Worlds 2014 review

The English challenge

Rajiv Ouseph was the only English men’s singles player present this year. He had an impressive 3 set win over the 16th seed from Malaysia in round one, but couldn’t find the same form against India’s Srikanth in round 2, losing 21-18 21-13.

Women’s singles has been a weakness for England for many years but there were encouraging signs in the worlds. Fontaine Chapman had a point to prove having been left out of the commonwealths and in the first round she pushed the commonwealth champion Michelle Li but lost 28-26 21-17 in a brave performance. Rival Sarah Walker also performed well, an excellent 3 set win over the Malaysian Saniru took her through round one but Walker was unable to continue to round 2 due to injury.

Both men’s doubles pairs lost out in round two, while the women’s pair of Adcock/smith lost in round one and that seems to be the end of the partnership. Adcock will continue to prioritise mixed but a shake up of the doubles pairs looks on the cards.

Mixed as always offered the realistic hope of a medal but the Adcocks lost out to the third Chinese pair, only really finding their form at the end of the second set. They have reached 4 in the world and won a Superseries showing they can trouble the best in the world but have yet to make an impact at a major.

Winners and finals

The men’s singles event lost several of its stars before day one. 6 time major winner Lin Dan needed a wild card again but the BWF council voted not to give cards this year. Santoso and Tago pulled out before the first day. Former world junior champion Momota, who many predict will be a world beater , lost out to Nan Wei in round 1. Jan Jorgenson looked to be the only Player who could stop Chong Wei reaching the final, but Jan was forced out early with a knee injury. victor Axelsen took a bronze to give Europe a medal.

Lee chong wei reached the final without conceding more than 12 points. Chen Long had a tougher battle, including a three set qtr with the strong Korean Wan Ho Son. Fan favourite Chong Wei was in his fifth major final, but the first in which he did not face Lin Dan. But Lee only held a 9-8 record against Chen Long and from the start of the final Chen looked the steadier. Chen took more chances and took the first set 21-19 after some aggressive net play. In set two Chen had a big lead before the break and Lee looked beaten, but some flick serves and aggressive play closed the gap to just 11-9 to Chen. It was close all the way but Lee never looked comfortable and Chen again took his chances to win 21-19 21-19. Malaysians have now played 11 major finals in badminton and lost them all, they can only hope Lee goes on for two more years to Rio 2016.

The biggest story of the worlds was Spain’s first ever world gold. Left handed 21 year old Carolina Marin did the unthinkable and defeated the Asian challenge for the first time in 15 years in the women’s singles. The European Champion was typically vocal and aggressive on court but played superbly and dealt with everything the Chinese had. She defeated the massive favourite Li xuerui who looked under immense pressure to win, and from Marin’s clears and made many errors to let Marin back in and eventually to win in three sets.

In the absence of the top Indonesians the men’s doubles looked likely to go to Korea, but it was the 12th seeded Koreans Ko/Shin who took gold , with Lee/Yoo who have looked unbeatable lately taking silver. A spectacular three set men’s doubles finals 22-20 21-23 21-18 will give little reason for BWF to force through the 5 x 11 format.

The women’s and mixed finals were all Chinese affairs, with Zhao Yunlei taking two golds.

Some final thoughts – the best players in the world need to be there, BWF council should ensure wild cards are given where appropriate if the defending champion needs one. The match fixing problem is still there, and BwF should be looking at this rather than messing with the scoring, too many semis at Superseries and worlds are uncompetitive. The hawkeye system is great , but players need more challenges. Not one of the best world champs , but Marin’s victory will long be remembered.

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Slovak International Futures Circuit- Senior title for Ben

Ben and Alex travelled to Slovak for the Futures event, and their first experience of the 5×11 trial format. Both boys are signed with MK team for the new national league which is an even shorter 9 point format and will be on Sky.

Alex had reached the semi last year but that proved a high point as his season was wrecked by injury and he missed many events or wasn’t fully fit. Alex trained full time with senior England over the summer but still supported by and working with Sue and Darren. He made a strong start to this season, in the second round Alex faced England team mate Sam Parsons who was runner up in senior nationals in February, but Alex showed he is getting back to full strength by beating Sam in a close five set thriller. Alex went on to make the semi but lost out to the 1 seed Almer 11-10 11-7 11-8. A good result he can build on over the next few months. Alex would like to thank Devon Badminton Association for their grant towards his tournament costs.

Ben, having won two European junior titles last year, has set his sights on progressing at senior internationals and building his world ranking. He made the best possible start winning the Slovak men’s doubles with Sean Vendy. Unseeded the boys stormed through the draw beating the Czech pairing of Drancak /Janacek in the final 11-10 11-5 11-10. Ben also reached second round of mixed with Jess Pugh, losing out to a strong dutch pair in five close sets. A stunning start to the season for Ben , who next partners Matt Corby at Lancs gold, and then targets wimbledon international in September. We would like to thank Cranford Sports a club for the use of their excellent facilities.
Both Alex and Ben are supported by Forza UK and would like to thank Steve Butler and the Forza team for their constant support.

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Summer training and new season

Players have worked hard over the summer off season. We have run two sessions every Friday at Cranford over the holidays and 4 hours of training every Saturday since the end of the season, in addition to the regular groups and individual sessions. The season is upon us now with BPC u17 silver and Lancs senior gold on 6 sept and Wimbledon u19 gold and notts u15 gold on the 13/14 sept.

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VISIONS NEWSLETTER – SUMMER 2014

We have seen another season of massive progress and success for Visions players across all age groups and levels. We had players qualifying for all age group nationals.

At International junior level no academy or centre in the country can match our results in the last three years.

International and National – Ben Lane followed in his brother Alex’s footsteps by becoming European under 17 Champion, and then went one better by becoming double champion, winning mixed and doubles gold. Ben also had superb results at the World U19 Juniors, challenging Asia’s best, won another Danish Cup Individual Gold in Mixed, and was unbeaten at both U17 and U19 Nationals in the mixed and doubles.

Betty Blair represented England at the O45 World Seniors and picked up Gold in Women’s doubles and Silver in Singles. David Follett continued to represent England at Parabadminton events.

Lauren Cole joined the list of players who have achieved England selection through training with Visions, when she was picked for the U13 Danish Cup, where she reached quarter of mixed and was undefeated in team event. Lauren also bounced back from a serious mid season injury to win the Devon U15 Silver.

Alex continued to train primarily with England at MK, he had a challenging year, and missed several months and Nationals through injury, but he recently bounced back to win Essex Gold, beating the senior England no.2 , and Alex continues to progress on the European circuit.

Domestic Circuit – Matt and Dan Corby added more Silver circuit titles to their list, and reached finals at Gold tournament. Sarah Nickels reached her first Silver final at Cornwall and her highest rankings during the season. Jamie Roberton won the Devon restricted singles.

Emily Killoran showed massive improvement , with several grading upgrades, and progressed at U13 Gold events and got into Gold star for the first time. Lucy Cooper and Anya Paton also improved and both picked up many medals in circuit events in singles and doubles with various partners. Jasmine, Charlotte and Learna all won multiple u11 medals and competed at nationals.

On the boy’s side Owen, Dan, Cameron and Will were regulars on the u13 circuit, often winning medals. Dan won North Devon and was runner up Reading U12, while Owen medalled at a Gold singles. I can’t mention every player but I can’t think of a player who hasn’t developed over the last season.

Thanks to Phillip Drew Decorators who sponsored our Sunday squad sessions in Newton Abbot. Thanks to GMM Insurance who sponsored our shirts, reducing the burden on parents, and Maurice Robinson Sports for supplying and printing the shirts. Many players have asked about tracksuits, we will shortly be offering a new Forza team tracksuit, and other kit to players.

We have seen top players such as Jess Hopton and Carl Baxter working with the players, we are looking at similar opportunities in the future. Thanks to players for their efforts and good attitude, I don’t think we have any players at Visions that aren’t a pleasure to work with. Thanks to parents for their support and loyalty. Next season could be a big year for many players and we look forward to seeing what improvements can be made over the Summer.

DARREN PETERSON

VISIONS HAS PRODUCED

* 3 European Junior Gold * 3 Danish Cup Gold * 24 National Jnr Titles * 9 Junior Internationals *

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Ben Lane takes two u17 National titles

Ben added the mixed and men’s doubles u17 titles to the four other major titles he has won this season
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Ben takes European junior title

Ben Lane won the European-under 17 mixed title with Jess Pugh in Turkey today. Ben follows brother Alex by winning the European under 17 event, full report to follow

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