2016-2017 sea­son hits the ground

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

A new sea­son for Bad­minton Malta has kicked off for 2016/17 with a new, fresh look be­ing given to com­pe­ti­tions.

A new set-up has been mainly given to the rank­ing tour­na­ments, first of which, was held re­cently and saw the best of Mal­tese Bad­minton bat­tling for the ti­tle and for pre­cious rank­ing points which will even­tu­ally de­ter­mine the lo­cal rank­ing list.

The for­mat of this com­pe­ti­tion is based on a com­pass for­mat where a knock­out is played with the win­ners ad­vanc­ing to the next round and the losers to con­tinue com­pet­ing to de­ter­mine all the plac­ings. This gives a chance to all par­tic­i­pants to play the max­i­mum games pos­si­ble to gain more com­pe­ti­tion ex­pe­ri­ence to fit Bad­minton Malta’s vi­sion to in­crease par­tic­i­pa­tion in top in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions.

This first rank­ing tour­na­ment started with qual­i­fier rounds where lower ranked play­ers fought for a place in the main draw.

In the men’s cat­e­gory Avner Vella and Zack Cilia made it to the main draw while in the women’s cat­e­gory Maya Xuereb and Michela Gatt man­aged to qual­ify to the next round.

The main draw in­cluded 16 male and 8 fe­male play­ers where six of the seeded play­ers passed to the Quar­ter Fi­nals and all seeded fe­male play­ers un­sur­pris­ingly passed to the next round.

In the quar­ter-fi­nals, Matthew Abela, Ste­fan Salomone, Ken­neth Vella and Sa­muel Calí, all of whom are cur­rent or for­mer na­tional cham­pi­ons, made it to the semi-fi­nals where they faced each other in tough matches where Matthew Abela and Sa­muel Calí got the up­per hand on Ste­fan Salomone and Ken­neth Vella re­spec­tively, to reach the fi­nal.

The fi­nal con­firmed Matthew Abela’s cur­rent top form af­ter beat­ing Sa­muel Calí 21-7,21-11.

In the women’s cat­e­gory, Fiorella Marie Sad­owski, reign­ing women’s sin­gles na­tional cham­pion for 5 con­sec­u­tive years, man­aged to qual­ify to the fi­nal match and

con­tin­ued to show her dom­i­na­tion in the fe­male cat­e­gory by win­ning the fi­nal against the 16-year-old Yanika Pol­i­dano who rose to the oc­ca­sion and of­fered an ex­cep­tional chal­lenge to the cur­rent na­tional cham­pion.

The match re­sulted in a very close en­counter where Sad­owski man­aged to brush off Pol­i­dano’s chal­lenge with a close win 27-25 and 23-21.

These re­sults au­gur well for both win­ners, Matthew Abela and Fiorel­laMarie Sad­owski, who will be tak­ing part in in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions soon, with the for­mer par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Czech Ju­nior and Slo­vak Ju­nior com­pe­ti­tions this month and the lat­ter tak­ing part in the Ital­ian In­ter­na­tional Open in De­cem­ber.

This first rank­ing tour­na­ment for the sea­son cre­ated ex­cit­ing, thrilling mo­ments and matches that kept the spec­ta­tors on the edge of their seats.

Pho­tos: Ge­orge Camil­leri

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