EURO TEAMS FINALS – Denmark Reign Supreme

Denmark badminton has plenty to smile about this evening as once again they have proven to the rest of Europe that they are unbeatable as they claimed both the men’s […]


Denmark badminton has plenty to smile about this evening as once again they have proven to the rest of Europe that they are unbeatable as they claimed both the men’s and women’s team titles in Warsaw, Poland.

By Mark Phelan (live in Warsaw). Photos: (Live)


The Danish women (pictured left) set the trend as they took to the court at midday against a Russian squad weakened by the loss of Nina Vislova due to injury. Tina Rasmussen set the ball rolling with a convincing victory over Russia’s Ella Diehl in 2 straight sets. Rasmussen, who has dropped to number 10 in the world rankings after a niggling ankle injury has thwarted her progression, proved today that she is back to form and watch out China come the All England next month as Rasmussen looks fresh and fit and ready to take back the crown she won in 2008.

In a much anticipated matchup between Russian Tatjana Bibik and Denmark’s Camilla Sorensen, the diminutive Bibik powered her way to a two set win to level the tie at 1 match a piece. Russia followed up Bibik’s win with a victory in the third women’s singles to leave Denmark needing the remaining two women’s doubles to retain their title.

First up were Juhl and Frier Kristiansen (pictured) who obviously had a point to prove after their unexpected defeat yesterday in the semi-final. The Danes took to the court against Bibik and Golovonano and judging by the stone faced expression on Juhl’s face the Danish pair were out to prove a point. In a little under 25 minutes the classy Danes expelled all the myths and ghosts from their semi-final and blew the Russians off the court with a 21-14, 21-14 win.

euro10poland_frier_badzine“I’m so glad we had the opportunity to go out and show everybody we could win today after yesterday’s disappointment. We have not trained together in months and I suppose we need to accept that fact and realise we are not on a level we used to be. Having said that we fully expected to win today and I’m glad we did it so convincingly. We can now head to Uber Cup finals in confident mood and we look forward to it as a team,” said a reflective Frier Kristiansen after her doubles win.

So the match went down to a decider and who better to rely on for the Danes other than the charismatic Helle Nielsen and Marie Ropke. The Danes, up against Sorokina and Prokopenko did not have everything their own way but managed to close out the first set 21-17. In the second, the Russians raced to a 20-17 lead, but the Danes somehow managed to head defeat off at the pass, and remarkably won the next 5 points to take the set and with it the European Title for Denmark. A fitting way for Nielsen to end her international career and not only will she be missed on court but also off court for her vocal team cheerleading.

After the celebrations and prize giving were over, it was time for the Danish men to take centre stage. The opening singles between Peter Gade (pictured) and Wacha was an exciting affair with the Pole showing a marked improvement on his 2009 form to put Gade under pressure throughout the match. However, nothing was going to phase Gade as his vast experience, coupled with an immaculate touch around the net took him to a two set victory.

“It is one think coming into a tournament as favourites but it is another thing altogether to prove you are the best and win. I had a tough game against Wacha today and it was obvious that he was always going to perform well especially here in front of his own fans. But I enjoyed it and now I can focus ahead on the All Englands knowing my game is almost ready and I’m in pretty good shape ahead of the trip to Birmingham,” said Gade.

euro10poland_gadel_badzineThe job of thwarting the Danish advance now fell to Cwalina and Logosz and justifiable many thought the Polish pair could win the first doubles as they have been a revelation in this tournament. But this time they had Boe and Mogensen to contend with and the Danes, once settled, showed the Poles a thing or two in expert men’s doubles play. Another 2 set victory and Denmark were now only one win away from completing another amazing double.

The job of completing the job fell to none other than new Danish star Jan O Jorgensen and as expected he duly delivered against Hubert Paczek. Jorgensen ran out a comfortable 21-14, 21-13 winner and even had the time to do some showboating with his team-mates before the last point was won. This was not the sign of an over-confident young man but recognition to the team that this was their trophy and their time and that, more than anything, they are a team.

In the bronze medal matches, Germany were victorious in both the men’s and women’s events. The German ladies defeated the Netherlands while the men had a tough time seeing off the challenge of Ukraine.

The Danes are now headed to the Thomas and Uber Cup finals in May and there is no doubt that they will represent Europe well and is a medal a realistic goal there?… I think it is!!!

For all results click HERE

About Mark Phelan