Badminton Life

Lang and Zweibler Pass Their Semi Test

The European Circuit Finals may be a short tournament but with a healthy amount of prize money up for grabs, along with the kudos of being seen as on of the top players of the year, it is easy to see why the players are interested in it.

The qualification for the event has raged throughout the year and the four top mens singles players arrived in Assen in Holland determined to do them justice and to make a great amount of money in a short space of time.

The top four players in the Mens singles event came down to Ville Lang from Finland, Marc Zweibler from Germany, Erin Kehlhoffner from France and Petr Koukal from the Czech Republic. Entering a tournament directly at the semi final stage may not seem like the hardest of tasks but it allowed these players to feel a sense of achievement and ensured the fans that the nail biting action was available from the off.

Lang won his match against Petr Koukal to claim a final place but it was by no means an easy victory. Losing the first set to his Czech Republic opponent had Lang looking at an early dismissal from the event and the 19-21 first set score meant that the Finnish star would have to up his game in the second set. This was achieved comfortably as Lang out powered his opponent and tied the match with a 21-9 triumph.

With the scores level going into the deciding set both players had a chance to regroup and focus and the final set was a far closer affair than the second. Lang reversed the score of his first set defeat and his 21-19 victory earned him a 2 set to 1 triumph and kept him on course for the big cheque waiting for the eventual winner. This match lasted for over an hour and it will be interesting to see if his semi final workout will have any affect on Lang and his efforts to win in the final.

Lang will face Marc Zweibbler in the final as the German had a slightly more comfortable passage to the final than his Finnish rival. A relatively straightforward two set triumph by 21-14, 21-13 over his French opponent was enough to get the job done and keep Zweibler in the hunt for European circuit glory.

In an Olympic year, events like this can be brushed aside somewhat but with the prize money at stake, it is clear that it is a big draw for the players who achieve qualification. It can be seen as a fitting reward for their efforts over the year as opposed to what merely happens over the weekend which goes some way to meriting the money awarded.

Either way, The European Circuit Finals are an impressive weekend for fans and players alike and fully deserving of any media coverage. European sporting fans may be more inclined to watch the soccer action in Austria and Switzerland at the moment but the badminton action is also an impressive draw.

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