Mixed opportunities for Europe as Asians dominate
Date: 11/24/2012 1:08 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
The signs of Asian dominance in Glasgow were apparent very early on at Semi Finals stages at the Scottish International as one by one the European challenge fell to the wayside under immense pressure from Korea and Japan. Europe’s chances got off to the worst possible start in the blue riband men’s and women’s singles events. Germany’s Olga Konon was unable to stop the Japanese steam roller as the highly talented Sayaka Takahashi, the winner of the 2012 Austrian International on her last trip to Europe, proved dominant and controlled the German from start to finish in their semi final.

Konon has chances in the opening game but just could not break the defence of the tall Japanese shuttler and went down 21-16 in the opening game. Takahashi dominated the second game with Konon playing into the wind and eased into the final with a 21-13 win in the second game. “That was a tough game for me. I never really found a rhythm and struggled to match her tempo. However I have been out of the game for a long time and I have to take many positives from this trip to Scotland as only my second tournament back” said Konon after her defeat.

The men’s singles proved no more fruitful for Europe than the women’s as both Rune Ulsing and Eric Pang went down at semi final stage. Ulsing looked completely out of sorts against Anand Pawar and the Indian clearly enjoys coming to Scotland on the back of a couple of wins and runner’s up spots at the Scottish International in previous years.

Dutch Open champion Eric Pang was completed outclassed by Kazumasa Sakai and struggled to match the pace of the punchy Japanese player. Sakai managed the drift exceptionally, playing a sharp flat game and Pang just could not find his length on the changeover of ends.

Things got worse for Europe as Anders Kristiansen was forced to retire in his mixed semi final and then had to withdraw from the men’s doubles semi final allowing yet another two Asian pairings advance to Sunday’s final. And to compound the European agony Rasmus Bonde and Mads Conrad Petersen blew a golden opportunity to progress in what was a wonderful men’s doubles semi final. The Danes led 17-12 in the final game against Saeki and Taohata before letting the Japanese back into the game. The Japanese took the match with a fluke of a net shot leaving Conrad bemused with the realisation they had let the match slip from their hands.

There was some light in what was a pretty dark afternoon for the European contingent as Marcus Ellis and Gabby White (pictured) benefited from the retirement of Kristiansen and Houmann to advance to the final in what is their last tournament together. Their opponents in tomorrow’s final will be Ruud Bosch and Selena Piek after the Dutch came out on the right side of a three set score line against Kamura and Koharu from Japan.

To re visit all the action from today’s games as well as watch the post match interviews log onto Badminton Europe TV by clicking HERE. Watch the finals live on BEtv from 1pm local time tomorrow.

For a full photo gallery from today’s play follow Badminton Europe on facebook by clicking HERE.

For all results click HERE.

Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Glasgow)
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