Young Dane Rasmus Gemke made a mark yesterday, winning the Bitburger Badminton Open 2017 – his first Grand Prix Gold title.
The 20-year-old, whose only other title victory was at the Finnish Open this April, surprised No.4 seed Hsu Jen Hao (Chinese Taipei) 21-18 21-10 in Saarbrucken, Germany, in the Men’s Singles final.
On the way to the final, Gemke (featured image) upset several higher-ranked players, including Suppanyu Avihingsanon (Thailand), Ygor Coelho (Brazil) and Lee Zii Jia (Malaysia).
Second seed Rajiv Ouseph (England) was upset by Dutchman Mark Caljouw in the third round, 21-16 11-
21 21-14, while No.3 seed Brice Leverdez (France) went down to Lee Zii Jia in the quarter-finals, 19-21 21-18 21-10.
Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol prevailed over USA’s Beiwen Zhang in a tight finish in the Women’s Singles final, 21-17 15-21 21-19.
Jindapol led all the way in the third, but Zhang was stubborn and equalised from 9-14 and 14-17 down. It was Jindapol though who managed to take the last two points for her first title since November 2015.
En route to the final, Jindapol got the better of Canada’s Michelle Li in the second round and No.4 seed Chen Xiaoxin (China) in the semi-finals.
Denmark and Thailand split the honours on finals day with two titles each. Denmark’s Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen clinched the Men’s Doubles crown, beating Indonesia’s Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto 21-19 19-21 21-18.
The second seeds made their way past No.6 seeds Ong Yew Sin/Tan Wee Kiong (Malaysia) in the quarter-finals and No.3 seeds Bodin Isara/Nipitphon Phuangphuapet (Thailand) in the semi-finals before winning a close battle in the final.
In Women’s Doubles, Thailand’s No.2 seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai held off young Japanese duo Akane Araki/Aoi Matsuda 21-19 21-6 for the title.
The Japanese pulled off several upsets on the way to the final, with wins over the likes of No.3 seeds Sara Thygesen/Maiken Fruergaard (Denmark) in the second round, Selena Piek/Cheryl Seinen (Netherlands) in the quarter-finals and top seeds Gabriela Stoeva/Stefani Stoeva (Bulgaria) in the semi-finals.
China picked up the Mixed Doubles title with He Jiting/Du Yue beating Anders Skaarup Rasmussen/Line Kjaersfeldt 21-18 21-17.
The Chinese chalked up wins over Marvin Emil Seidel/Linda Efler (Germany) in the quarter-finals and over Indonesia’s Hafiz Faisal/Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja in the semi-finals.