For Immediate Release
March 26, 2012
Lee/Obanana Win Silver and Wang Sisters Win Bronze in Women’s Doubles at 2012 Polish Open International Badminton Championships
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Just one month after winning the silver medal in women’s doubles at the 2012 Austrian International Badminton Challenge, Eva Lee (Orange, Calif.) and Paula Lynn Obanana (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn./Mountain View, Calif.) authored a repeat performance, this time winning the silver medal in women’s doubles at the 2012 Polish Open International Badminton Championships at the Matchpoint Tennis and Sports Club just south of Wroclaw, Poland, March 22-25, 2012. Joining Lee and Obanana on the medal podium were USA Badminton athletes and sisters, Iris Wang (Arcadia, Calif.) and Rena Wang (Arcadia, Calif.) with the bronze medal in women’s doubles. With these performances both USA Badminton women’s doubles teams Lee/Obanana and the Wang sisters will gain valuable Olympic qualifying points for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England. England’s own Mariana Agathangelou and Heather Olver defeated Lee and Obanana in the final to take the gold medal.
Lee, Obanana and the Wang sisters are nearing the end of what has been a worldwide tour in the midst of the 2012 Olympic qualifying season which began on May 1, 2011 and concludes on April 30, 2012. Participation in the Olympic Games is solely determined by an athlete’s international ranking. Only 16 women’s doubles teams will earn invitations to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games, which will be held July 27th – August 12th in London, England. The Badminton World Federation has an extensive formula based on overall world ranking with continental considerations to determine which teams earn invitations for the 16 available slots. Both teams of Lee/Obanana and the Wang sisters are locked in an extremely tight race with two Canadian teams which will likely determine which one team from the Pan American Confederation will rank the highest in the BWF world rankings to earn the coveted Olympic invitation. In the most recent BWF World Rankings which came out on Thursday, March 22, 2012, Lee/Obanana were ranked 31st followed closely by the Wang sisters at 32nd. Canadian’s Alex Bruce and Michelle Li lead the Pan American teams with a ranking of 28th, closely followed by their compatriots Nicole Grether and Charmaine Reid at 30th. At the 2012 Polish Open International Badminton Championships Lee and Obanana defeated Canada’s Grether and Reid in head-to-head competition in the semifinals, likely moving Lee/Obanana above Grether and Reid in this week’s BWF World Rankings which will be released on Thursday, March 29th.
To view current BWF World Rankings, please visit: http://www.bwfbadminton.org/page.aspx?id=14955
Five badminton events will be contested at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England; men’s doubles, women’s doubles, men’s singles, women’s singles and mixed doubles. Each doubles discipline will have 16 pairs competing, while the women’s and men’s singles will each have 38 individual athletes competing. The Badminton World Federation has an extensive formula based on overall world ranking with continental considerations to determine which teams and athletes earn invitations for the available slot in each discipline. Badminton competition at the 2012 Olympic Games will take place July 28th to August 5th in the historic Wembley Arena.
The Wang sisters also each competed in the women’s singles event at the 2012 Polish Open International Badminton Championships, but an unfortunate draw saw the two sisters meet in the second round after both posted first round wins. Rena Wang got the best of her younger sister Iris Wang in the second round defeating her two games to none (21-11 and 21-9). Wang then fell to Russia’s Anastasia Prokopenko 21-23 and 12-21 in the quarterfinals. Karyn Velez (North Hills, Calif.) also captured a first round win in women’s singles for the U.S. before losing in the second round to Finland’s Anu Nieminen. Sattawat Pongnairat (Orange, Calif.) captured a first round victory for the U.S. in the men’s singles competition before falling to Jen Hao Hsu of Chinese Taipei in the second round.
For complete brackets and results from the 2012 Polish Open International Badminton Championships please visit: http://www.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/tournament.aspx?id=3871C58D-9CB7-4EBF-9431-BB18298E98BE.
For more information, please contact Cecil Bleiker, NGB Media Services Director for USA Badminton at 719-330-2062. This press release is also available on the USOC’s media specific website at PRESSBOX.TEAMUSA.ORG.