Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Blair and Bankier join Clark and Kellogg in Masters finals

ROBERT BLAIR and Imogen Bankier were today named in the line-up for the Badminton World Federation's first Super Series Masters final at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, from December 18-21.

The Anglo-Scottish pair will join world No 4 ranked pair Anthony Clark (Notts) and Donna Kellogg (Derbyshire), who had already assured themselves of a place in the finals thanks to a superb year which has seen them win the European title and finish runners-up in three Super Series events - the Swiss, Singapore and French Opens.

Blair (Leics) and Glasgow's Bankier, who was 21 two weeks ago, are up to No 9 in the world after building on a quarter-final showing at the Yonex All England Championships in March to produce five more quarter-finals .They capped that last month with a semi-final surge at the Denmark Open in Odense.

The two pairs are the only British players to qualify for the finals.

The competition, with a US$500,000 prize pool, will be played on a round-robin format with two pools of four. The first and second placed players or pairs in each group will qualify for the semi-finals.

“It’s fantastic to have the Finals this year and we have a very good spread of countries represented in Kota Kinabalu,” said BWF Secretary General Stuart Borrie. “This will be the best of the best and a fitting end to this Olympic year."

The qualified players/pairs (with Super Series ranking points in brackets) are:

Men’s singles: Lee Chong Wei (Mas, 58240 pts), Chen Jin (Chn, 52180), Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina, 49320), Joachim Persson (Den, 47400), Peter Gade (Den, 44260), Lin Dan (Chn, 41800), Taufik Hidayat (Ina, 41580), Chan Yan Kit (Hkg, 32160).

Men’s doubles: Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan (Ina, 65540) Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Tazari (Mas, 61600), Lars Paaske-Jonas Rasmussen (Den, 52160), Jung Jae Sung-Lee Yong Dae (Kor, 45440),
Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen (Den, 40920), Candra Wijaya-Tony Gunawan (Ina-USA, 36540),
Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong (Mas, 35940), Fu Haifeng-Cai Yun (Chn, 34280).

Women’s singles: Zhou Mi (Hkg, 72760), Tine Rasmussen (Den, 61320), Wang Chen (Hkg, 54740),
Zhu Lin (Chn, 53000), Lu Lan (Chn, 49980), Pi Hongyan (Fra, 39600), Xu Huaiwen (Ger, 36720),
Hwang Hye Youn (Kor, 35400).

Women’s doubles: Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui (Mas, 64340), Du Jing-Yu Yang (Chn, 54660), Lilyana Natsir-Vita Marissa (Ina, 51560), Zhao Yunlei-Cheng Shu (Chn, 39880), Lena Frier Kristiansen-Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Den, 39600), Ha Jung Eun-Kim Kin Jung (Kor, 39540), Maeda Miyuki-Suetsuna Satoko (Jpn, 30960), Lee Kyung Won-Lee Hyo Jung (Kor, 28460).

Mixed doubles: Nova Widianto-Lilyana Natsir (Ina, 64160), He Hanbin-Yu Yang (Chn, 51360),
Thomas Laybourn-Kamilla Rytter Juhl (Den, 48720), Lee Yong Dae-Lee Hyo Jung (Kor, 45460),
Anthony Clark-Donna Kellogg (Eng, 45120), Xie Zhongbo-Zhang Yawen (Chn, 39880),
Robert Blair-Imogen Bankier (Eng-Sco, 37210), Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thoungthongkam (Tha, 36840).