EURO CHAMPS 2014 QF – Bayrak and Marin make history, Denmark shines

After so many knock outs on day two, there was great anticipation for the quarter finals matches. Ozge Bayrak secured the first medal ever for her country in this competition […]

After so many knock outs on day two, there was great anticipation for the quarter finals matches. Ozge Bayrak secured the first medal ever for her country in this competition while Denmark won 10 of their 12 matches

By Fontaine Chapman, live from Kazan. Photos (live): Badmintonphoto

The afternoon kicked off with a great display of maturity and controlled skill by the young Dane Anna Thea Madsen. She knew exactly what she had to do to win and she executed it precisely, beating one of Russia’s most experienced players, Olga Golovanova 21-9 21-12. The Dane expressed her happiness on Twitter after the match saying, “Through to the semi-final! Wow! Can’t wait to get back on court tomorrow and give it all I got”.

The number one seed from Spain, Carolina Marin, cruised through her first set against Bulgaria’s Stefani Stoeva, winning 21-10. However, this did not deter Stoeva, Badminton Europe’s Young Player of the Year, who came out even more aggressive in the second set to give Marin a run for her money. The skilled Spaniard gained her control back though and won 21-15. Marin is now the first player from Spain to secure a medal at the European Championships. Another Nation will be grabbing a medal for the first time this week end as Turkey’s Ozge Bayrak (photo) qualified for the semi final of the event. The young Turkish player edged out 5th seed Kristina Gavhnholt in straight games. She continued her giant killing week with style and will bring Turkey its first ever medal in a major event apart from the Mediteranean Games last summer.

Karin Schnaase of Germany (photo), battled her way through today’s quarter final match against Danish player Line Kjaersfeldt. From the get go Schnaase was under huge pressure from the tall Dane’s skilful shot selection and pace but it was point for point until the German slipped and it looked as though she was down and out. After a short physio break and a heavy duty ankle brace put on, Schnaase got back to her feet and cautiously walked back onto court. The win was almost in the Dane’s sight as Schnaase gingerly moved round the court but after a rally or two it was clear the German was not about to give up on her hopes of a medal. “When I got injured in the match I thought that opportunity was gone. But medals don’t come along easily so I just fought as hard as I could” said Schnaase to Badminton Europe. After winning the first set 21-18, Schnaase came out with confidence and willing to fight even harder to secure her place in the semi-finals and that is just what she did. The final score 21-18 21-15.

Jorgensen loses a game but still moves on

In the men’s singles, number one seed Jan O Jorgensen beat Frenchman Brice Leverdez 21-14 19-21 21-12. The Frenchman fought hard against the world ranked number three but the Dane had his eyes firmly set on the semi-final place and refocused himself in the deciding set. Jorgensen now faces his compatriot Vixtor Axelsen, who beat Russia’s Vladimir Malkov 21-9 21-18. Russia’s hopes for a medal were not in vain as the gigantic Vladimir Ivanov took down yet another seed. In two convincing sets, Ivanov beat number six seed Eric Pang of the Netherlands 21-15 21-9. Ivanov’s semi-final match will be against Englishman Rajiv Ouseph, who is not much smaller himself. Number five seed Ouseph (photo) had a three set thriller against Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark. The Danish number three seed came out of the blocks as fast as a sprinter and shocked his opponent with the pace of his game by taking an 8-1 lead. Ouseph soon found his speed and caught up but made some crucial errors in the first set and lost 15-21. In a turn of events, Ouseph was then the one to come out fast and aggressive in the second set and won 21-15. In the deciding set, Vittinghus wasn’t going to give up easily and fought hard for every point, but Ouseph had found his rhythm and took control of the match, winning 21-11.

Russia eyeing for gold again

In the men’s doubles, Ivanov went for his second attempt for a medal with partner Ivan Sozonov. The Russian number three seeds (photo) took on English pair Chris Langridge and Peter Mills in a fast attacking match just shy of 55 minutes. The English boys never once gave up and showed pure determination the whole way through but with the support of their home crowd Ivanov and Sozonov rose to the occasion and won 21-14 16-21 21-18. They now take on Danish number one seeds Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen in the semi-finals. The top Danes had a tough match and almost didn’t make it through as their opponents from Germany, Michael Fuchs and Johannes Schoettler, applied the pressure. In both sets Boe and Mogensen were down but managed to regain control and win 22-20 21-19.

England’s first men’s doubles pair and number two seeds, Chris Adcock and Andrew Ellis (photo), got off to a tense start in their match against Russia’s Nikita Khakimov and Vasily Kuznetsov, losing the first set 19-21. The Englishmen refocused and came out on top in the second set after battling it out to 21-17. In the deciding set, Adcock and Ellis seem to hit form and eased into their semi-final position after winning the final set 21-8. They now play the number four seeds, Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding of Denmark, in the semi-finals.

In the women’s doubles all four seeds made it through to their semi-final positions. The number two seeds, Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek of the Netherlands, had to battle it out with the Bulgarian Stoeva sisters. After a very tight first set and a few crucial mistakes from the sisters, Muskens and Piek took control in the second set and won 25-23 21-15.

In the mixed doubles, with two seeds already out of the way, the draw became wide open for opportunity. Unfortunately for Russia, they were left disappointed as Vitalij Durkin and Nina Vislova lost in an epic three sets to the Netherlands pair, Jorrit De Ruiter and Samanther Barning 21-18 16-21 21-18. The Scottish number four seeds, Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier, were also left disappointed as they lost to the unseeded Danish pairing of Mads Pieler Kolding and Kamilla Rytter Juhl, 21-14 21-18. They now face fellow compatriots, Anders Kristiansen and Julie Houmann, who took down the number two seeds in the second round. The Danes are now guaranteed gold, silver and bronze medals as number one seeds Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen also make it to the semi-finals and will play De Ruiter and Barning.

All results HERE

Semi finals to be shown live here

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