The Welsh International Badminton Championships featured quite a few top 50 players competing in the 2022 edition. The tournament is one of the oldest badminton tournaments in the world. The first edition took place in 1928. It is organized by Welsh Badminton Cymru (Badminton Wales).
Similar to the recent Irish Open, the tournament in Wales is one of 28 International Challenge tournaments – all part of the BWF Continental Circuit. There are 4.000 ranking points for the winners, 3.460 for the runner-ups, and 2.400 for the losing semifinalists.
Table of Contents
- Men’s singles at Welsh International Badminton Challenge
- Ladies singles at the badminton tournament in Wales
- Welsh International men’s doubles category
- In women’s doubles, these top 50 players competed
- Mixed doubles at Welsh International Badminton Tournament
It is also worth noting the role of coaches at a badminton tournament. For instance, badminton legend Peter Gade from Yonex Peter Gade Academy was in the halls in Cardiff from early morning to late evening with a mission to support his players. It is no easy feat to coach 5, 7, or 11 matches per day. Shout out to all coaches for all that they do to support players.
Men’s singles at Welsh International Badminton Challenge
Notably, past winners of the men’s singles event in Wales include Morten Frost, Chou Tien-chen, three-time champion Irwansyah, Darren Hall, Vladimir Valkov, Pablo Abian, and Irish Willoughby Hamilton.
This year, these top 50 players entered the tournament:
- 40: Brice Leverdez, France (WITHDRAWN)
- 43: Arnaud Merkle, France (Defending champion)
- 46: Christo Popop, France
- 48: Ygor Coelho, Brazil
- 50: Mads Christophersen, Denmark
The men’s singles category was an exciting affair. In the first round, third seed Popov played a close match against England’s young talent Johnnie Torjussen winning 21-16 in the third set. Defending Welsh International champion Merkle (vs. Marcus Viscovich) and 5th seed Christophersen (vs. Mads Juel Møller) only needed 35 minutes to dispatch the respective opponents from Denmark. Fourth seed Ygor Coelho overcame Sasha Leveque in just 24 minutes.
Finland’s Joakim Oldorff came from qualification to win a thrilling first-round match against Germany’s Kai Schaefer. Young Oldorff won 29-27 in the third set. He would go on to face Denmark’s Victor Svendsen in the round of 16. A match he lost in straight sets.
One to watch: European Junior Champion, 17-year-old Alex Lanier from France got a walk-over in the first round (Brice Leverdez withdrew). He played 37-year-old Niluka Karunaratne from Sri Lanka in the 2nd round. A game he won in straight sets. This set him up to meet another 37-year-old in the quarterfinal, namely 8th seed Pablo Abian from Spain. Although trailing most of the first game, young Alex Lanier turned things around to win in straight sets (24-22, 21-13).
Fifth seed Mads Christophersen of Denmark dispatched compatriot Mads Juel Møller in the first round, and Fabian Roth of Germany in the second round. This set him up to meet third seed Christo Popov in what promised to be an exciting match. The first game was a good game to watch with Christophersen winning 24-22. In the second game, Christo seemed a bit unfocused. As a result, Mads won the second game and the match. He would go on to face another Frenchman – Alex Lanier – in the semifinal.
In the other half, Victor Svendsen – seeded 7 – faced Arnauld Merkle. Merkle was the defending champion and seeded second. Sadly, Merkle retired with an injury at 17-13 in the first game. Victor Svendsen was now ready to compete against Jan Louda of the Czech Republic in the semifinal. Lauda arrived at the semifinal following wins over fourth seed Coelho of Brazil and sixth seed Cheam June Wei of Malaysia.
Semifinals on Saturday were now between Svendsen vs. unseeded Louda and Christophersen vs. unseeded Lanier. While quick to disagree with referee calls, the vocal Jan Louda used his leftie skills to outperform V. Svendsen in straight games. In the other semifinal, young Alex Lanier proved he is one to watch. Mads Christophersen needed 3 games to win the match.
Before the final in men’s singles at Welsh International, Christophersen (ranked 58) and Louda (ranked 69) had played each other on four previous occasions, each winning two matches. Jan Louda did not find his best game in the final, which was won by Mads Christophersen in straight sets.
Congratulations to Mads Christophersen from Skovshoved and Denmark
Ladies singles at the badminton tournament in Wales
Gillian Gilks, Betty Uber, Charlotte Dew Hattens, and Bang Soo-hyun are among the past winners of the ladies’ single title in Wales.
This year seven top 50 female single players entered the tournament:
- 16: Mia Blichfeldt, Denmark
- 27: Yvonne Li, Germany
- 38: Lianne Tan, Belgium
- 42: Kristin Kuuba, Estonia (Coached by Peter Gade)
- 43: Goh Jin Wei, Malaysia
- 46: Qi Xuefei, France
- 47: Leonice Huet, France
First seed Mia Blichfeldt routinely exited compatriot Anna Bigum in the first round. She faced Sweden and Gentofte player Edith Urell in the second round. The young Swede played a good match, but in the end, had to concede to the more experienced Dane.
With the win, Blichfeldt ‘s next opponent was 7th seed Leonice Huet from France. And that didn’t go down too well. Blichfeldt produced a significant amount of unforced errors. Having the national coach of Denmark in the coaching chair didn’t help much. The French national won the third game 22-20 and set herself up for a semifinal game against third seed Lianne Tan of Germany.
Another German player, second seed Yvonne Li, cruised through the first three rounds winning all matches in straight games. She would face a young player from Denmark in the semifinal. Amalie Schultz surprisingly won her quarterfinal against Malaysian Goh Jin Wei. Previously she overpowered Estonia’s Kuuba (4) and Polanc from Slovenia.
Semifinals at Welsh International were between unseeded Schultz vs. Li (2) and Huet (6) vs. Tan (3). German Lianne Tan won in straight sets against Huet from France. The other semifinal was a game between a hopeful youth and an experienced European top player. It took Yvonne Li from Germany three games to top the young Dane. But props to Amalie Schultz. She showed a lot of good badminton. Once she weeds out the many unforced errors, she will be one to watch on the European circuit.
The final in women’s single was a showdown between two experienced players. On one side 24-year-old Yvonne Li from Germany. On the other side 32-year-old Lianne Tan from Belgium. Before the match world number 24 Yvonne Li was ahead 2-0 in the head-to-head against Lianne Tan – currently number 40 in the world.
Yvonne Li won the final comfortably in straight sets.
Welsh International men’s doubles category
In the men’s doubles category, three top 50 pairs competed at Welsh International Championships in 2022.
- 25: Popov/Popov, France
- 38: Labar/Corvee, France
- 49: Flaatten/Rikheim, Norway
We weren’t able to follow most of the matches in the men’s doubles category. What we can report is this:
The Popov brothers from France were the top seed, but they suffered defeat in the quarterfinal against the Kjær/Søgaard (8) from Denmark. Second seed Corvee/Labar succumbed to Boe/Lundgaard – another pair from Denmark – in a thrilling quarterfinal, which ended with a narrow win of 28-26 for the Danes.
The semifinals were between Søndergaard/Toft vs. Boe/Lundgaard, both pairs from Denmark. The former won comfortably in straight sets. The second semifinal was between Villeger/Maio from France vs. Kjær/Søgaard from Denmark. The pair from Denmark won by a big margin in straight sets.
The final was between two pairs from Denmark. Søndergaard/Toft faced Kjær/Søgaard. The latter came out victorious and became the Welsh International 2022 men’s doubles winners. Congratulations to Rasmus and Frederik.
In women’s doubles, these top 50 players competed
Past winners of the women’s doubles category include Uber/Kingsbury, Angela Dickson with various partners, Julie Bradbury with various partners, Marina Yukusheva with various partners, and the Stoeva sisters.
In 2022, the women’s doubles category had four top 50 pairs competing for the coveted Welsh International badminton title:
- 14: Smith/Birch, England
- 22: Lohau/Efler, Germany (WITHDRAWN)
- 35: Tran/Lambert, France (Defending champions)
- 48: Kuespert/Moszchynski, Germany
In women’s doubles Smith/Birch – the top-seeded pair from England – dominated all games from 1st round up to the final. In the final, they met the defending champions – the French team of Margot Lambert and Anne Tran. The girls from France had won all games in straight set. And they would go on to win the final for the second year in a row.
Congratulations to Margot and Anne from France.
Mixed doubles at Welsh International Badminton Tournament
Past mixed doubles winners of Welsh International include Martin Dew/Gillian Gilks, Langridge/Olver, and Russkikh/Russkikh.
Three top 50 pairs were competing for the win – including the BWF top 10 mixed-doubles pair Lamsfuss and Lohau from Germany.
- 9: Lamsfuss/Lohau, Germany
- 31: Jansen/Efler, Germany (WITHDRAWN)
- 36: Hemming/Pugh, England
The first-seed German and the third-seed English pair won their first-round matches comfortably. The same was true for two Danish pairs – the fifth seed Toft/Graversen and the fourth seed Thyrri/Magelund.
The new mixed-doubles constellation from Denmark Christine Busch/Mads Vestergaard lost a close 3-set match to Pugh/Hemming from England. The English pair would go on to lose a close 3-set match in the semifinal to another Danish pair – Toft/Graversen.
Lamsfuss/Lohau was arguably a huge favorite to win the tournament. And they cruised on autopilot to the final where they met their match. Jesper Toft and Clara Graversen from Denmark won a 3-set match against the German favorites.
Congratulations to Jesper and Clara on the Welsh International Challenge title.