Hurskainen faces tough task on home soil
New home and new opportunities
Date: 1/17/2017 3:51 PM
Published by : Mark Phelan
After a very successful three years in Uppsala the premier Swedish international badminton tournament makes a move to Lund, 20km north of Malmo, for this week’s stop on the Badminton Europe circuit. A very strong field will make the trip with Denmark, France & hosts Sweden the favourites to lift titles. 

A vastly experienced home presence will be on show in the Sparbanken Skane arena with Henri Hurskainen leading the challenge and the seedings in the men’s singles draw. 

The Swedish number one makes his 2017 debut after the perfect end to 2016 where he won the Italian International in Rome. Hurskainen will need to be sharp from the outset with both Steffen Rasmussen and Rasmus Gemke on the Swedes menu in the opening two rounds. 

Kim Bruun also makes the short trip across the Oresund bridge in a tournament that resembles a Grand Prix line up and not its International Series status. The Dane has the easier side of the draw but like Hurskainen will need to be alert with players such as Toby Penty (ENG) & Felix Burestedt (SWE) waiting to pounce. 

Danish girls set to dominate women’s singles draw

With 6 real prospects of podium positions team Denmark will be the ones to beat in the women’s singles. Mia Blichfeldt (above) is way overdue a win and has been unlucky in recent months with some tough 50/50 losses. 

Blichfeldt is top seed and will be backed up by Julie Dawall Jakobsen, Irina Andersen, Sofie Holmboe Dahl, Anna Thea Madsen and Julie Finne-Ipsen in the hunt for gold. Another that may feature are Clara Azurmendi who was runner up in both Turkey and Italy just before Christmas.

The Danes will also feature heavily in the women’s doubles with Julie Finne-Ipsen and Rikke Soby looking to continue their 2016 form into this new year. The home fans will feel confident however with Nistad and Wengberg as top seeds and new kids on the block Magnusson and Karlsson ones to watch for the future. 

Three-pronged attack from French in mixed doubles

The mixed doubles represents France’ best opportunity for success with a trio of strong pairings vying for gold. Corvee & Tran will look to quickly get over their early Estonian defeat to young compatriots Gicquel and Delrue (above) with both pairs scheduled to meet once again in the quarter final. 

Kersaudy & Palermo lead the line in terms of experience from a French perspective and it will be up to home top seeds Nico Ruponen & Amanda Hogstrom and the ever-dangerous Danish pair of Mathias Bay-Smidt and Alexandra Boje to prevent a French victory. 

In the men’s doubles Ruponen will partner Richard Eidestedt as top seeds and if the Swedes can click and find their ‘A’ game there is not much to beat them in Sweden this coming week. 

All the action starts on Thursday with qualification rounds and you can watch every single rally from every single game via our multi court YouTube stream HERE

To view all the draws for this week’s Swedish International click HERE

To view all the historic winners of the Swedish International click HERE

Article and images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe

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