Schmidt the unlikeliest of German Heroes
Date: 9/14/2012 11:46 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

The main draw at the Yonex Belgian International got under way today and it was the German Lukas Schmidt (pictured) who provoked most attention after taking down number two seed and European silver medallist Henri Hurskainen of Sweden.

Coming into the tournament Schmidt would have been the least fancied of the three Germans in the field but ended up the only one to make it to the quarter finals after the defeats of Domke and Reuter who Schmidt himself beat in the second round.

There was also a welcomed return to form for Kestutis Navickas as the Lithuanian number one continues his comeback from injury. An immese victory over Atrashchencov of the Ukraine was followed up with an easy two game win over Dieter Domke and the real test now comes for the Lithuanian in tomorrow’s quarter final when he takes on top seed Tan Chung Seang from Malaysia.

Joachim Persson to showed signs of a possible return to form as he strung together a pair of wins the best of which was over Swede Mattias Wigardt. The Dane looked to a lot more comfortable on court than any time over the past year and clearly appears to be enjoying his badminton again.

In the women’s singles both Kirsty Gilmour and Sashina Vignes Waran caught the eye as they blew away tricky opposition in two sets with Gilmour clearly showing the form that took her to the Polish title just two weeks ago.
Even hampered by a heavily strapped stomach injury Gilmour looks to be a real medal contender here in Belgium.

“I strained a stomach muscle in training and as you can see there have been no jump smashes this week so far as a result. I didn’t know what to expect as a result here but I am pleasantly surprised how things are progressing” said Gilmour to Badminton Europe. The quarter final matchup between both girls is sure to be electrifying tomorrow as both are brimming with confidence at the start of this new season.

Top seed Linda Zetchiri, now based in Denmark, ended the run of qualifier Anna Thea Madsen in a day that saw the Bulgarian beat two of the young Danish brigade on her way to the quarter final.

After entering the days play with no fewer than nine Danish players in the women’s singles draw only the solitary figure of Line Kjaersfeldt was left standing by the end of play after the shock defeat of number 3 seed Karina Jørgensen at the hands of Akvile Stapusaityte in the first round.

In the mixed doubles top seeded Ukrainian pair Atrashchenkov and Kobceva ended the run of new Dutch pair Van Dooremalen and Ridder. Fellow newbie’s Langridge and Olver effectively silenced their doubters with a pair of well deserved wins to advance to the quarters. The English duo look to be improving with every set and with this tournament being such a happy hunting ground for Olver she will be keen to get to Sunday as she did last year. 

“It all good and we are improving but it is certainly a special form of mixed doubles we are playing which is all part of the learning process” said Olver (giggling) and Langridge to Badminton Europe.

Tomorrow BETV will stream the quarter-finals from court 1. You can watch the following matches:

MX 09.30 Ellis/White (England) vs. Schwenger/Nelte (Germany)
WS 10.15 Karin Schnaase (Germany) vs. Line Kjærsfeldt (Denmark)
MS 11.00 Kestutis Navickas (Lithuania) vs. Tan Seang Chung (Malaysia)
MS 11.50 Joachim Persson (Denmark) vs. Andre Kurniawan (Indonesia)
MD 12.40 Cwalina/Ridder (Poland/Netherlands) vs. Tien/Yang (Taiwan)

You can follow all the live action on by clicking HERE 
Follow Badminton Europe on facebook to view the live photo gallery by clicking HERE

Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Belgium for Badminton Europe)

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