BadmintonPhoto: Axelsen, Thomas Cup 2016
Seeded players still aiming high
Date: 7/28/2016 10:59 AM
Published by : Emma Lollike
The official draw aired live on BWF’s this Tuesday, giving the Olympians a more detailed overview on their Olympic tournament next month. Expectations have been met or exceeded; new goals have been set, and the final stage of preparations can begin.

The seeded players from Europe have had a mixed draw this Tuesday, some can be more optimistic than others. But something that will not change is their spirit, European qualifiers will leave for Rio with hopes still high.

Men’s Doubles

Photo from BWF Facebook page
Tuesday’s draw put Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge (ENG) in Group C along with fellow Europeans Carsten Mogensen/Mathias Boe (DEN), who trained against each other earlier that day. Poland’s Adam Cwalina/Przemyslaw Wacha join the two pairs, having three Euro entries in the same group, leaving group D also known as “group of death” with none.

German constellation Michael Fuchs/Johannes Schoettler are set to face China’s Fu Haifeng/Zhang Nan, Malaysia’s Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong and USA’s Phillip Chew/Sattawat Pongnairat. The defending All England-champions Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov (RUS) is up against the 1st seeds Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong (KOR) in Group A along with Lee Sheng Mu/Tsai Chia Hsin (TPE) and Matthew Chau/Sawan Serasinghe (AUS).

“It is a good group for us. We have beaten the Chinese Taipei-pair several times, and recently Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong at All England. We feel confident and hope to finish 1st in the group”, Vladimir Ivanov commented, at Wednesday’s training in Brøndby.

Women’s Singles

Photo from BWF Facebook page
Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour was all smiles at the practice yesterday in Brøndby, which understandably enough had something to do with her draw in Group D. Reaching the 11th seed, her opponents will be fellow Europeans; Linda Zetchiri (BUL) and Sabrina Jaquet (SWI).

“I’m really excited about it,” she says of her draw, “There are some really dangerous unseeded players at the Olympics - not that my group is not dangerous, but it could have been a lot worse.”

“It’s a very good draw for Kirsty, because she will face two Europeans who she knows very well,” said Jakob Hoi, GB Head Coach, “Of course, that puts some expectation on her but it’s not just about the group. She has the capabilities to do well.”
Her training partner these days, Line Kjaersfeldt (DEN) got a very different starting point in Group A, facing former World and European Champion, 1st seed Carolina Marin (ESP) and Finland’s Nanna Vainio.

“It is difficult to be ‘satisfied’ with your group at an Olympic tournament. Obviously, the 1st seed is not what I was hoping for, but I am up for the challenge. It is unfortunate to be in the same group as her [Marin], but this is my first Olympics and I will do my best. I have played well against her previously, and maybe she will have a hard time coming out as the favorite, and she might be struggling to live up to the expectations.”

In Marin’s half, she will run into two players she has beaten in BWF World Championships finals: China’s Li Xuerui and India’s Saina Nehwal. Chloe Magee (IRL) and Karin Schnaase (GER) will take on 2nd seed Yang Wihan (CHN) in the other half’s Group P.

Men’s Singles

Photo from BWF Facebook page
Viktor Axelsen (DEN), seeded 4, is facing tough Asian opponents in Group L; Lee Dong Keun (KOR) and Boonsak Ponsana (THA). But is foreseen to reach the semi-finals and face 2nd seed Chen Long (CHN).

5th seed Jan Jørgensen (DEN), who has a ‘manageable’ group compared to Axelsen; Rual Must (EST) and Brice Leverdez (FRA), can risk facing double Olympic champion Lin Dan (CHN) already in the quarter’s followed by a semi against 1st seed Lee Chong Wei (MAY).

Denmark’s head coach Lars Uhre stated on Badminton Denmarks website that the luck of the draw hadn’t played out for his players.

“Overall it is a tough draw for us. We know that we won’t get anything for free at the Olympics. We will continue to prepare and better ourselves so we are as strong as possible. We still believe that we can compete among the best and we will aim for the medals,” Uhre said.

The two other European seeds in this category, Ouseph (13) are facing Japan’s Sho Sasaki and Czech Republic’s Petr Koukal in Group I, while Germany’s best ranked Marc Zwiebler (12), who trained with Ouseph last week in Birmingham, are up against Ireland’s Scott Evans and Brazil’s very own Ygor Coelho De Oliveira in Group K.

Women’s doubles

Photo from BWF Facebook page
In Group A, Eefje Muskens/Selena Piek of Netherlands are facing top seeds Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (JPN), India’s Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa and Thailand’s Puttita Supajirakul/Sapsiree Taerattanachai.

Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhl have also had a tough draw, and are placed in Group B alongside Korea’s Jung Kyung Eun/Shin Seung Chan will have to battle China’s Dubai World Superseries Finals champions Luo Ying/Luo Yu, and USA’s Paula Lynn Obanana/Eva Lee.

In the other half, the Germans Carla Nelte/Johanna Goliszewski have European company of Bulgarian sisters Stefani and Gabriela Stoeva in Group D, with the 2nd seeds from China: Tang Yuanting/Yu Yang.

And in Group C, Heather Olver/Lauren Smith (GBR) has the 3rd seeds Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Greysia Polii from Indonesia to deal with.

Mixed Doubles

Photo from BWF Facebook page
Olympic bronze medalists from London, Denmark’s Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Christinna Pedersen, are dealing with BCA Indonesia Open champions Xu Chen/Ma Jin, Poland’s Robert Mateusiak/Nadiezda Zieba and Dubai World Superseries Finals-champions Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock (GBR), in Group B.

While GB Head Coach, admits it is a tough draw for the married GB-pair, he remains confident that the Adcocks have what it takes to overcome the battle.

“Chris and Gabby have an open chance because they have beaten almost everyone in the world,” he said.

Top seeds from China and defending Olympic champions, Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei are placed in Group A along with Yonex All England champions Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto (INA), Hong Kong’s Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah and Germany’s Michael Fuchs/Birgit Michels.

Second seeds Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na (KOR) are in Group D with Dutch pair Jacco Arends/Selena Piek, Japan’s Kenta Kazuno/Ayane Kurihara and USA’s Phillip Chew/Jamie Subandhi.

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