Christo out to ride on momentum of German success


PETALING JAYA: Youngster Christo Popov (pic) may get France to a super start in the home tournament if his recent success is anything to go by.

On Sunday, the 21-year-old Christo defeated Rasmus Gemke of Denmark 21-17, 21-17 in the men’s singles final to lift the German Open title in Mulheim, which is his first Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour title.

With the big win, the world No. 27 is expected to move past his elder brother Toma Junior Popov (world No. 25) in the Road to Paris ranking, and book a ticket for the Olympic Games.

Christo has been snapping at the heels of the top players in recent times and may just bring joy for home fans when he faces off with second seed Shi Yuqi of China in the first round of the French Open at the Adidas Arena today.

If he wins, he will play the winner of the match between Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia and Denmark’s Magnus Johannesen in the second round.

The others in their half are Lu Guangzu of China, Kodai Naraoka of Japan, Anders Antonsen of Denmark and India’s H.S. Prannoy and K. Srikanth.

In the top half with top seed and world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark are Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie, Anthony Ginting, China’s Li Shifeng, India’s Lakshya Sen and Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn.

GERMAN OPEN FINAL RESULTS

Men’s singles: Christo Popov (Fra) bt Rasmus Gemke (Den) 21-17, 21-16.

Men’s doubles: Lee Jhe-huei-Yang Po-hsuan (Tpe) bt He Jiting-Ren Xiangyu (Chn) 15-21, 23-21, 23-21.

WoMen’s singles: Mia Blichfelt (Den) bt Nguyen Thuy Linh (Vie) 21-11, 21-9.

WoMen’s doubles: Li Yijing-Luo Xumin (Chn) bt Gabriela Stoeva-Stefani Stoeva (Bul) 21-7, 13-21, 21-18

Mixed doubles: Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet (Hkg) bt Kim Won-ho-Jeong Na-eun (Kor) 21-13, 21-19

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