Insipred by the performances of their heroes in Rio, Dubai’s best badminton players faced off in the semi-finals of the Shuttle Time Dubai Badminton Club Championships in an exciting day of action at Dubai Sports World.
The 160 players from 15 teams have fought over the last three weeks for a shot at the second annual Club Championships title. The teams have played in two groups, with two pools of five teams in Group A (Level A and Level B) and one pool of five teams in Group B contesting in five categories; Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Masters Doubles (40 and above).
The top four teams in Group A Level A played last weekend to decide the finalists, while in a variation on last year’s format, the Group B semi-finals were contested by the top two teams in Group A Level B and the top two teams in Group B.
While Group A Level A saw the favourites reach the finals, there were upsets in both Group B matches, with less fancied rivals ruling the roost. Newbreed B reached the semifinals of Group A Level B with four wins in four matches in the preliminary rounds, but were convincingly defeated by second-placed team Team Victor B, who won 4-1 win.
The other Group B semi-final saw Friday Smashers battle against NSNL-SD B, who were second in Group A Level B. Friday Smashers came into the semi-final with an unbeaten record, but in the match of the day, NSNL-SD B won a nail-biting contest over their more favoured opponents.
They won 3-2, with three of the matches going to five games. The results in the Group A semi-finals were no less exciting but went a little more to plan. Group toppers Team Yonex continued their winning form and defeated fourth placed NSNL-SD A 3-2, while second placed Prime Star defeated third placed Team Victor 3-2.
The Club Championships are held under the umbrella of Shuttle Time Dubai, an engaging and inclusive development programme in the emirates which aims to encourage participation in badminton across the community.
In addition to the Club Championships, Shuttle Time has a range of programmes and activities including teacher training and coaching development programmes, hosting Schools Championships and providing free courts at Dubai Sports World.
The Shuttle Time Dubai programme is being implemented as part of the arrangement between the BWF and Dubai Sports Council, as part of the hosting of December’s Dubai World Superseries Finals.