As the serious action kicked off today with the first and second rounds proper at the Yonex Polish International 2012 the unlikely hero’s of the day were without doubt the emerging younger generation from Turkey.
The Turks, who along with the Ukraine, blasted onto the scene at last year’s European Juniors in Finland have continued to prosper and flourish and have begun to become some of the most feared opposition on the senior European tour.
In the shape of Neslihan Yigit and Özge Bayrak (pictured after winning second round)
the emerging badminton nation has certainly a lot to be positive about moving forward. Yigit, who is pushing now for Olympic qualification, had an intense early round battle with home favourite Kamila Augustyn before coming thru in three sets. The taller of the two Turks then went on to comfortably end the return to competition of Karoliine Hoim of Estonia in two games.
“I had to fight hard against Augustyn today and kept the tempo high right until the end. The second set I just lost some concentration but found the motivation again in the third set to win the match” said Yigit to Badminton Europe.
Bayrak was as equally convincing in her two matches today as she defeated fifth seed Elizabeth Cann in the first round before going to beat Alesia Zaitsava in her second three set battle of the day. Bayrak now advances to play Susan Egelstaff in tomorrow’s quarter final as the Scott continues to push towards the Olympics and put further daylight between her and Cann for that one GB position in London.
In the men’s singles, homeboy Przemyslaw Wacha played out probably the day’s most entertaining game against Pedro Martins of Portugal. Martins, who really is a class act when he feels like it, took Wacha the full distance before losing out in 3 tight games.
In the Ukrainian race for the Olympics both Atrashenckov and Zavadsky advanced to the quarter finals in what was a welcomed return to form for the smaller of the to Ukraine players. Both will interestingly play Chinese Taipai opposition in tomorrow’s quarter finals.
Cwalina & Logosz burst into the tournament as top seeds in the men’s doubles with an easy two game win while their biggest opposition for the title, Sozonov and Ivanov continue to mix both singles with doubles.
In the mixed, Nathan Robertson along with partner Jenny Wallwork put the horrible loss to Bankier and Adcock last week behind them and got right back down to business with a training run opening round run out against Konakh and Zaitsava of Belarus. All looks promising in the UK camp in the mixed discipline for the future as the young pairing of Stawski and Smith look an excellent prospect for the future.
“We got off to a pretty good start and never really looked back from there. It got a bit close in the second but altogether we are very happy with our game here and look forward now to the next round” said Stawski to Badminton Europe after their first round win over number 4 seeds Zirnwald and Baldauf.
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Article and images by Mark Phelan (Live in Poland)