Circuit

Axelsen looking to go one better
Date: 1/16/2012 10:31 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
Viktor Axelsen (pictured) goes into this week’s Swedish International as number three seed and one of the favourites to lift the title in the men’s singles. The Dane broke onto the senior international scene at this very event two years ago eventually losing out in the final to Indra Bagus, the Spanish based Indonesian. Last year Viktor Axelsen suffered the same agonising final defeat this time at the hands of Spanish number one Pablo Abian

Axelsen will be looking to go one further this year and two consecutive finals defeats will certainly prove enough motivation for the world junior bronze medallist. “Like any tournament I enter I enter to win but for sure I am motivated to play well in Sweden this coming week after two finals defeats in last two years. I have had some good matches in Sweden and there are good memories there so I am really looking forward to competing well this week” said Axelsen to Badminton Europe.

The main threat to Axelsen is surely to come from last year’s winner Abian  who just this weekend proved he is in good form by reaching the second round that the Malaysian Super Series. But Malaysia is a long way to travel so fatigue might be a factor come the weekend and the Spaniards recovery rate will be tested to its limit.

Others to note are Rasmus Fladberg and Dicky Palyama who meet in the first round. The winner of this match will fancy their chances of going a long way in the tournament.

Japanese Return to attempt hat trick

Japan has always sent a strong women’s singles representation to Stockholm and have won the title for the past two years. This year Ai Goto visits Sweden as top seed and the world number 22 will be looking to secure 4000 Olympic qualification points to close the gap on Hirose and Sato just ahead of her in the race to London. Pi Hongyan will look to spoil the Japanese party by lifting the title after disappointing in Ireland at International challenge level before Christmas.

Poles have tough task

The men’s doubles is a wide open event with any one of 10 pairings being in with a realistic shout at the title. Top seeds are 5 time winners in 2011 Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz from Poland but they know that this is a quality field assembled with top quality opposition including Durkin/Nikolaenko (Rus), De Ruiter/Khodabux (Ned), Langridge/Mills (Eng), Kolding/Skovgaard (Den), Adcock/Ellis (Eng) and of course the Poles arch rivals from Russia Sozonov and Ivanov from Russia. It is clear from the assembled cast that this show will be worth front row tickets throughout the four days competition.

Super Series talent on Show

In the women’s doubles a handful of Europe’s more regular Super Series pairings have elected to travel to Sweden in their quest for Olympic qualification. England look strong with White and Wallwork backed up by ever present pair of Olver and Agathangelou but outright favourites will be Russian top seeds Sorokina and Vislova who won in the Czech Republic in 2011, their last appearance at this level. Home pair of Wengberg and Lennartsson will look to justify their number 3 seedings and don’t rule out Dutch pair of Piek and Tabeling who have steadily been progressing up the world rankings of late.

IN the mixed doubles yet again a field of European Super Series talent has elected to travel to Stockholm for a tournament that really is packed with talent in every discipline. Team GB will be the ones to beat in the mixed with world championship runners up Adcock and Bankier top seeds. They are seeded to meet Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork in the final as both pairs fight out their internal battle to qualify for London 2012.

Robertson/Wallwork are back fresh off a win against their British team mates in Malaysia and will sure to be full of confidence this week in Stockholm. Others to watch out for are the explosive Khodabux and Piek, Sorokina and Nikolaenko or Russia and 4th seeded Danes of Kolding and Houmann.

All the action will be live on BETV from Thursday with live post match interviews from the TV court. Live commentary as usual for semi finals and finals can all be viewed by logging on and registering for fee by clicking HERE.

A Live photo gallery will also be available at the Badminton Europe facebook page just click HERE and like us and for current BE Circuit rankings click HERE.

Article by Mark Phelan; Photo by BadmintonPhoto
©badmintoneurope.com. All rights reserved.

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