European Games seedings published, minus 2 Baku gold winners

The seedings were published yesterday for the 2019 European Games, with the best of Europe represented, but a void is left by the recent departure of the reigning women’s doubles […]

The seedings were published yesterday for the 2019 , with the best of Europe represented, but a void is left by the recent departure of the reigning women’s doubles gold medallists.

Photos: Badmintonphoto

The seedings were published yesterday for the 2019 European Games.  With the change in status to an event yielding Olympic points, the field is noticeably stronger than the Baku Games four years ago.  This time around, almost all of Europe’s top ten players have entered, as well as the majority of the finalists from the 2018 European Championships.  In any case, it is clearly not a lack of willingness that is keeping away the defending continental champions, but rather injury, retirement, and – in the case of the 2015 women’s doubles gold medallists – a dispute with their national governing body.

Denmark, which accounted for 3 gold medals four years ago in Baku, has the top seeds in 4 of the 5 disciplines.  Women’s singles top seed Line Kjaersfeldt is the only reigning gold medallist to be at the top of the table for the Minsk Games and her opposite in the draw will be none other than her team-mate Mia Blichfeldt (pictured top).  World #3 Viktor Axelsen, the highest-ranking European in the world in any discipline, is at the top of the men’s singles draw and there are four more talented shuttlers on the list between the Dane and Baku gold medallist Pablo Abian of Spain.

Former world #1s and 2015 men’s doubles gold medallists Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen disbanded earlier this year but Denmark still has the top seeds in men’s doubles in reigning European Champions Kim Astrup / Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.  Rio bronze medallists Ellis/Langridge are seeded second while 3rd seeds are Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov, who settled for silver 4 years ago in Baku.

Mixed doubles is the only discipline where none of the seeds are from Denmark.  Baku gold medallists Niclas Nohr / Sara Thygesen have been entered in the event, but were 6th among the top ranked pairs.  World #10 Chris and Gabrielle Adcock (pictured) will be in the draw at opposite ends from compatriots Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith.  Thygesen is still a top seed in Minsk, but that is in the women’s doubles, alongside Maiken Fruergaard.  The duo did not compete at the 2015 Games in Baku.

Apart from Boe/Mogensen, the biggest void is left by the eleventh-hour withdrawal of reigning women’s doubles champions Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva (pictured left).  The two sisters – currently ranked #10 in the world – announced on social media last week that they would no longer compete for Bulgaria in events such as the European or Olympic Games or the World Championships, citing unfair and treatment and a lack of respect by their national governing body.  Their official withdrawal from the European Games is dated May 29th, a day after the seedings were originally to have been published.

Of course, world #8 and reigning continental and World Champion Carolina Marin will be missed.  So too will former European Champion Rajiv Ouseph.  Ouseph has not been seen on court internationally since retiring from his first round match at the Swiss Open in March.

The badminton competition of the 2019 European Games will kick off in Minsk on June 24th.  The Games will yield ranking points toward the players’ efforts to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.  Like the biennial European Championships, the points will be on par with a BWF World Tour Super 300 event, so each winner will pick up 7000 points.

Click here to see the complete list of seeds

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 @