Olympic Wrap Up - Day 2

Written by  Aaron Wong Tuesday, 31 July 2012 08:34

The evening began with players from three countries not reknowned for badminton initially troubling their top ten calibre opponents.

In men's doubles, the world ranked twenty Russian pair Ivanov/Sozonov snatched the first game 21-16 against the more fancied former world number one Danes Boe/Mogensen. The Danes displayed greater variety of strokes throughout but the Russians persisted with their no-frills approach to staying for as long as possible in the smash return rallies, extending them by one or two shots more than expected.

In the second and third games, the Danes coerced the Russians into faster rallies. The Danes preferred this tempo that they are used to from the other world top five pairs and were now more comfortable maneouvering the shuttle where they wanted.

Boe/Mogensen won the rest of the encounter 21-14, 21-10, with their trademark tactic of Boe at the front and Mogensen staying close in order to for the pair to attack mainly from the mid to forecourt.

Similarly, world ranked fifty Yuhan Tan of Belgium stunned Vietnam's Tien Minh Nguyen by securing the opening game 21-17 using a mixture left handed wide smashes and speedy lithe footwork. Returning to court, Nguyen displayed his class with his own compact smashes that contained more sting and won the second game 21-14. Tan framed a number of smash returns when having to move off centre base to reach them.

Predictably for Nguyen, as in the case of his victims, his Belgian opponent of today wearied by the third game and the wide shots that were so effective earlier began to miss by inches. Gun shy of attacking, or committing unforced errors when he did because of being slightly slower than before at addressing the shuttle, Tan was left with only his footwork against a player known for footwork too yet was still fresher. Nguyen closed out the match 21-10.

"My coach advised me to play the net more because my opponent is tall. I lacked concentration. I could have beaten him in two sets if I played my usual game." commented Nguyen upon reflection.

In Women’s Singles, Carolina Marin showed determination and talent against world number three Li Xuerui of China. In both the first and second games, the Spaniard stayed within one point of Li, who is this year's fastest riser in the top 15, at the eleven points interval.

Marin succeeded in moving Li around the court but had no distinct weapons. The Chinese, on the other hand, used her height to good effect, smashing down the tramlines repeatedly to break free after each interval. She prevailed 21-13 21-11.

The world champions Cai Yun / Fu Haifeng of China survived an early scare when their German opponents were up four game points in the first set. It was a match in which the Chinese were exercising other qualities of their game, namely the effectiveness of their defensive stance early on. But returned to their more offensive natures in the second game as when the Germans Ingo Kindervarter / Johannes Schoettler could do nothing with Cai's excellent short serve.

The Chinese pair who are hot favourites for the gold medal won 22-20, 21-16.

Kindervarter reflected on the Chinese come back from being 20-17 down and winning five points in succession to close out the first set game: "I could have tried to flick serve but didn't. When they reached 18 I tried to draw anothe mid-court return but Cai, to his credit, changed his usual service reply."

Close to the end of the evening, Australia's Leanne Choo / Renuga Veeran triumphed over the South African pair of Michelle Edwards / Annari Viljoen 21-9, 21-7.

"It wasn't as difficult as our last match and the new group format is different but still this win on the Olympic court means a lot. We're showing the generation that follows us that it is possible for Australia to make an impact.", said a clearly delighted Veeran.

Rate this item
(0 votes)

BWF News

Sponsors & Partners