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Chen And Marin Take Australian Open Honours And Lead Qualifications Race For Dubai World Superseries Finals
- Spain’s Carolina Marin and China’s Chen Long both win their third title of the season and now lead the Destination Dubai rankings
June 2 2015 - DUBAI UAE: An exhilarating finals day at the Star Australian Open on Sunday saw current badminton world champions Carolina Marin and Chen Long assert their dominance in the Metlife BWF World Superseries, both taking their third title of the season and the lead in their categories in the Destination Dubai rankings.
The men’s finals delivered a thrilling contest with Denmark’s Viktor Axelson threatening to upstage World Champion Chen. Although the lanky 21 year old failed to win his first Superseries title in three finals, his campaign – that saw him upset defending champion Lin Dan in the first round – showed that he has matured into a player to be reckoned with and is now on par with the best in the world.
Chen took the first game with relative ease but Axelsen was unbeatable in the second game. With both players evenly placed in the decider, it was a brilliant blocked crosscourt return off a smash that finally gave Chen the edge and a close victory: 21-12 14-21 21-18.
In the women’s singles final Marin played strongly, leading throughout against China’s Wang Shixian, and was only threatened in the closing stages of the first game when Wang saved three game points. Marin prevailed and then outplayed Wang to take the match 22-20 21-18.
Victories for Marin and Chen in the fifth Superseries event of the year see them cement their places at the top of the Destination Dubai rankings, which are amassed from the 12 MetLife BWF World Superseries Tournaments held throughout the year.
Only the eight top-ranked players from the Destination Dubai Rankings in men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles and mixed doubles will earn a place in the Dubai World Superseries Finals at the Hamdan Sports Complex in December, which sees them compete for a share of a US$1million prize pool.
Both Marin and Chen now have the All England, Malaysia Open and Australian Open titles to their names and are on track to qualify for Dubai.
After missing qualification last year, Marin has Dubai firmly in her sights: “One of my goals is to be in Dubai for the Dubai World Superseries Finals. I could not go last year and I was disappointed. I wasn’t at my best last year. It’s an important tournament, like the World Championships. I will try to get the title this time.”
Chen’s win extends his lead in both the world rankings and Destination Dubai rankings, and he is hot favourite to repeat his Superseries Finals win in 2014. Japan’s Kento Momota is in second place in the rankings, with Denmark’s Jan O Jorgensen in third, with seven Superseries qualifying events to play.
Chen said “Hopefully I will be in Dubai again to defend my title there. Last year was the first time we had the finals in Dubai and I was very happy with my performance. I’m looking forward to going back because it was a great experience.”
World number one Saina Nehwal failed to make the finals, falling to Wang Shixian in the quarter-finals. Nehwal is still holding second place in the Destination Dubai rankings and with a substantial gap to third placed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand should maintain that position when the rankings are revised later this week.
China also picked up the Women’s Doubles title at the Star Australian Open, with Ma Jin and Tang Yuanting winning their first World Superseries title as a pair, defeating compatriots Tian Qing and Tang Jihua 21-19, 16-21, 22-20.
Hong Kong’s Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah celebrated the first World Superseries victory of their career with a close 21-19 19-21 21-15 result over Liu Cheng/Bao Yixin (China) in the Mixed Doubles. Liu Cheng lost both finals he figured in, he and Lu Kai were outplayed by Korea’s Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong 21-16 21-7 in the Men’s Doubles, giving the Koreans and defending World Superseries Finals title holders their first World Superseries title of the year. The world number one pair are languishing in tenth on the qualification rankings and will need to repeat their winning performances if they are to defend their title this year in Dubai.
The next Metlife World Superseries event is the BCA Indonesia Open which commences on 2 June and runs until 7 June.
About the Dubai World Superseries Finals:
The Dubai World Superseries Finals will see the eight top players in the Destination Dubai Rankings in singles, doubles and mixed doubles categories compete at the Hamdan Sports Complex from December 9-13, 2015, for a share of a million dollar prize pool. To qualify for Dubai the players have to amass points from twelve MetLife BWF World Superseries Tournaments held around the world throughout the year.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, the World Superseries Finals are to be staged in Dubai each December until 2017 as part of a four-year partnership, facilitated by Falcon and Associates, in partnership with the Dubai Sports Council with the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
BWF is the international governing body of the sport of badminton, recognised by the International Olympic Committee. The purpose and objectives of BWF include regulating, promoting, developing and popularising the sport of badminton throughout the world and organising, conducting and presenting international events at the highest level.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with 180 Members Associations worldwide.
About Dubai Sports Council:
Dubai Sports Council was founded on November 30, 2005 with the aim of developing and improving sport in Dubai. It aims to create a comprehensive sports environment that meets the requirements of society and paves the way for the youth to cultivate their sporting and cultural talents and aptitudes in a way that leads them to achieve tangible results, so that Dubai can become a leading name in the world of sports.
About Falcon and Associates:
Falcon and Associates FZ-LLC is an independent strategic advisory and implementation company working on behalf of the Dubai leadership to enhance the Emirate’s position as a global hub for finance, business and tourism. Falcon partners with government and private entities to build on the Emirate’s many successes to date, helping it fulfil its long-term potential.
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