Thursday, January 15, 2009

Blair and Bankier clock up squad's first win in Korea

Third seeds Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier built on a first-round bye to reach the quarter-finals of the Korean Open in Seoul today.

England's Blair and Scotland's Bankier won a tight match 21-18 15-21 21-18 against Taipei's Fang Chieh Min and Cheng Wen Hsing.

They now meet Yohan Hadikusuma Wiratama and Chau Hoi Wah in the last eight.


England players had a torrid first day at the Korea Open Super Series in Seoul.

Former world junior silver medallists Chris Adcock and Gabby White lost to Korea's Ko Sung Hyin and Jang Ye Na 16-21 21-19 21-14 in the mixed doubles first round.

And it wasn't Adcock's day as he also went down with Robert Blair in the opening round of the men's doubles, losing 21-17 21-17 to Taipei's Fang Chieh Min and Lee Sheng Mu.

England's other men's doubles hopes, Richard Eidestedt and Andrew Ellis, were then toppled by Yoshiteru Hirobe and Hajime Komiyama but it was agonisingly close. The England pair lost 21-15 17-21 22-20, having held one match point before the Japanese pair won on their only match point.

Andrew Smith was next to fall when the England No 1 was beaten by Chan Yan Kit of Hong Kong 21-17 21-10 in the men's singles first round.

That all meant Jenny Wallwork and Gabby White were the only England hopes left. They are though to the second round of the women's doubles with one of an amazing 15 byes - only one first-round match was played.

Wallwork and White face second seeds Lee Hyo Jung and Lee Kyung Won in tomorrow's second round.

In the mixed doubles the Anglo-Scottish third seeds of Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier also had a first-round bye.