Badminton Life

Local heroes light up Poland

When host nation players do well in any sporting event, the crowd and local media love it so the atmosphere in Poland must have been electric when Robert Mateusiak, the renowned Polish Doubles specialist triumphed in both the Men's Doubles and the Mixed Doubles events which threatened to bring the house down at the Polish International.

Of course, as Mateusiak was competing in Doubles event he had some assistance along the way and credit must also be given to his partners of Michal Logosz in the Mens Doubles and Nadiezda Kostiuzyk in the Mixed event but the reputation of the Doubles master clearly precedes him as most of the crowd attention and praise was lavished upon him.

If Poland were triumphant at the Doubles events, Germany definitely held the upper hand in the Singles event with both the Men's and Ladies champions coming from Germany. Marc Zweibler was the triumphant male and Juliane Schenk brought home the Ladies Singles event for the German badminton team, who must be very happy with the events of the tournament.

The triumph was another highlight in a very strong run of form for Zweibler and the mark of his success was proven when he defeated Finland's Ville Lang in the final. Lang himself has been on a tremendous run of form of late and has recently won two tournaments and so this victory for Zweibler was hard earned but well deserved. No matter who won or lost, both players have shown a great deal of personal strength and fortitude in coming back from dips in their career and both players can look forward to the European Circuit Finals which are taking place in Holland in June.

Another player who is currently in the position to qualify for the European Circuit Finals is Juliane Schenk and although she has only been able to take part in four events on the tournament circuit so far this year, a 100% record in these events has catapulted Schenk into the top 4 and if she remains there she will be able to join her fellow compatriot Zweibler in competing at the European Circuits. Schenk sealed her latest triumph by beating Petya Nedelcheva, who herself is also in the top four ranking for the European Circuits.

The fact that both of the Singles finals were comprised of players who are currently in position to qualify for the European Circuit Finals shows the quality of talent that was on show at the Polish International and the fans who watched the event were able to witness many of today's top acts.

The only event that hasn't been discussed so far is the Women's Doubles event and this was won by Indonesia, who managed to break the Polish and German stranglehold of the tournament. Shendy Puspa Irawati and Meiliana Jauhari were the victorious Women's Doubles team and they clinched their title by defeating Elin Bergblom and Johanna Persson from Sweden in the final.

The five events may have been dominated by two nations but with so many great players on show and a major triumph by some local heroes, there was plenty of excitement and great badminton action at the Polish International.

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