Badminton’s First World Championships25 November, 2016
Here are the report and the results of the historic Malmo tournament where Danish players win three titles.
The results of the first World Badminton Championships were inserted in our last issue, but are repeated here so as to present a complete record. They were held at Malmo, Sweden, from May 3rd to 8th inclusive.
As recorded, the first champions were:
Men’s Singles - F. Delfs (Denmark)
Ladies' Singles - Miss L. Koppen (Denmark)
Men's Doubles – Tjun Tjun + J. Wahjudi (Indonesia)
Ladies' Doubles - Mrs E. Toganoo + Miss E. Ueno (Japan)
Mixed Doubles - S. Skovgaard + Miss L. Koppen (Denmark)
All were on the week's play, fully deserving of the titles gained, and in only one of the five events were the winners not top-seeded. This was in the mixed doubles, the final of which provided a big surprise.
Play occurred at the very huge Malmo Ice Stadium which was an enormous complex round which it was not always easy to find one's way, and though six days were allotted to the tournament, play could easily have been got through in four. There were many occasions during the middle of the week when all four courts were empty for lengthy periods, this being due to a whole hour having been allowed for matches after the second day.
National Entry Disappointing
Generally speaking, spectator attendance was good, notably of course when the semi-finals and finals took place, but it must be conceded that the participation of only 26 nations was rather disappointing. Twelve of these were from Europe, but all were from the west. There were five Asian countries only, four from the American continent and one from the African. Australia and New Zealand each were represented, and the other two nations were associate members of the IBF (the Slovenian B.A.and the Ashdod B.C. of Israel). In view of the title of the tournament one did expect more countries to be in the lists, though it must be stressed that the strength of the individual participants could not have been bettered if one thinks in terms of the individual players.
Entries were restricted to four from each country in each event, except for four pairs in the mixed doubles, and allowing for this stipulation, it was disappointing that there were only seven countries (Canada, Denmark, England, West Germany, Indonesia, Japan and Sweden) which sent full teams. India and Mexico had a full team of men but no ladies at all.
The total entries were 63 in the men's singles, 38 in the ladies' singles, 29 men's pairs, 21 ladies' pairs and 33 mixed pairs. It was not necessary to stage qualifying rounds in any of the events, these having been planned, if necessary, for the preceding week-end.
Flemming Delfs' Shaky Start
After his All-England triumph the success of Flemming Delfs in the men's singles was always forseeable but he had more troubles than at Wembley, notably in the early rounds where he dropped games to both Ray Stevens of England and Kenji Zeniya of Japan. These were in his first two matches, and he was really very fortunate to reach the third round after drawing the only bye.
Against Stevens he dropped the first game to 11, then equalised to 10 when he disappeared for the permitted five-minute interval. At the appropriate time he was not back on court, Stevens having remained there. When Delfs did arrive after a computed 8½ minutes, he was told he was scratched for overstepping the mark. In fairness to him, it must be mentioned that he was probably unaware of his indiscretion, for the changing rooms were, as it happened, a long way from the arena of the courts and beyond the sound of any microphone. Stevens, in a most sporting and commendable attitude, declined to accept the default, and after discussion the match was allowed to resume when Delfs got home at 15-6. Delfs' next match was even closer, for Zeniya, with a game in hand, reached 14-all, and then went down only at 15-12 in the third.
Thereafter Delis lost no further game, though the Indonesian, Ie Sumirat, had a game point in their second game.
All-England Champion Beaten
There were four ladies, all rated with a good chance of winning the singles. Miss Hiroe Yuki, the Japanese, had won at Wembley, but here she was defeated remarkably comfortably by England's Mrs. Gilks who thus avenged her All-England defeat with, it may be added, something to spare. Miss Koppen overwhelmed England's Mrs. Lockwood against whom she had had much more trouble at Wembley. The only game that the Dane lost on her way to the final was against the Japanese, Miss Saori Kondo, but she was rather too good for her in the last two.
As has happened in so many tournaments all over the world in the past few years, two Indonesian pairs reached the men's final. Neither dropped a game on the way, though double figures were often scored against them.
There was a big surprise in the ladies' doubles when the top-seeded English pair of Mrs. Perry and Mrs. Lockwood went under to Holland's Miss van Beusekom and Mrs. Ridder, to whom, we believe, they had never lost before. England was rather favoured in this event but as it turned out her two pairs had a disappointing tournament, the Misses Giles and Webster, seeded to reach the semi-final, going out in their first match (18-13, 3-15,15-2 !) to the young Danes, the Misses Borgstrom and PiaNielsen, who later took a game off the eventual champions.
Three seeded pairs failed to reach the last eight in the mixed doubles where the big surprises were the defeats of Eddie Sutton and Miss Webster (England) at the hands of Canada's Lucio Fabris and Miss Clarkson (15-4, I5-8) and the victory of Billy Gilliland and Mrs. Flockhart (Scotland) over the Ridders of Holland after three games. The Scots consolidated their reputation by then beating David Eddy and Miss Giles of England who had been seeded to reach the semi-final.
The Final Day
H. M. the King of Sweden was present throughout the whole of the final day which began with his presenting to Mr. H. A. E. Scheele, the recently retired honorary secretary of the I.B.F., a most handsome and large silver shuttle surmounted on a silver court, from the l.B.F. "in recognition of a lifetime of service to the international game" as it was inscribed.
The ladies' singles was the first of the final matches. Miss Koppen achieved her success after a really close battle of 37 minutes. She took the first after 14 minutes when Mrs. Gilks made three fatal mistakes after the game had been set at 9-all. Mrs. Gilks continued to misjudge the lines in the second, but after being 6-10 down she played up remarkably well to set at
10-all in only one hand. After holding one game-point, Mrs. Gilks lost the service and Miss Koppen went straight out.
Photographers rushed all over the place, and even the King and the players had the utmost difficulty in reaching the "Olympic" dais where the presentations were to be made. It can be said, without fear of denial, that the dozens and dozens of photographers breached all normal manners throughout all the presentations, and to such an extent that spectators were quite unable to witness any of the winning ceremonies.
Delfs' Comfortable Victory
Delfs was always on top in the men's final, as was expected, though there were periods in the second game when Pri looked as though he might salvage something. The two-game match was over in 28 minutes after a very friendly encounter in which the older man appeared reconciled to the eventual result right through. After all, he had done extremely well to reach the final, an achievement which he might not have accomplished but for the most unexpected earlier defeat of the vaunted Indonesian, Liem Swie King, at the hands of Sweden's Thomas Kihlstrom. The latter does not nowadays often play singles in big events, but he certainly demonstrated his skill in this tournament, though he capitulated to Pri in the semi-final rather quickly, no doubt being much more interested then in his subsequent doubles semi-final.
The two doubles finals saw two-game wins for the favoured pairs, and there never seemed much doubt about their outcome, but the mixed final was quite sensational and rather full of incident.
The Exciting Mixed Final
Derek Talbot and Mrs. Gilks were strong favourites to beat Steen Skovgaard and Miss Koppen, and they should have confirmed the estimate. Mrs. Gilks was, however, but a shadow of herself as the accredited finest mixed player of her generation. She had perhaps not got over her singles disappointment, and she certainly never gave her partner the support which he needed. Far too often was she positioning herself at the back of the court with the result that practically never was her deservedly reputed skill at the net to be seen. Talbot, on the other hand, played extremely well at critical times. Both Danes played both brilliantly and erratically in spasms, but their back and front formation gave them their great advantage.
Denmark was soon 9-2 up. but the English pair caught up as far as 12-13,and they hung on grimly to save five match points at 14-12 against them. On the sixth occasion Talbot strongly disputed a line decision against him (a decision which appeared to be correct). The referee intervened, upheld the decision, but removed the lineman!
The second game was very even and eventually Talbot and Mrs. Gilks reached 13-12, but with Mrs. Gilks showing a continued lack of confidence and much uncertainty the Danes equalized and ran to 4- love in the setting in one hand. Talbot then endeavoured to take charge. By serving from the sidelines he created great worries on the Danish side of the net and quickly ran to 4-all. Five times did the Danes get the service; five times did they fail to clinch the match. A sixth opportunity saw them reach harbour. Skovgaard appeared to know that Talbot was really his master, and he had tried to do too much in consequence. His relief at finally overcoming his opposition was intense.
Third Round – T. Kihlstrom (Sweden) beat Liem Swie King (Indonesia), 15-11, 9-15, 15-12. E. Hansen (Denmark) beat R. Ridder (Netherlands),15-3, 15-9. S. Pri (Denmark) beat S. Karlsson (Sweden), 15-7, 15-7. Hadiyanto (Indonesia) beat M. Tsuchida (Japan)15-4,15-7. P. Prakash (lndia) beat Roy Diaz Gonzalez (Mexico) 15-5, 14-I8, 15-6. Ie Sumirat (Indonesia) beat M.G. Tredgett (England) 15-9, 15-1. S. Johnsson (Sweden) beat G. Carter (Canada) 15-3, 15-9. F. Delfs (Denmark) beat K. Zeniya (Japan) 7-15, 17-15, 15-12.
Fourth Round – Kihlstrom beat Hansen 15-5,15-1. Pri beat Hadiyanto 15-2, 15-10. Sumirat beat Prakash 15-6, 10-15, 15-11. Delfs beat Johnsson 15-6, 15-4.
Semi-finals – Pri beat Kihlstrom 15-6, 15-6. Delfs beat Sumirat 15-1, 18-17.
Final – Delfs beat Pri 15-5, 15-6.
Third Round – Miss H. Yuki (Japan) beat Mrs. B. Steden (W. Germany) 7-11, 11-2,11-3. Miss W.Clarkson (Canada) beat Miss I.Borgstrom (Denmark), 8-11, 11-5, 12-9. Mrs. G. Gilks (England) beat Mrs. V. Winter-Martini (W. Germany), 11-4, 11-6. Miss E.Ueno (Japan) beat Miss J. van Beusekom (Netherlands) 11-7, 11-8. Miss A. Tokuda (Japan) beat Miss Sriwijanti (Indonesia),11-1,11-2. Mrs. M. Lockwood (England) beat Mrs. J. Youngberg (Canada) 11-4, 11-5. Miss S. Kondo (Japan) beat Miss C. Jeppson (Sweden), 11-1, 11-3. Miss L. Koppen (Denmark) beat Miss J. Webster (England),11-5, 11-5.
Fourth Round – Miss Yuki beat Miss Clarkson 11-5,12-9. Mrs. Gilks beat Miss Ueno, 11-2,11-7. Mrs.Lockwood beat Miss Tokuda 11-6, 11-1. Miss Koppen beat Miss Kondo, 10-12, 11-5, 11-3.
Semi-finals – Mrs. Gilks beat Miss Yuki, 11-4, 11-7. Miss Koppen beat Mrs. Lockwood 11-3, 11-0.
Final – Miss Koppen beat Mrs.Gilks 12-9, 12-11.
Third Round – Ade Chandra & Christian (Indonesia), beat K. Zeniya & M. Tsuchida (Japan) 15-4, 15-11. R. P. Stevens & M. G. Tredgett (England) beat F. Delfs & S.Skovgaard (Denmark)15-10, 15-6. B. Froman & T. Kihlstrom (Sweden) beat P. Tryon & J. Johnson (Canada) 15-2, 15-8. Tjun Tjun & J. Wahjudi (Indonesia) beat J. D. Eddy & E. H. Sutton (England) 15-14,15-5.
Semi-finals – Chandra & Christian beat Stevens & Tredgett 15-4, 15-10. Tjun Tjun & Wahjudi beat Froman & Kihlstrom 15-7, 15-11.
Final – Tjun Tjun & Wahjudi beat Chandra & Christian 15-6, 15-4.
Third Round – Mrs. M. Lockwood & Mrs. N. Perry (England) beat Miss A. Tokuda & Miss M. Takada (Japan) 15-9, 15-7. Miss J. van Beusekom & Mrs. M. Ridder (Netherlands) beat Miss T. Widiastuty & Miss R. Masli (lndonesia) 17-14, 18-15. Miss J. Borgstrom & Miss P. Nielsen (Denmark) beat Mrs. J. Flockhart & Mrs. C. Stewart (Scotland) 15-5, 15-4. Mrs. E. Toganoo & Miss E. Ueno (Japan) beat Miss Sriwiyanti & Miss Imelda (Indonesia) 15-7, 15-8.
Semi-finals – Miss van Beusekom & Mrs. Ridder beat Mrs. Lockwood & Mrs. Perry 4-15, 15-6, 15-8. Mrs. Toganoo & Miss Ueno beat Miss Borgstrom & Miss Nielsen 15-8, 15-17. 15-8.
Final – Mrs. Toganoo & Miss Ueno beat Miss van Beusekom & Mrs. Ridder I5-10, 15-11.
Fourth Round – M. G. Tedgett & Mrs N. Perry (England) beat E. Hansen (Denmark) & Miss J. van Beusekom (Netherlands) 15-7, 15-9. S. Skovgaard & Miss L. Koppen (Denmark) beat L. Fabris & W. Clarkson (Canada) 15-8, 15-6. W. Gilliland & Mrs J. Flockhart (Scotland) beat J.D. Eddy + Miss B. Giles (England) 15-12, 6-15, 15-8. D. Talbot & Mrs. G. Gilks (England) beat R. Maywald & Mrs. B. Steden (W. Germany)18-14, 15-9.
Semi-finals – Skovgaard & Miss Koppen beat. Tredgett & Mrs. Perry 17-15, 15-10. Talbot & Mr. Gilks beat Gilliland & Mrs. Flockhart 18-17, 15-6.
Final – Skovgaard & Miss Koppen beat Talbot & Mrs. Gilks 15-12, 18-17.
-- World Badminton July/August 1977