Photo: Badmintonphoto
BEC Time Travel: China Open 2012
Date: 11/6/2020 9:03 AM
Published by : Rasmus Bech(BEC)

This week the China Open would have taken place. Due to the COVID-19 situation the tournament, which should have been the second Chinese World Tour tournament in 2020, has been cancelled. Badminton Europe looks back at previous editions of the tournament and today we take a look at the 2012 edition of China Open featuring the winner Mathias Boe.

August 2012. Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen just made history at the London Olympics being the first ever European men’s doubles to secure an Olympic medal. All eyes were on the Danish duo, who earlier in 2012 were crowned as European Champions for the first time out of two.

Three months after finishing second at the biggest stage, Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen are back where the party is on, in Shanghai, China. All the best players are represented. All the stars want to win but the Danish preparation was not ideal.

- After London I got like an “Olympic depression”. I had been all over the moon, but suddenly it was day-to-day business again, Mathias Boe said.

Titles were the motivation
Mathias Boe turned 32 just one month before winning the Olympic medal. He had more or less won everything a badminton player could dream off, but the “Olympic depression” did not motivate him to quite the sport and retire.

- The eagerness to win more titles was the motivation. It was still nice to win the major tournaments, and only a few things beat the feeling of winning All England, Denmark Open or a big championships medal, Boe mentioned.

Big money
Being one of the top players in the world, new opportunities were also given to the Danish duo. Now they just did not only live of playing badminton – the money was getting bigger too.

- Financially 2012 was a breaking point. I did not start playing badminton as a young guy, because I wanted to earn money, but after the London Olympics, we signed big deals, and after winning All England and now the Olympic silver medal, we finally got the chance to earn big money.

- We had been fighting for so long to also get the big earnings, and after the London 2012 these were secured. That was one of the reasons to continue to play and also to deliver results, Boe stated.

US holiday
But money alone does not make a man happy, and it was the same for Mathias Boe. After two tough tournaments in Europe, it was time to figure out how to get the motivation back. Mathias Boe went on a holiday to the USA, came back to practice one week, and then off to China. Not a traditional build up to a big tournament, but that was exactly what the Danish super star needed.

-  We signed big sponsor deals and most people in our home country had seen us play, but the mood was low, and it demanded an extraordinary mental effort to get back on top of the game. The only way to do it was to deliver results, Boe said. 

And China Open got to be a major step in the right direction for the Danes.

Star parade
Looking at the seedings of the China Open 2012 there was no doubt: It was a star parade:

1: Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen, Denmark
2: Fu Haifeng/Cai Yun, China
3: Kien Keat Koo/Boon Heong Tan, Malaysia
4: Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayawaka, Japan

5: Kim Ki-Jung/Kin Sa-Rang, Korea
6: Hirokatsu Hashimoto/Noriyasu Hirata, Japan
7: Hong Wei/Shen Ye, China
8: Bodin Issara/Maneepong Jongjit, Thailand

In the opening round the Danes played fellow Europeans, Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov, Russia winning in straight games, before following up with another straight games win against Kona/Vishnu from India in the second round.

In the quarterfinals Boe and Mogensen beat Olympic mixed doubles gold medallist, Zhang Nan and his parther Biao Chai, before the third seeds Koo/Tan from Malaysia were beaten in straight games in the semifinals.

Danish domination
Lee Yong-Dae, who Boe and Mogensen beat at the semifinals at the London Olympics, and his new partner, Ko Sung-Hyun did not stand a chance against the dominating Danes in the final. A solid win by 21-15 21-14 secured the title for the Danes. They were back on top and the did not lose a single game throughout the tournament.

- China Open 2012 was one of the best tournaments we played after the London Olympics. Denmark Open and French Open were tough tournaments for us, but after one week of practice, we played China Open, and we broke everyone into pieces.

- We dominated all the way and did not give many points away. It is a tournament where I am looking back being proud. We came from not that good performances to really delivering a great tournament, Mathias Boe said.

The Olympic depression hit the Danes after the London Games, but Mathias Boe knows why he and Carsten Mogensen bounced back:

- One of the strengths we had as a pair, was that when we had delivered a poor performance, we had the ability to get up and tell ourselves that we are better than this. We had the skills to find out how to motivate ourselves individually, the left-handed double star said.

Find all the results from China Open 2012 here

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