BAKU-2015


A few favourites flounder as first feathers fly

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Baku, June 23, AZERTAC

On a day where 108 matches were played, a total of 3,866 points were won and lost and shuttlecocks were flying for exactly 14 hours from 9:00, it's safe to say Badminton made a big entrance in the Baku 2015 European Games.

While most seeded players managed to withstand the pressure of the first day, some of the favourites floundered.

Chloe Magee of Ireland, world no.48 and no.6 seed in the women's singles, lost in two games to Estonia's Kati Tolmoff 21-18, 21-17.

The last time the two players faced each other was at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games when Magee came out on top.

The women's singles also saw no.7 seed Jeanine Cicognini of Italy receive a real beating at the hands of the Czech Republic's Kristina Gavnholt, who allowed Cicognini only 16 points in a lop-sided 21-10, 21-6 win.

With the group stage being played out over the first few days of competition, none of the shuttlers were at risk of being eliminated on Monday.

Those who did drop out, did so for medical reasons.

Before the tournament started, Eric Pang of the Netherlands, Ukrainian Dmytro Zavadsky and Nicole Ankli of Switzerland had already withdrawn, but on Monday a fourth competitor, Romanian Sonia Olariu, needed to retire before smashing a single shuttle.

It didn't deter the crowd, however. On the contrary, when the Azerbaijani athletes in competition were in the arena for their feathery fights they were supported with passion, though none managed to cause an upset.

Knowing there are six more days of competition, Baku's Badminton crowd will keep their hopes up as play continues from 09:00 on Tuesday at Baku Sports Hall.

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