkland Islands  5-0
England (#3/4)  beat Uganda  5-0
Canada beat Mauritius  5-0
Uganda beat Falkland Islands  5-0

To be played on October 6th
England (#3/4)  vs. Mauritius
Canada vs. Falkland Islands
England (#3/4)  vs. Canada
Mauritius vs. Uganda

Standings of Group C as of Wednesday October 6th

1.       England (#3/4)
2.       Canada

3.       Mauritius
4.       Uganda
5.       Falkland Island

Group D

India (#2) beat Kenya 5-0
Scotland beat Barbados 5-0
Wales beat Kenya  5-0
India (#2) beat Barbados  5-0
Scotland beat Wales  5-0
Kenya vs. Barbados  unknown

To be played on Thursday October 6th
India (#2)  vs. Wales
Scotland vs. Kenya
India (#2)  vs. Scotland
Wales vs. Barbados

Standings of Group D as of Wednesday October 6th

1.       India (#2)
2.       Scotland

3.       Wales
4.       Kenya
5.       Barbados

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.