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Preview: Irish Open 2021

11/17/2021 3:19 PM |  BadmintonEurope.com |  Yash Sharma
The century-old international tournament will be held from 17-20 November. 

While the topmost players in the world appear in the Bali leg, there’s a lot of firepower to be expected at the Irish Open. The young athletes have a chance to shine, same as the Olympic and three-time world champion Carolina Marin did back in 2009. 

While Ygor Coelho spearheads the men’s singles draw, he has had little success of late. The second-seeded veteran Pablo Abian will take inspiration from his recent close encounter against Lee Zii Jia at the Hylo Open 2021. The home favourites Nhat Nguyen and Jonathan Dolan will strive to lift the trophy for Ireland after nine years. There are many to-be stars in the mix as well: Alex Lanier, Magnus Johannesen, and Arnaud Merkle. The Centre of Excellence (CoE) player Andrzej Niczyporuk finds himself in the qualifying draw. 

An interesting women’s singles entry
The top seed Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt is a common name in the elite tournaments. However, the Dane has decided to participate in the Irish Open instead of Indonesia Masters. A title under her belt will perhaps help build the much-required confidence. Amalie Schulz is the other prominent Danish name in the category. While the CoE player Gayle Mahulette is seeded fourth, another athlete, Sofia Slosiarikova, has been drawn in the qualifiers. 

The doubles categories
Following the withdrawal of two stellar Danish pairs Daniel Lundgaard/ Mathias Thyrri and Mads Pieler Kolding/ Frederik Sogaard, the men’s doubles crown seems more realistic for the third-seeded home favourites Joshua Magee/ Paul Reynolds. It must be noted that superstar Kolding had recently announced retirement from the international circuit. The Hungarian International winners Emil Lauritzen/ Mads Vestergaard have an opportunity to claim consecutive titles. The young guns might face the fourth seeds Christopher Grimley/ Matthew Grimley in the semifinals. 

The Danes Christine Busch/ Amalie Schulz and the Canadians Catherine Choi/ Josephine Wu are the top two seeds in the women’s doubles. Unfortunately, the second seeds will have to contend with the strong duo of Debora Jille/ Cheryl Seinen in their first match. 

A second title?
Selena Piek is one of the two previous champions contesting this year. She had won the mixed doubles crown with Jacco Arends in 2013. The Dutch star is partnering Robin Tabeling to form the top seed. They are drawn to face their Dutch Open conquerors Mikkel Mikkelsen/ Rikke Soby in the title bout. The other winner is the home star Chloe Magee. While she had won the 2018 edition with Sam Magee, she pairs up with Joshua Magee this time. 

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