New look mixed pairs advance to main draw
Date: 9/13/2012 8:52 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
The 2012 Yonex Belgian International kicked off today in the University city of Leuven this morning with a jam packed schedule of qualification matches in all disciplines. With the post Olympic shake up taking effect many established doubles players found themselves coming to Belgium a day early to participate in qualification.

The mixed doubles in particular witnessed the arrival of some interesting new pairings and the most notable of these being the reintroduction of Pauline Van Dooremalen in mixed doubles alongside Koen Ridder and the English pair of Chris Langridge and Heather Olver.

Ridder and Van Dooremalen were particularly impressive on their run through qualification and judging by the smiles on their faces throughout they clearly enjoyed their time on court again after a tough Olympic qualification period in their respective doubles. “It’s nice to be back and really enjoying my game. We were only promoted to the qualification at the last minute as were first reserves which was an unusual position for both of us to be in” said Van Dooremalen after her brace of victories.

Olver and Langridge (pictured) looked a little unsure of themselves today as it has been a long time since either have had to endure qualification. Only a year ago Heather Olver reached the final in Belgium in the women’s doubles but she can be happy with her performance in her first outing with Langridge as a pair. The English duo had two pretty decent qualification victories and a 21-11 21-15 win over team mates Mills and Lim sees them slot into the top half of the draw and don’t right off the chances of both the Dutch and English meeting each other in the quarter finals on Saturday.

In the men’s singles qualification both Kieran Merrilees and Toby Penty continued their good run of form after capturing gold and silver in Poland just two weeks ago. Merrilees was made to work hard against Finland’s Iikka Heino before coming through in three games. Penty was less troubled against another Finn Anton Kaisti as he advanced to the main draw.

The women’s singles qualification went as according to plan as Danish junior Anna Thea Madsen proved here genuine credentials by seeing of Asian opposition to move into the main rounds tomorrow. It turned out to be a golden few hours for the Danish girls as following Madsen into the main draw were Mette Poulsen, Julie Finne-Ipsen, Camilla Martens and Natalia Koch Rhode. The future of Danish women’s singles appears to be heading in the right direction if today’s success rate is to be considered a benchmark for what is to come.

Julie Finne-Ipsen had double reason to celebrate as she added a place in the women’s doubles main draw to that of her singles alongside partner Isabella Nielsen. The young Danes 100% record in her four qualification matches was a remarkable achievement in a tough long days play in Leuven.

Follow the live stream from Belgium on BETV by logging in and registering for free HERE. The finals from Belgium will be streamed with full TV quality multi camera feed with replays and commentary all live on BETV on Sunday starting at 1pm local time.

Live Facebook photo gallery available HERE.

Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Belgium for Badminton Europe)
© All rights reserved.

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