Scotland's Imogen Bankier and Robert Blair celebrate winning in 2014.
Smashing Stats: German Open 2023
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
TEXT BY PREM KUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
Following a four-week break, the HSBC BWF World Tour 2023 resumes today in Mulheim with the Super 300 YONEX German Open 2023.
Feast on these while waiting for the action to start.
The starting three editions (1955-1957) only had champions from Denmark and Malaya.
Interestingly, no Malaysian or Dane was victorious in the fourth instalment as shuttlers from Indonesia, Germany, England and Sweden joined the party.
Gillian Gilks has the most titles – 10 (five in mixed doubles, four women’s doubles, one women’s singles).
Remarkably, her final triumph in 1987 came 16 years after her first. Both were in mixed doubles.
Denmark are the most successful nation with 91 gold medals.
While they produced winners in other categories in recent years, Camilla Martin (1997) is the last Dane to take women’s singles.
Hosts Germany have had no joy since Brigitte Steden/Marieluise Zizmann (women’s doubles) and Wolfgang Bochow/Zizmann (mixed doubles) aced their disciplines in 1975. Their best bet to end that drought appears to be Mark Lamsfuss/Isabel Lohau, who are seeded fourth.
In the last 20 years, Scotland are the sole European nation other than Denmark and England to produce titlists. Robert Blair won the mixed doubles with Englishwoman Gabrielle White in 2011 and compatriot Imogen Bankier three seasons later.
Except men’s singles, the Scots are represented in all categories in 2023.
Korea are the most recent to do a sweep, in 2008.
Countries waiting for maiden champion (s) but have seeded entries are Singapore (men’s singles) and Bulgaria (women’s doubles).
With world No.2s Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino in the draw, Japan stand a chance of ending their wait for mixed doubles glory. It’s the only category they are yet to win.
Watanabe and Yuki Kaneko/Misaki Matsutomocan become the first players to succeed in two departments since Ko Sung Hyun in 2016 (men’s and mixed doubles). Watanabe’s fate depends directly on Ko, who alongside Eom Hye Won, is his opening round opponent.
While Kaneko (men’s doubles in 2018 with Takuto Inoue) and Watanabe (men’s doubles in 2019 with Hiroyuki Endo) won recently, Matsumoto’s solitary title came nine years ago in women’s doubles with Ayaka Takahashi.
Victory will also see 2017-2018 winners Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirotabecome the first women’s pair in over half a century to complete a treble. Danes Anne Flindt/Pernille Molgaard Hansen were the last to do so in 1972.
Standout Stat: Among badminton powerhouses, Indonesia’s wait to top the podium has been the lengthiest – 20 years since Flandy Limpele/Eng Hian’s men’s doubles title.