Badminton Life

Deadline for European Circuit Final Approaches

Not only is the deadline for Olympic qualification almost upon us, the opportunity to qualify for the European Circuit Finals is also reaching a conclusion.

The Dutch International in Wateringen represents the final chance for the European stars to book their places at some of the summers most prestigious events. This has added to the tension and excitement surrounding the event as a lot of people could find they have their summer plans made or broken by the course of events in Wateringen.

One of the players who remain in the hunt for the European Circuit Finals is Denmark's Jacob Chemnitz and he will be fully aware that a good placing in the Men's Doubles could be enough to seal his place. Chemnitz would have done his confidence no harm by cruising to victory in his first game in the Mixed Doubles. Chemnitz and partner Marie Roepke completed a comprehensive straight sets victory to start them off on the right road.

There will be no doubt some disappointment for badminton fans as some of the key players who should have been playing at this event have pulled out. No doubt there are some players who after clinching qualification for the major tournaments have a desire to preserve themselves for the exertions to come in the summer and they can't really be blamed for that.

What the fans do get in return though is a group of players who will be desperate to earn the points needed for qualification which should add a heightened level of nerves and expectation, which is always enjoyable for a crowd to see.

One player who has turned up for the tournament when perhaps she may not have been expected is the current Badminton Europe Circuit Leader Elizabeth Cann. The English star has been in a fine run of form of late but she hasn't always made herself available for a lot of tournaments. It just so happens that she has managed to clinch victory in the majority of tournaments she has entered, which is a mark of genuine class.

Cann is joined by a number of fellow English badminton players including Jill Pittard, who is ranked as the eighth seed for the event, Rachel Howard and Helen. All will be taking part in the Womens Singles event and with four big names in the running; English hopes will be high for strong representation in the semi and final.

England also has strong representation in other events with the teams of Andrew Ellis and Samantha Ward and Matthew Honey and Heather Olver progressing from their first round Mixed Doubles matches. Ben Beckman from Surrey also received a great result when he knocked out sixth seed, Marco Vasconcelos of Portugal in an epic match. The final result was 21-17, 19-21, 21-16 in favour of the English man and he was scheduled to faced Dharma Gunawi from Germany, who had triumphed over Nathan Rice in his previous match.

With the final chance for players to make one last dash for qualification points, there is little surprise that the action is becoming even more exciting than usual and the final days of the Dutch International is sure to contain plenty of incidents of note.

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