Fladberg Finesse in Finland
Date: 3/30/2012 9:01 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
Young Dane, Rasmus Fladberg shrugged off the ill effects of a head cold to come through the first and second rounds in Helsinki today on his way to a quarter final match up against the inform Ville Lång.

Fladberg had been sniffling all morning but showed no signs of the niggling cold as soon as he stepped on court. The Young Dane got off to a flying start against Michael Lahnsteiner in the opening set but struggled to end the challenge of the Austrian number one before eventually struggling through in the second 23-21.

Fladberg was back on the Badminton Europe streaming court shortly after against Czech number 1, Petr Koukal and in almost a carbon copy of the match against Lahnsteiner where he stormed to an opening game win 21-6 and again struggled in the second game. The Dane actually had 5 match points at 20-15 but allowed Koukal, who was through to his first second round of 2012 after some poor early year form, right back into the game and tied 20-20. Fladberg managed to steady the ship and take the next two points and with it the match.

“I had a good few weeks of training but have come here with this small cold which is annoying. I started well in both matches but struggled in the second set on both occasions but it is always good to get this first day out of the way” said Fladberg to Badminton Europe.

There was also a welcome return to form for Swede Henri Hurskainen who has struggled with a back injury over the past 12 months. Not since the Norwegian International last year has the Swede reached a quarter final and after two good wins today in round one and two, most impressively against number 3 seed Eric Pang, Hurskainen appears to be coming back into a vein of good form.

Dmytro Zavadsky has also brought his good form from Poland here to Finland advancing to the quarters and top seed Rajiv Ouseph will have a tough battle against Yuhan Tan after the Belgian defeat Emil Holst of Denmark in the second round.

In the women’s singles the Olympic ‘Battle of Britain’ stepped up a notch as both Susan Egelstaff and Elizabeth Cann booked their places in the quarter finals. Egelstaff had to fight back from 3 match points to eventually fend off the stiff challenge of Iris Wang from the USA in three energy sapping sets. On the adjoining court at the same time Elizabeth Cann came back from a set down and 19-17 down in the second to beat Ireland’s Chloe Magee. Cann now moves forward to take on Yao Jie in the quarter finals and Egelstaff will face Denmark’s Karina Jorgensen. The Scot will be happy just to match whatever Cann achieves in this tournament as she is buoyed by a buffer of almost 5500 points.

“I am really happy with the way I played today and once there are points to be won I will keep fighting to the end. It looked almost lost against Chloe (Magee) but people who know me know I will never give up and that got me through today” said Cann to Badminton Europe.

The doubles events were decimated by a barrage of late withdrawals and in the mixed it looks like the biggest challenge that world silver medallists, Bankier and Adcock will face will come from the recently crowned Danish National champions Anders Skaarup Rasmussen and Sara Thygesen. The Danes crushed all before them in the opening rounds and look like a promising new partnership.

“Even though the draw has been weakened that now puts an added pressure on us to perform as people are talking now about a final between us and the British pair. We will take each match as it comes but for sure a crack at the British in the final is a big motivation” said the Danes to Badminton Europe.

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Article and image by Mark Phelan (Live in Helsinki)
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