Badminton Life

Clark and Kellogg Aim for Olympic Seeding Boost

England's Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg may not have won the All England or Swiss Open mixed doubles titles but they certainly did their Olympic chances a world of good.

The duo boosted their hopes of a strong Olympic seeding with great match wins in the Swiss Open. They eventually went down to China's He Hanbin and Hu Yang 21-15, 21-19 in the final but previous round victories will enhance their seeding chances.

In the semi-finals they posted an excellent 23-25, 21-14, 21-14 victory over the second-seeded Indonesian pair of Nova Widianto and Lilyana Natsir.

This was just after they beat Olympic silver medallists and compatriots Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms and Flandy Limpele and Vita Marissa, the Indonesians who are ranked third in the world.

Despite no titles, it was a great two weeks having reached the final of the All England and Swiss Opoen in successive weeks.

Their performances have helped boost their world ranking to eighth from 11. If they can stay there at the end of April, they are likely to earn eighth seeding for the Olympic mixed doubles competition.

A seeding means a relatively easy path to the quarter-finals. The pair are already seeded second for next month's European Championship in Herning, Denmark behind Robertson and Emms.

While the English pair is already qualified for the Olympics, little known Vietnamese Nguyen Tien Minh enhanced his chances with an excellent victory at the Swiss Open in Basel.

Nguyen defeated South Korea's world number 10 Lee Hyun-il in straight games to put himself in the Olympic picture.

Nguyen was quote in Vietnam media as saying that the victory means he is sure to book a place in the Beijing Olympics men's singles draw, given that countries rather than individuals are given priority.

He is the highest ranked Vietnamese men's singles player at 35. His main challenger is Duong Phuong Nam, who is a distant 174.

Should he achieve his ambition and qualify for the Olympics, Nguyen would be the fourth athlete from his country to confirm their places in Beijing.

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