The Badminton Europe circuit kicks up into a higher gear this week as the tour heads to Poland and the city of Wroclaw for the 36th edition of the Yonex Polish International. With the race for the Olympics entering the final straight the home pairing of Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz (pictured)
will be looking to win their first title of 2012.
The Poles had an amazing 2011 which in many ways even caught them by surprise as the romped to 5 victories and 5 runners up spots on their way to the world’s top 20. However they have not won since lifting the Irish International back in December after Adam Cwalina suffered an injury that has confined the paring to just one outing in the recent European team championships in Amsterdam.
Cwalina and Logosz were runners up last year and they will be looking to put that right this year with not only the motivation of getting to the Olympics as priority but also the gut burning drive to win their home international.
The Poles however know that to win this title they will have to lift their game one notch higher as opposing them at number two seeds are their arch rivals from Russia Ivanov and Sozonov. When you look back at the results between both pairings the Russians have the clear upper hand and seem to have the key to unlock the Polish defence. While the Poles have won 5 last year, 3 of the runners up spots came at the hands of the Russians so the week ahead in Wroclaw is bound to be full of tension. A lot of pressure may well fall at the feet of Adam Cwalina and just how well he has recovered after injury.
In the men’s singles the Poles will once again look to Przemyslaw Wacha to once again defy his advancing years and win but defending champion Pablo Abian has the guile and experience to defend his title as top seed. The Polish number 1 is certainly in the better half of the draw and with a win in Austria under his belt already this year will have the confidence for sure to go and win the event he was forced to miss out last year.
Larisa Griga is the defending women’s champion and the Ukrainian number one will try and put some indifferent form behind her over the past 12 months since winning to try and cement her position in the Olympics this summer. Griga will most likely meet the inform Yigit from Turkey at quarter final stage and to retain her title she will most l have to beat world number 20 from Japan Ai Goto.
Olver and Agathangelou will look to cement their position as top GB pairing for London in the women’s doubles with a win in Poland to complement their victory in Sweden back in January. And with Wallwork and White withdrawing this is a clear opportunity for the top GB pairing to almost secure their Olympic spot.
After the disappointment of losing to fellow Brits last week at the Swiss GPG, Robertson and Wallwork will look to close the gap with a haul of free points in Poland as their big rivals take a week off plus Robertson & Wallwork have no points to defend in Wroclaw. This is probably the last throw of the Olympic dice for Robertson but one thing is for sure, the ever young Brit will fight to the bitter end.
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Article by Mark Phelan. Photo by BadmintonPhoto