Yonex Welsh International Badminton Championships

Posted by Laura Morgan at 12:11 on 11 November 2013

2013 Yonex Welsh International

Just over 2 weeks to go until Day 1 of the Yonex Welsh International Badminton Championships (27th-30th November) and Badminton Wales are looking forward to hosting yet another International Challenge at the home of Welsh Sport, the Sport Wales National Centre, Cardiff.

Badminton Wales are delighted to have maintained the Challenge status this year along with the accompanying $15,000 total prize money. Events Organiser James Phillips says,

'It was really important for us to retain the Challenge status this year especially considering the success of last year’s event. Whilst our event has always attracted some great players, the inaugural  Challenger saw players ranked in the world’s top 20-40 competing across the various disciplines which was brilliant not only for the spectators but also for the event going forward. This year is an even bigger spectacle with even more of the world’s best attending the event.'

This year sees an increase in entries across the board with over 300 entries being submitted from over 30 countries. The tournament has also seen an increase in entries from Commonwealth countries with players hoping to secure enough ranking points to confirm their place at the eagerly anticipated Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014.

Spaniard Beatriz Corrales (#31) and Bulgaria’s Petya Nedelcheva (#33) will feature in the Women’s Singles event whilst the Men’s Singles event has attracted Sweden’s Henri Hurskainen (#43), Dmytro Zavadsky of Ukraine (#44) and Malaysia’s Misbun Ramdan Mohmed Misbun (#46). The Men’s Doubles event is strong with two pairs in the world’s top 30: Chris Langridge and Peter Mills of England (#21) and Denmark’s Kim Astrup Sorensen and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (#27). Not to be outdone, the Women’s Doubles event also sees 2 pairs within the world’s top 30 in USA’s Eva Lee and Paula Lynn Obanana (#22) and England’s Heather Olver and Kate Robertshaw (#25). In the mixed event, world no. 19 England’s Chris Langridge and Heather Olver are competing as well as world No. 34 Vitalij Durkin and Nina Vislova of Russia.

9 Welsh players have entered into their home event including a number of senior international players who are hoping to clock up valuable ranking points in a bid to qualify for next year’s Commonwealth Games.

Joe Morgan and Nic Strange, who have reached 2 EBU finals this season, will be looking for another strong performance after achieving a semi-finals place in last year’s tournament. Morgan says,

‘After a long season abroad trying to qualify for Glasgow 2014 it’s great to have the opportunity to compete at your home venue. The support gives you a real boost which will spur us on to hopefully achieve good results.’

Dan Font will be looking to progress through the rounds of the Men’s singles on the back of reaching the quarter finals at the Bahrain International Challenge. Unfortunately, Font’s doubles partner (and Sarah Thomas’ mixed partner) Oliver Gwilt is in the latter stages of recovery from injury and so will miss his home event. Font will be playing at the international in the Men’s doubles event with Scotland’s Michael Campbell. Font says of the event,

'As always, I am looking forward to the Welsh International however it's a shame that my regular doubles partner Oliver Gwilt is still recovering from injury and isn't able to play. Last year's upgrade to a challenger level event has really brought in some of the best players from across the world this year. Of course this means it will be tough but I'm hoping that the home crowd realise how important their support is and that I can reward them with some hard fought matches.'

Carissa Turner will be striving to better the quarter final place she earned in last year’s Women’s singles event and will also be looking to progress to the latter stages of the ladies doubles event with partner, Sarah Thomas. Thomas will partner up with Font in the mixed doubles as they have done on a couple of occasions already this season.

‘I'm really looking forward to playing the Welsh International. It's always a great chance to get some results on home ground but especially this year with it being in the Commonwealth Games qualifying period,’ stated Thomas.

Turner added,
‘The Welsh International is always a special tournament but it also comes with added pressure. It's very strong this year which is great because there will be a lot more competitive matches to be seen. I'm hoping to do well on home soil.’