Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blair tackles Masters finals at the double

ANTHONY CLARK and Donna Kellogg go in search of a $42,000 jackpot when they compete in the BWF Yonex Sunrise Super Series Masters finals in Sabah, Malaysia from Thursday to Sunday. And joining them in these first finals is Robert Blair and Scotland's Imogen Bankier.

Blair and Bankier face a hectic start to their challenge when the fourth seeds meet Thailand's fifth seeds Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thoughthongkam at in their opening Group A morning match tomorrow followed by Indonesian double world champions and top seeds Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir in the evening session.

On Friday they complete their group campaign against another Indonesian pair, seventh seeds Flandy Limpele and Vita Marissa.

In Group B third seeds and European champions Clark and Kellogg will take on Denmark's second seeds Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Juhl and Thailand's sixth seeds Songphon Anugritayawon and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul tomorrow and Malaysia's eighth seeds Lim Khim Wah and Wong Pei Tty on Friday.

Blair will have a busy time of it as he is also in the men's doubles with England team-mate Chris Adcock. The pair are seeded eighth and in Group A will face Denmark's seventh seeds Anders Kristiansen and Simon Mollyhus, Malaysian second seeds Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari and Korean third seeeds Jung Jae Sung and Lee Yong Dae.

For Blair it all adds up to six matches in three days with the prospect of more to come.

England's Andrew Smith finds himself in the men's singles following the mass withdrawal of all China's players and the seventh seed is in a tough Group B.

He begins against Danish third seed Joachim Persson then faces second seed Sony Dwi Kuncoro later in the day before completing his group programme on Friday against former world and Olympic champion and fifth seed Taufik Hidayat.

In Group A top seed Lee Chong Wei is up against Peter Gade, Chan Yan Kit and Wong Choong Hann.