Memories of first senior win for Marin
Date: 12/3/2013 9:50 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
The Carlton Irish Open takes place in the Baldoyle Badminton Centre on Dublin’s north side this coming week and enjoys a rich history as one of the oldest International tournaments which has run uninterrupted since 1902.  The 2013 edition boasts a stellar line up with Spain’s world number 18 Carolina Marin (pictured) making the journey back to Dublin, the location of her first ever senior international win back in 2009.

“It is nice to go back to the place where I won my first ever title. I have great memories from that day and this time around there will be a lot more pressure to perform well”

Indeed the women’s singles draw is as strong as it gets in European circuit terms with Kirsty Gilmour, Beatriz Corrales, Sashina Vignes Waran and Irelands own Chloe Magee all vying to end Marin’s winning streak which has seen her win both the London GPG and Scotland GP in the last seven weeks.

Evans upbeat about title defence chances

Irelands own Scott Evans comes into this year’s event as defending champion and memories are still fresh from his emotional victory last year, the Irishman’s first circuit victory after 7 previous finals. His 2012 success was certainly a monkey off his back and even thought this year’s edition of the Irish Open is once again International Challenge rated the Irish number one will sit quietly confident of putting in a stout defence of his title.

“I think I have been reasonably lucky with my draw as, let’s face it, I have had my fair share of tough draws over the past year. That said I am going to have to be focused and ready and as always I will do my very best to perform to my best at home”

Finland’s Ville Lång comes to Dublin as top seed and will be oozing confidence after a good showing at the Scottish GP two weeks ago. A strong Swedish presence will travel to Dublin and the flamboyant Mattias Wigardt knows how to win in the confined environment of the Baldoyle badminton centre after lifting the Irish Future Series title in 2012.

Danish former world number 5 Joachim Persson will be looking to lift his first title of the year after a pair of runners up spots in Canada & Spain. The Dane won the Irish Open as far back as 2004 but will need to find the form that took him to victory at the Czech International back in September 2012 if he is to be considered a serious contender for the title.

Dutch favourites for the doubles

It goes without saying that the Dutch team have been the most consistent in all the doubles events over the past months on the Badminton Europe Circuit. The Dutch come to Dublin this year as defending champions in not only the men’s and women’s doubles but the mixed also and are sure to be a sound bet come the medal ceremony on Saturday evening.

In Selena Piek & Eefje Muskens they have the inform women’s doubles outfit coming to Dublin off the back of victories at the Bitburger GPG and Scottish GP. Piek & Muskens have been regular visitors to Dublin in the past and when they are on form it takes a world’s top play to topple them.

Jacco Arends will look to take his mixed partnership with Piek to the next level and alongside Jelle Maas in men’s doubles the Dutch star will be one of the feared partnerships in Dublin this coming week. 2011 European junior champions Coles & Nottingham will be ones to watch as well as both Polish outfits and the combination of former world silver medallist, 32 year old Scot, Robert Blair and his Malaysian partner Bin Shin Tan.

Blair & Bankier travel to Dublin as part of Commonwealth build up

Both Robert Blair & Imogen Bankier travel to Dublin as the newly crowned Scottish GP Champions and if the old saying of success breeds success is true then the Scots will be ones to watch in Dublin as they build towards the Commonwealth Games next summer in Glasgow.

The manner in which the Scots took their home title under two weeks ago sets them apart from the majority of the mixed doubles field but Irish duo of Sam & Chloe Magee displayed some form in Glasgow and will feel that there is still more to come especially on home soil.

“We have a tough draw, that is just the reality of the situation. That being the case it will be a big ask to go all the way in Dublin but the Scottish Open gave us some positives to look back on and we certainly feel we left a semi-final spot behind us there” said Sam Magee about his chances in Dublin.

The Carlton Irish Open will be streamed exclusively on Badminton Ireland’s YouTube channel from Tuesday next which includes a pair of friendly matches between Ireland & Sweden and Ireland & Russia.

Speaking to Badminton Europe Richard Vaughan, BI CEO, outlined his hopes for the 2013 edition of the Irish Open “Badminton Ireland are very excited by the 300 player entry for the 2013 event, the 100th Irish Open, making it the World oldest Open event. Hopefully our top players can challenge for titles again in 2013 and we can see a repeat of Scott Evans victory in 2012.”

All the main action kicks on of Wednesday 4th December with the finals being played on Saturday afternoon 7th December.

You can join the full action from Dublin live on Badminton Ireland's YouTube channel.

For full Irish Open draw click HERE

Article by Mark Phelan. Photos by BadmintonPhoto.
© All rights reserved.

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