April 2008 All News
Smith's bold run ends in Montreal final
England No 1 Andrew Smith's bid for his first men's singles title in 18 months ended in disappointment when he lost to Japan's Shoji Sato 21-18 21-16 in the final of the KLRC Atwater Canadian International in Montreal.
But the Portsmouth player can be satisfied with his efforts over the last month. During April he reached the Indian Open semi-finals in Hyderabad, helped England to the silver medal at the European Championships in Denmark and then drew on his reserves of energy to reach the Montreal final.
That all earned him his Olympic ticket for Beijing by consolidating his world ranking as the year-long qualifying period reached an end with the Montreal event and today's Victor Dutch Open finals.
Smith, who is No 31 in the world, will now have a breather before the Thomas Cup men's world team finals in Jakarta in mid-May.
Jersey's National champion Elizabeth Cann was the last England player to fall in the Dutch Open in Wateringen yesterday.
She went down in a desperately close 60-minute semi-final with Ukraine's Larisa Griga, losing 21-18 24-26 21-19, having beaten Denmark's Anne Hald Jensen 21-15 21-8 in the quarter-finals earlier in the day.
But the points collected in Wateringen will keep Cann top of the Badminton Europe Circuit.
Surrey's Ben Beckman fell in the men's singles quarter-finals, going down 21-10 21-19 to Denmark's Kasper Ipsen.
There was disappointment for England in the doubles quarter-finals. Andrew Ellis and Matthew Honey lost in straight games to experienced Germans Kristof Hopp and Ingo Kindervater.
In the mixed doubles Ellis and Samantha Ward went down 21-17 21-19 to Rasmus Bonde and Helle Nielsen of Denmark while fourth seeds Honey and Olver were edged out in a close clash with Jacob Chemnitz and Marie Roepke 21-15 16-21 21-19.
England No 1 Andrew Smith is through to the final of the KLRC Atwater Canadian International in Montreal.
The fifth seed shook off the efforts of the last month in clinching his Olympic place by winning a nailbiter with Canada's sixth seed and world No 35 Andrew Dabeka in the semi-finals.
The Portsmouth star won their showdown 21-17 18-21 22-20 to book a final clash with second seed and world No 19 Shoji Sato after the Japan player knocked out Avon's Carl Baxter 9-21 21-17 21-16 in the other semi-final.
Smith is now one win away from his first big triumph since lifting the Yonex Vietnam Open in November 2006.
Meanwhile in Wateringen, Badminton Europe circuit leader Elizabeth Cann is through to the quarter-finals of the Victor Dutch Open.
But the national champion from Jersey needed to dig deep to beat Bulgarian Olga Konon 21-19 13-21 21-19. She now meets Danish qualifier Anne Hald Jensen, who knocked out Helen Davies in an equally close three-game battle 21-19 in the decider.
Eighth seed Jill Pittard was a second-round loser while Rachel Howard fell in the first round.
In the men's singles Surrey's Ben Beckman came through the qualifying and is now in the last eight after beating Germany's Dharma Gunawi 21-16 21-13. He now meets Dane Kasper Ipsen.
In the men's doubles Andrew Ellis and Matthew Honey earned a quarter-final crack at German second seeds Ingo Kindervater and Kristof Hopp following a gritty 18-21 21-11 21-16 win over Sebastian Rduch and Josche Zurwonne of Germany.
But in the women's doubles Heather Olver and Samantha Ward went down 21-13 21-13 to second seeded Russians Ekaterina Ananina and Anastasia Russkikh.
But both England girls are still in contention in the mixed doubles. Fourth seeds Honey and Olver beat Ruud Bosch and Paulien van Dooremalen of the Netherlands 16-21 21-13 21-17 while Ellis and Ward joined them in the quarter-finals by beating Belgian pair Frederic Mawet and Severine Corville 21-16 21-13.
Fifth seed Andrew Smith is through to the semi-finals of the KLRC Atwater Canadian International.
The England No 1 followed up his surge to the semi-finals of the Indian Open in Hyderabad at the start of April with another sound effort in Montreal.
The Portsmouth 23-year-old and world No 31, who last week clinched his Olympic ticket, built on a first-round bye to record straight-game wins over Japan's Koichi Saeki and Spain's Jose Antonio Crespo to reach the last eight.
In the quarter-finals he beat Japan's Kenichi Tagao 21-13 21-17 to earn a semi-final against Canada's sixth seed Andrew Dabeka later today.
Joining him in the semi-finals was England's Carl Baxter. The Avon player also had a first-round bye before beating Swiss No 1 Christian Boesiger in three tight games and then ousting Australia's Stuart Gomez 21-16 21-12.
In the quarter-finals he put out American Eric Go 21-13 22-20.
England's National champion Rajiv Ouseph missed out, however, when he went down in straight games to second seed Shoji Sato of Japan in the quarters.
Ouseph produced straight-game wins over Canada's Peter Butler, France's Simon Manoury and Chinese qualifier Yu Ling Yin before falling to Sato 21-17 21-11.
Sato now faces Baxter in a tournament which brings the year-long Olympic qualifying programme to an end in North America.
In Europe the last event is also taking place this weekend - the Victor Dutch Open at Wateringen.
Surrey's Ben Beckman got off to a good start in the men's singles when he knocked out sixth seed Marco Vasconcelos of Portugal 21-17 19-21 21-16. He now meets German Dharma Gunawi, who knocked out Nathan Rice in the first round 21-16 21-9.
Fifth seed Elizabeth Cann, who is the Badminton Europe Circuit leader, eighth seed Jill Pittard, Rachel Howard and Helen Davies tackled today's opening round of the women's singles.
Andrew Ellis and Samantha Ward are already through to the mixed doubles second round, along with fourth seeds Matthew Honey and Heather Olver and both pairs are in action tonight.
To follow results from both tournaments check out www.tournamentsoftware.com