In the third round of the inaugural London Grand Prix Gold tournament, stars from all over the badminton world will look to surpass the halfway mark of the British event.
By doing so, they’ll move that much closer to the minimum prize pot of $120,000 and a place in history as the first of their kind ever to win the Copper Box Arena event in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Day 3 of the tournament entertains the Last 16 of each discipline, with Britons Rajiv Ouseph, Sarah Milne and Kirsty Gilmour all advancing after some impressive performances on Wednesday.
Rajiv Ouseph vs. Hsu Jui Ting
England’s No. 1, Rajiv Ouseph, may have disappointed the home fans after failing to make it out of the group stage during the London 2012 Olympics, but he is going about his redemption impressively a year later.
Wednesday saw the 27-year-old beat Ukraine’s Vitaly Konov 21-12, 21-12 after he received a bye in the first round.
Opposite him on Wednesday will be Taipei’s Hsu Jui Ting, who has already beaten one Englishman (Rhys Walker) on his way to the third round of the competition.
Speaking on his chances of advancing to the semi-finals, per Eurosport, Ouseph commented: "I'm obviously seeded to get that far, so it's possible, but I just need to take it round by round.”
Hans-Kristian Vittinghus vs. Yuxiang Huang
In his second-round outing, Hans-Kristian Vittinghus finished off a fairly simple fixture against England’s Michael Spencer-Smith in style, conceding just 15 points as he saw out a 21-6, 21-9 triumph.
Next up for the Dane is a Thursday faceoff against China’s Yuxiang Huang, who earned a much tighter victory in his third-round match, defeating Vittinghus’ compatriot Joachim Persson 21-17, 26-24.
On his official Facebook account, Vittinghus noted that he’ll “have to be ready for a different level of play,” but is “up to the challenge.”
Sarah Walker vs. Sayaka Sato
Sarah Walker has yet to be tested in this year’s London Grand Prix Gold event after being handed a walkover win past USA’s Beiwen Zhang.
On the other hand, her third-round opponent, Sayaka Sato, made her way through in far tenser circumstances, booking her spot thanks to a 22-20, 21-19 win against Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk.
The first real test of Walker’s talent in this event’s pool, it could be a lack of competition that proves to work against England’s national champion, although her standard is likely to overcome in the end.