EURO MIXED TEAM CHAMPS 2013 – Ukraine through after Belgium stun Sweden

Belgium upset Sweden to put the Ukrainians through whilst France and Scotland scraped by to join them. Carolina Marin also had a shock victory over Juliane Schenk, albeit in a losing cause as Germany progressed.

By Michael Burke, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live)

Denmark strolled through to the finals as was to be expected, dropping only one game in five matches as they achieved their second whitewash of the tournament, this one against Turkey. Similarly emphatic scorelines were also seen as the English beat Lithuania and the Dutch beat Switzerland to advance.

The surprise came as Ukraine’s seemingly inconsequential 5-0 victory against Belarus after defeat to group rivals Sweden the previous day, actually put them through as the Belgians outplayed the Swedes in a close match to upset the previous day’s predictions.  As the group came down to a three-way tie at the top, every point counted and it was again Alesia Zaitsava of Belarus threatening to be the fly in the ointment.  After winning her match against Widh of Sweden and finishing inches short of scoring one against Tan of Belgium, she fought hard again before being overcome by Ukraine’s Marija Ulitina (pictured above) 20-22, 25-23, 12-21.

Sweden, meanwhile, would rue the loss of Hurskainen to injury, as Mathias Borg was unable to take a close game against Tan Yuhan, with his sister also taking her game next on against Widh. The match was lost in the men’s doubles, however, as Dierickx/Golinski turned Lundqvist/Nordh in three, the score finishing 19-21, 21-15, 21-16.

A close match was fought between France and Ireland, level at the top of Group 6 to decide who would progress. Chloe Magee (pictured) played well to win both the mixed and women’s singles but Scott Evans, entered in both the men’s singles and doubles, felt the strain as both matches went to three and ended in favour of the French. With the score 2-2, Lansac/Lefel took a relatively simple 21-12 21-16 against Chambers / King to put the French through.

Imogen Bankier and Paul Van Rietvelde (pictured) were in fine form as each was involved in two of the three victories that took them through against their Czech groups rivals, with only the singles players coming up short in a 3-2 victory. The Scots will, however, have to raise their level again for the quarter-finals as they come up against favourites Denmark.

Carolina Marin (pictured below) won a consolation victory for Spain as they succumbed to Germany 4-1, the 19-year-old beating world number 4 ranked Juliane Schenk 21-13, 21-18 for the highest-profile upset of the tournament so far. Russia also progressed, with a 4-1 victory over Bulgaria all that was needed to top the group.

Hungary and Finland both grabbed consolation victories against Luxembourg (4-1) and Israel (5-0) respectively, with all four teams already knocked out.

The results from play on Day 3 can be found here

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