YONEX IRISH INTERNATIONAL BADMINTON CHAMPIONSHIPS
Currently the only 2012 Olympic qualifying event scheduled to take place in Northern Ireland, the Yonex Irish International Badminton Championships will welcome the world’s elite badminton players as they bid to secure their place at the London 2012 Games.
The Championships will be held at the Lisburn Racquets Club, Lisburn from the 8-11th December.
Badminton Ireland CEO and Tournament Director Richard Vaughan said: “Badminton Ireland are looking forward to welcoming many of the world’s elite badminton players in what is expected to be one of the strongest Irish Open events to date, this is of course helped by the Olympic year focus and the Challenger grade we have been able to secure. We are eternally thankful to our main event supporters and sponsors Sport NI, Yonex, Lisburn City Council, Classic Mineral Water and Lisburn Racquets Club whom have enabled us to guarantee such a great event for badminton fans in Ireland”.
Many of the World’s top players will be competing in Lisburn all looking to secure their place at the 2012 London Games. Irish number one Scott Evans will lead the home charge in the men’s singles, but will face stiff competition for the title from Spanish number one and world number 23 Pablo Abian, world number 29, Przemyslaw Wacha from Poland and previous Irish Open winner and English number one Rajiv Ouseph.
The Irish ladies singles number 1, Chloe Magee, will be looking to secure her Olympic qualification, and will need at least a quarter final place to do so. There is strong representation from some of the top women players, including, Former world number 1, Hongyan Pi from France; the European Junior Champion Carolina Marin from Spain and English number one, Elizabeth Cann.
Irish doubles player, Sam Magee, with new partner Mikkel Elbjorn from Denmark will be hoping to challenge for the title and will be disappointed not to at least medal at the Championships. They will face some strong competition from the Polish number 1 pairing, currently ranked 21 in the world, Adam Cwalina and Michal Logosz.
There will be no Irish pairing in the women’s doubles challenging for the title, but there is a strong challenge from the top English pair of Eastbourne’s Heather Olver and Mariana Agathangelou, who are currently ranked 23 in the world. The top ranked pair in the ladies doubles are Marie Roepke and Line Damkjaer Kruse from Denmark.
Brother and sister pairing of Chloe and Sam Magee will be head to Lisburn as title favourites in the mixed doubles. They currently enjoy their highest world ranking of 35, but are unlikely to have it all their own way with tough opposition coming from the Russian number 2s and former world top 20 pair of Vitalij Durkin and Nina Vislova and a new pair for England, Marcus Ellis and Heather Olver.
Richard Vaughan commented on the importance of bringing elite players to Ireland, “On the performance side for the sport in Ireland we hope the event will offer a great spectacle to young talent and provide a challenge to our up and coming players