Wigardt powers through to main draw
Date: 1/19/2012 10:29 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

Qualification Day at any tournament is always tough and more often than not it is a tournament within itself compressed into one very long day. With the Olympics now just around the corner the quality of the cast assembled for this the first International Challenge of the calendar year on the Badminton Europe circuit made for an exciting and demanding days play.

64 athletes battled for one of the eight spots available in the men’s singles main draw and once again it was the home grown talent of Mathias Wigardt (main picture) the stood out from the crowd as he powered his way through to the main draw.

It was not so long ago that Wigardt was hailed as the next big talent to come out of Sweden but failed to flourish and realise that potential. However a player’s home tournament always brings out the best in the local talent and it was clear from Wigardt’s demolition of Kristian Midtgaard, fellow Swede Johan Bjorkholm and Anthony Dumartheray that he will pose a definite and real threat in tomorrow’s main draw.

In the women’s singles draw it was a case of business as usual for the crop of emerging Danish juniors as Sandra Maria Jensen led the charge to the main draw quickly followed by Lena Clausen and the hottest prospect of them all Line Kjaersfeldt. There was a welcomed return to form for Fabienne Deprez as she defeated Camilla Sørensen, the experienced Dane still trying to find her way back from a long term injury. Another to catch the eye was the battling Slovenian Spela Silvester who probably played more points than anyone else today in her journey to the main draw tomorrow.

After three matches in one day the real test for the athletes who came through qualification will come in tomorrow’s main draw where fatigue and a marked step up in quality of the opposition is going to take its toll. But players like Witgardt in the Men’s singles and Kjaersfeldt in the Women’s singles draw will be tough opposition for any of the more established main draw regulars.

For all the action on demand from todays play log onto Badminton Europe TV by clicking HERE. Live action with post match interviews will continue tomorrow.

For all results click HERE

For photo gallery Live from Stockholm click HERE and follow the link to Badminton Europe’s Facebook page.

Article and Gallery Images by Mark Phelan (Live in Stockholm)

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