Poland is certainly a European hot spot for badminton this past two weeks with the ongoing European U17 championships taking place in Lubin and the annual Polish Open which starts in Warsaw on Thursday.
As with the last number of circuit tournament a large Asian contingent travels to Warsaw but even with this being the case there are still real opportunities for Europeans to shine in all 5 events with home success on the cards in mixed and men’s doubles.
It’s hard to believe that 12 months ago Robert Mateusiak and Nadia Zieba (pictured winning on circuit in January) were not playing their home Open. The Poles were out of the game with no world ranking. 12 months later Mateusiak and Zieba return to Warsaw as top seeds with a host of international wins to their name, a place at the Rio Olympics almost secured and a world ranking setting them amongst the world’s best at number 17.
The Polish veterans will feel little pressure on home soil this week but as always will look to succeed and secure a home win and they will be favourites to do just that. The main opposition to the Poles this week will come from a host of Asian player while Kaesbauer/Herttrich & (GER) Kargaev/Bolotova (RUS) will look to upset the Polish party in Warsaw.
Win or bust for Cwalina & Wacha as the quest for points continues
While Mateusiak and Zieba already have one foot on the plane to Rio in the summer the same cannot be said of Polish men’s doubles pairing Adam Cwalina and Przemyslaw Wacha (pictured above in relaxed mood at recent EMWTC in Kazan). The top Polish pair currently sit in second last place for automatic qualification and only a win this week will do anything to improve their world ranking.
The Poles are seeded two for the tournament behind Langridge and Ellis, with the English pair being on a rich run of consistent form lately marking them out as the pair to beat in Warsaw.
Poland will also look to Rogalski & Dziolko to make an impact in the men’s singles which in reality is more of a long shot and would be a bonus on top of any success in mixed or men’s doubles.
Olga Konon and Karin Schnaase continue their battle for Rio with the Germans occupying the top two seeded positions. Again only wins will serve to enhance either girls position in the ranking list and in reality their battle will most likely run its course at the European Championships in France next month with big points on offer for a continental medal.
The action gets underway on Thursday from Warsaw and you can follow live score and view all draws HERE
Article and Images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe