In their seventh year as a pair, Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Lohau continue to make progress as they hit their highest world ranking of No.9 following their path-breaking performance in Tokyo. The German duo celebrated a milestone at the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2022 by winning the country’s first medal in a paired event.
The significance of the medal-winning achievement was not lost on Lamsfuss and Lohau. After they’d ensured the medal by beating Hong Kong China’s Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet in the quarterfinals, they sported broad smiles.
“For Germany, it’s a huge achievement,” said Lamsfuss. “It has never been before in the doubles category so we are very happy about that, that we are the ones taking the first medal.”
Lamsfuss and Lohau had a sensational journey to the bronze in Tokyo. Having beaten local pair Hiroki Midorikawa/Natsu Saito in a close three-game match in the second round, the Germans were in sizzling form facing defending champions Dechapol Puavaranukroh/Sapsiree Taerattanachai, against whom they were 0-6 in career meetings. Quite stunningly, the Thais were swamped in straight games.
The key, Lohau explained, was in seizing initiative and not giving their opponents “too much respect”.
“We were really encouraged to step up, step forward, and not be too low and late on the shuttle,” Lohau said. “Really try to pressure them. That worked really well. We also knew they had a lot of pressure as they are the reigning world champions. So we knew that mentally there was a big chance for us to play good and win here.”
It was a tougher battle in the quarterfinals, with the match turning out to be one of the most tightly-fought contests in the competition. The Germans were up 19-17 in the third before Tang and Tse levelled, only for Lamsfuss and Lohau to edge them at the very end. Lamsfuss said their trust in each other, and ability to enjoy the moment even during tense phases of the match, had helped them cross the line.
“It is a lot of fun on court, you could see us smiling, even though at 19-18 we did a mistake, an easy one… but we’re still smiling and enjoying the game and this helped us a lot on court. There’s really a lot of emotions.
“We were very confident in the last few rallies. I know that the end of the game, we are there. And we had a quite good focus there and I can count on Isabel 100 per cent. I know she’s doing the right stuff there. And then it’s easy for me actually, just be behind her and have her back.”
The bronze is a significant addition to their achievements – earlier this year they’d won back-to-back titles: the Swiss Open and the European Championships — and with the next World Championships and Olympics in Europe, the German duo will be among the pairs to watch.