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© Badminton Europe

Tough assignment ahead for defending champions

© Badminton Europe+

It is no secret that the annual Belgian International, held in the university town of Leuven situated 30km east of Brussels, is one of the most prestigious International Challenge tournaments held on the Badminton Europe circuit each year.

A full draw and a quality qualification field means that the lucky winners, come Saturday afternoon, will have come through the stiffest of tests to win and the title of Belgian International Champions is something that will sit proudly on any top player's mantelpiece for years to come. The 2013 edition will be as jam packed and as exciting as previous years with a stellar cast of Europe's finest assembled to battle it out for Saturday afternoon honours.

The fantastic Sportiest Philipssite will play host to 250 players from 40 different countries and with the infrastructure capable of hosting most major indoor sporting events tournament director Bart Verschueren is confident that the badminton crazy region of Belgium will come out in force to support the event.

"We want that all players, officials and of course visitors to experience a badminton feeling they never had before. One of most important goals for us is to have a lot of badminton fans and to show the world that badminton really affects a lot of people. We have worked very hard for this. Each day we will have a professional presentation, live interviews and a top Belgian DJ to bring ambiance in the hall which will be the key success factors of the tournament. I will be disappointed if we have less than 1000 visitors."

Tough Defence for Defending Champions

On court the men's top seed will not have far to travel as Dutch Veteran Eric Pang will look to add the Belgian title to his long list of career achievements. Defending champion Andre Tedjono will be looking to go back to back in Leuven in a venue that has seen him reach the last two finals in succession. The pick of the first round ties is the match between 2011 champion Brice Leverdez and Danish crowd pleaser Christian Lind in a game that potentially will have extended rallies with some twists along the way.

The women's singles sees the defending champion Sashina Vignes Waran of France installed as second seed and with the likes of Kjærsfeldt, Madsen, Perminova and Zetchiri on the French woman's side of the draw, the Strasbourg based shuttler will need to get out of the blocks quickly if she is to make a meaningful defence of her title.

Petya Nedelcheva is top seed but with a trio of young guns in the form of Delphine Lansac, De Visch Eijbergen and European Junior champion Stefani Stoeva nestled beside her at the top of the draw the Bulgarian will have to be mentally strong to make it to a possible semi final meeting with Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour.

Lees het hele artikel op de website van Badminton Europe.

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via Badminton Europe

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