EURO MIXED TEAMS 2011 Final – Danish Dominance again

Even without the services of Tine Baun in today’s final, and with Peter Gade at home preparing for the All England, Denmark eased their way to another European Mixed Team […]

Even without the services of Tine Baun in today’s final, and with Peter Gade at home preparing for the All England, Denmark eased their way to another European Mixed Team victory to prove once again that they really are a class apart in Europe with the gap continuously widening back to the chasing pack.

By Mark Phelan  Photos Badminton Photo (Live in Amsterdam)

Every year Denmark justifiably take their place in these European team events as hot favourites as they have earned that right with almost 2 decades of unprecedented dominance. But every year, we hope that maybe some of the other big European badminton nations can bring the fight to the Danes and give them a run for their money. This year, like all other years, we are left in awe of the strength in depth of the Danish squad as once again they lifted the European mixed team trophy with a 3-1 win over Germany.

With no Gade and Baun we hoped that the Germans could at least make it interesting and they did that in the opening women’s singles where Juliane Schenk kept her 100% record with a 2-game win over Karina Jorgensen but only after the diminutive Dane gave the German number one a real run for her money.

Next was the men’s singles and if there was ever a pivotal game in this final this was always going to be it. Zwiebler against Jorgensen (pictured right) had everyone salivating with anticipation. Zwiebler was carrying a 100% match record into the final and the carrot at the end of the stick was a 2-0 lead for Germany and a real chance to upset the odds. Jorgensen, meanwhile, after only flying into Amsterdam at the weekend for the knockout stages, was pretty lacklustre in a defeat to Ouseph in the semi-final but a defeat to Zwiebler really was something neither Jorgensen nor indeed Denmark could afford.

With all the weight of expectation to deliver and the pressure knowing that defeat would leave team Denmark in a perilous position, the young Dane just managed to shrug it all off, arrive on court, and deliver the most crucial of points for the Danish cause with a straight-game win over Zwiebler. The victory really was a measure of Jorgensen’s true talent and ability to deal with the big occasion.

With the wind now firmly in the Danish sails and buoyed by the Jorgensen victory, Pedersen and Juhl (pictured bottom right) delivered a 2-game win over Marinello and Michels to push the Danes within ‘shouting distance’ of the gold medal.

And who better to have on your team than Boe and Mogensen (pictured left) to deliver the final decisive point, and as if not to be outdone, brushed aside the challenge of Schoettler and Kindervater in 2 clear sets just as they had done in the French Open final in November.

“It feels really great to win the Championship again. Carsten and I won many individual titles, but this is always special because you play for the team and it’s extra nice to win when playing for our country,” said  Mathias Boe (courtesy Badminton Denmark).

“It feels very good to achieve our goal and to get the gold back to Denmark. We have been focused through the whole tournament, even though we were the favourites. And this victory today is important because we show that when all deliver the goods, we are a class above all others in Europe,” said coach Claus Poulsen (courtesy Badminton Denmark).

So ends another European Mixed Team Championship and as predicted and expected, Denmark just literally strolled to yet another championship win. What is always fascinating is the manner and efficiency in the way they go about their business. The reality of the situation is that Denmark could field a ‘B’ team and dare I say it still win this Championship and maybe it’s an idea that they should be allowed enter 2 teams but either way they remain the benchmark by which the rest of Europe measures their collective performance.

Finally, and within the team event there were also some very notable individual performances worth mentioning. Ouseph was outstanding for England all week and the emergence of Ellis and Adcock and their epic battle against Boe and Mogensen has assured us of their credentials moving forward. Schenk was also in amazing form for Germany all week and when we look back to the group stages Ireland Chloe Magee had a 100% record in all her singles matches, which is worth mentioning. But ultimately everyone walks away from a tournament like this wondering what they have to do to compete with Denmark.

For all results click HERE

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