Back to Back victories for Russians
Date: 4/1/2012 4:22 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
Russian men’s doubles pairing of Ivan Sozonov and Vladimir Ivan today proved that they are the form partnership on the Badminton Europe circuit by securing back to back victories with an easy win over compatriots Ukk and Nikolaenko in today’s final at the Finnish Open.

The number two seeds, who were victorious in Poland last week, edged one step closer to Olympic qualification with an 8000 point haul over the past two weeks as they yet again stamped their authority all over the men’s doubles competition for the second week running.

The Russians were buoyed by the withdrawal at semi final stage due to injury of their biggest and nearest rivals Logosz and Cwalina and really Ukk and Nikolaenko were no match for Ivanov and Sozonov today. The Russian second seeds took just 9 minutes to win the first set before closing out the match in the second in just 25 minutes in total.

Probably the match of the day was the men’s singles final between Rajiv Ouseph and Henri Hurskainen with both men playing to the top of their form in a match that has the big crowd on the edge of their seats throughout. Ouseph took the opening game 21-18 before Henri came right back in the second to level with a 21-16 win. The cool Englishman kept his focus and ran out the winner in the third even after a spirited fight back from Hurskainen towards the end of the game.

“I got off to a decent start but I always knew Henri would come back in the second because he is playing very well right now. I have always had good exciting matches against Henri but in the end I am extremely happy to get over the line for another title. This is a good confidence boost heading into the Europeans where I hope to medal again in a few weeks time” said Ouseph to Badminton Europe.

Europe managed to win both singles events as Yao Jie took the women’s singles with a spirited comeback in both games against Michelle Li of Canada. Li had game point in the first but was unable to convert and led 19-14 in the second and somehow let the experienced Dutch woman back to take the set and the match 21-19.

“This is an important win for me for Olympic qualification and also good confidence going into the European’s in 3 weeks time. Michelle maybe got some nerves at the end of each game today but I know I can always fight back which I did again today to win” said a happy Yao Jie to Badminton Europe.

There was some consolation for Li in the women’s doubles as along with partner Alex Bruce the Canadians lifted the women’s doubles title in three sets of Malaysian opposition.

The final game on court saw World silver medallists from Britain Imogen Bankier and Chris Adcock lift the title after a sluggish start against Danish national champions Anders Skarrup Rasmussen and Sara Thygesen.

The Danes raced into an early 7-1 lead in the opening game before the British number 1 pairing clawed them back to tie 20-20. The Danes ended up taking the first set but the writing was clearly on the wall the GB pair had figured them out. The second was easy for Adcock and Bankier winning 21-12 before taking the title 21-13 in the deciding game.

“We got off to a slow start but once we figured Sara out in particular we knew and felt confident going into the second game even though we lost the first. It was strange actually as even though we lost that first game we felt really settled going into the second as we had never played them before” said Adcock and Bankier to Badminton Europe.

To revisit the TV quality broadcast from Finland just log in to Badminton Europe TV by clicking HERE

For all the day’s results and statistics click HERE

To view the podium photographs and the gallery from all four days in Finland log into facebook and follow Badminton Europe by clicking HERE

Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Helsinki)
© All rights reserved.

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