Not looking back only forward
Selena Piek emerged as the big winner on finals day at the Yonex Belgian International claiming both the women’s doubles title and mixed titles in Leuven. Piek partnered Cheryl Seinen to lift the women’s title while it was a welcomed return to form for the Dutch star and long time mixed partner Jacco Arends with their first victory of the year.
The mixed doubles final was full of intrigue as nobody knew what to expect, least of all the Dutch, against the brand new pairing of Ireland’s Scott Evans and Sweden’s Amanda Hogstrom. The final proved to be a step to far for the Irish/Swedish combo as the Dutch blasted out of the blocks and dominated the match from start to finish.
“We got a great start in both games which kind of put them on the back foot” explained Piek to Badminton Europe.
After taking the opening game 21-17 the Dutch pair drove home their dominance in game two to win 21-9 as Evans and Hogstrom ran out of ideas and steam in their debut tournament.
“This is a great win for us. To finally come back and play at something close to our top level is great for our confidence.” said Piek.
Arends was a little more philosophical in his appraisal of the victory saying “This is something extra special for us as we have been out for so long. Finally we are getting something back to our old level. But this is only the start. We have to build from here now and never look back only look forward.”
Piek completed the double later in the evening winning the women’s doubles title with Cheryl Seinen beating compatriots Imke Van Der Aar and Debora Jille in two sets.
Fladberg and Colberg go one better
After reaching the final in 2016 Danish duo Rasmus Fladberg and Freddie Colberg (pictured above) went one better this year and lifted the men’s doubles title beating Peter Briggs and Tom Wolfenden in today’s final. It was Briggs and Wolfenden who got the best start taking the opening game but there after the wheels fell off the English wagon.
The Danes came storming back to win the second set and in the decider the English could only muster 6 points in a set that was riddled with errors.
“Belgium has been good to us. This was one of our first tournaments as a pair a year ago and we did well. This year we have gone one step further so something works for us here.” said Fladberg in his post match interview.
Beatriz Corrales scored the easiest win of her career taking the women’s singles title by walkover due to an injury to her Chinese opponent while Kento Momota lifted the men’s singles title as expected. The Japanese is on his way back to the top of the world rankings and the Belgian fans appreciated his talents this week in Leuven.
For all the results from finals day in Leuven click HERE
Got to Badminton Europe’s Facebook page for individual images of the podium celebrations HERE
Article and Images by Mark Phelan (Live in Leuven)