EURO CHAMPS Finals – England takes two!

Rajiv Ouseph became the first Brit in 27 years to top Europe in men’s singles as English shuttlers took the last two titles at the 2017 European Badminton Championships. By […]

Rajiv Ouseph became the first Brit in 27 years to top Europe in men’s singles as English shuttlers took the last two titles at the 2017 European Badminton Championships.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Yohan Nonotte / Badmintonphoto (live)

Well, Rajiv Ouseph (pictured right) was alive but he was years away from his first smash the last time an Englishman won the men’s singles title at the European Badminton Championships.  Steve Baddeley won way back in 1990 and Ouseph hadn’t even had his fourth birthday yet.

Twenty years later, Ouseph reached the European semis for the first time and soon thereafter picked up his first Grand Prix Gold title.  He reached the final of the in 2014 but on Sunday in Kolding, he turned that old silver into gold.

The last time Ouseph had met his opponent Anders Antonsen (pictured top) was at the Denmark Open and he blew 4 match points in the second game and went on to lose the match.  This time, he again got out to a one-game lead and reached match point at 20-17 but he made sure the 20-year-old Antonsen would save no more than two of those match points and he closed it out 21-19, 21-19.

England went on to win their second title of the evening as Chris and Gabrielle Adcock (pictured left) scored only their second win over two-time defending champions Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen.  The English pair kept Pedersen on court for 78 minutes – after she had already played 74 minutes in the opening match on finals day – before they finally closed it out 21-19 in the deciding game.

English badminton has been reeling of late from funding cuts, which caused the team to withdraw from the upcoming Sudirman Cup competition in Australia.  These players can celebrate their victories and then take a little break as the best of so many other nations get ready for the big team event in May.

Same names, same result

The women’s singles ended once again with Carolina Marin denying Kirsty Gilmour (pictured) of Scotland.  The Spaniard won in straight games and for the second straight year, the European Championship became her first title of the year.

Unlike last year, however, this time around, it will not be enough to put Marin atop the world rankings.  Marin will stay firmly in the #2 spot but Chinese Taipei superstar Tai Tzu Ying is adding 2,000 more points to her total this week and she is way out of reach.

Denmark still takes two

The afternoon began with a fourth straight title for women’s doubles top seeds Kamilla Rytter Juhl / Christinna Pedersen (pictured below).  They needed well over an hour to declare superiority over Bulgaria’s Stoeva sisters but they were convincing with 21-11 wins in both the first and third games.

The victory is actually a second consecutive one this year for the Danes as their last outing was at the Singapore Open, where they had taken their second title, but first , of 2017.

The pattern was similar for men’s doubles top seeds Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen (pictured bottom).  Their win in the second match of the day may have been their first continental title since they beat Fuchs/Roth in Karlskrona, Sweden 5 years ago, but like the Danish ladies, they opened their title account for 2017 with a win at the Syed Modi in January and made another deposit two weeks ago in Singapore before winning in Kolding.

Final results
WD:  Kamilla Rytter Juhl / Christinna Pedersen (DEN) [1] beat Gabriela Stoeva / Stefani Stoeva (BUL) [2]  21-11, 15-21, 21-11
MD:  Mathias Boe / Carsten Mogensen (DEN) [1] beat Mads Conrad-Petersen / Mads Pieler Kolding (DEN) [2]  21-16, 22-20
WS:  Carolina Marin (ESP) [1] beat Kirsty Gilmour (SCO) [7]  21-14, 21-12
MS:  Rajiv Ouseph (ENG) [2] beat Anders Antonsen (DEN) [5]  21-19, 21-19
XD:  Chris Adcock / Gabrielle Adcock (ENG) [2] beat Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen (DEN) [1]  21-17, 18-21, 21-19

Click here for complete results

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Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net