Sandefjord – Happy hunting ground for team Finland
The 2016 edition of the Norwegian International concluded today in Sandefjord with Finland emerging as the dominant nation claiming both the mixed doubles and the men’s singles titles. Indeed, Sandefjord has been a happy hunting ground for Anton Kaisti (pictured above), the Finn won both men’s and mixed doubles two years ago and returned this year to claim the mixed title alongside Jenny Nystrom after a two-year break as a pair.
Kaisti, the Finnish all-rounder, had partner Cheryl Seinein (NED) in recent seasons after being a regular alongside compatriot Nystrom up through the junior ranks and into their early senior careers. The Finn has been one of the understated success stories on the Badminton Europe circuit with a total of 9 title to his name to date.
In today’s final the Finnish pair came up against hot tournament favourites Alexandra Boje and Mathias bay-Smidt, the Danes had won the Prague Open just over a month ago. The Danish young guns proved to be no match for the more experienced Finn’s with Kaisti and Nystrom strolling to the title with a 21-12 21-12 victory to claim their third title as a pair.
Kalle Koljonen rounded off a great weeks work for Finland lifting the men’s singles title after an up and down 2016 to date. The Finn today put some early season injury woes behind him to lift the title in two games beating Kasper Dinesen of Denmark to the title. A welcome return to form for Koljonen and a good omen as he heads towards the world’s top 100.
Finne-Ipsen and Soby Hansen get it over the line
It has been a year of near misses for Danish pair Ditte Soby Hansen and Julie Finne-Ipsen on the Badminton Europe circuit. The Danes (pictured above) have regularly courted the top step of the podium but failed to get it over the line.
Today in Sandefjord the Danes finally got that 2016 monkey off their back to win a title they more than anyone knew was coming sooner rather than later. The Danes were top seeds for this week’s event in Europe and won the title in style without dropping a set en route.
In the men’s doubles Lasse Moelhede of Denmark partnered the Danish based Australian Oliver Leydon-Davis to the title while another Danish based player, Kate Foo Kune of Mauritius ended a good weeks work with runners up spot in the women’s singles. Kune, a member of the Issy Les Moulineaux team that lifted the European club title back in July, lost out to Malaysia’s Rui Chen Yap in two games.
For all results from Sandefjord click HERE
Article by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe — Podium photos by Norwegian Badminton Association