All too easy for Riou on Qualification day in Dublin
The 2016 Irish Open got underway today in its new home of the National Indoor Arena in Dublin and while the qualification draw was awash with Irish based athletes it was England’s Panuga Riou who stood out from the crowd as she continues her comeback.
The English player was rarely troubled cruising through her qualification matches to make the main draw only dropping a handful of points in doing so. Riou is forced to play qualification after her comeback from injury but judging by her performance today might be one of the players to test the Danes come tomorrows main draw.
Jordan Hart of Wales backed up her good form from the Welsh International last week beating the very good young Ukrainian Marina Ilyinskaya to secure her main draw spot.
There was limited qualification success for the home nation with Jonathan Dolan and David Walsh standing out taking their main draw spot.
Jonathan Dolan had an opportunity in the men’s singles also but came up short in the final qualification round losing out to Henri Aarnio who now goes on to face off against Thomas Rouxel of France tomorrow. Mikkel MIkkelsen also eased through the men’s singles qualification draw. The Dane has been spending most his time playing mixed doubles of late and by today’s performance will be a test for all main draw contenders.
The pick of the men’s singles crop however is world junior champion from 2015 Lu Chia Hung. The Chinese Taipei player is somehow wasted in the qualification draw on the circuit and would be no surprise to see him lifting the title come Saturday.
In the mixed doubles, Dutch Open women’s doubles champion Gronya Somerville lined out alongside Danish based Oliver Leydon-Davis and the Australian/NZ combo eased through to book their main draw berth.
For all the results from today’s play in Dublin click HERE
For a photo gallery from the FZ FORZA Irish Open click HERE
Article and image by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe