EURO TEAMS 2010 – Business as Usual for Top Teams

Day 1 at the European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships, at Ursynow Arena in Warsaw Poland, and all the top seeds eased their way into the tournament with convincing wins […]


Day 1 at the European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships, at Ursynow Arena in Warsaw Poland, and all the top seeds eased their way into the tournament with convincing wins in round 1 of the round robin group stages.

By Mark Phelan (Live in Warsaw). Photos: (Live)
As the tail end of the winter’s snow continues to fall around the streets of Warsaw and the ground temperatures hover just below zero, the competition on court was just that little bit more heated as teams from all over Europe go head-to-head for championship honours and the opportunity to represent Europe at this year’s .

Denmark were first to shake of the winter chills as both their men’s and women’s teams were in action in the opening session. With Peter Gade resting at home, in anticipation of his entry at semi-final stage, the opportunities fell to the young guns to deliver the opening points. And deliver they surely did with a 5-0 whitewash of Iceland!  Jan O Jorgensen set the tone with a 2-set win before Persson and Vittinghus demolished the hapless Icelandic’s in the second and third men’s singles. The Danes swiftly followed their singles victories with 2 doubles wins and headed back to the wonderful Marriott Hotel with the satisfaction of a good morning’s workout under their belts.

I have been a bit ill over the past few days so I was happy to get on court today and shake off some of the cobwebs. It was nice to win the way we did and I’m happy now that we have settled into the competition,” said Jorgensen.

Likewise the women of Denmark followed suit as they showed the ladies’ team from Greece how top class badminton is played. Match after match, the Danes wiped the Greeks off the court and a 21-2, 21-7 win for Helle Neilsen and Line Kruse in the final women’s doubles summed up the Danish team’s overall performance.

The win was expected for us as a team today so it was important for both the men and women to use the court time to get used to the hall. It’s a bit difficult for the players playing away from the stands as there is only stands on one side but all in all its a good hall with no drafts and the 10 courts work w ell so I’m happy,” said Danish Coach  Lars Uhre after his team’s double win.

Team England, minus Nathan Robertson, followed the example set by Denmark and promptly brushed Croatia aside 5-0. The English girls followed suit with a 5-0 win over Croatia but Wallwork and White were visibly sluggish in a three set win over Cica and Poznanovic.

europoland10_day1_dk_jorgensenIn one of the more exciting matches on day 1, the Irish men found themselves in a dogfight with Estonia after taking a 2-0 lead in the opening men’s singles. Evans and an impressive Tony Stephenson set the tone for what looked like an easy victory for the Irish but the Estonian’s, led by Raul Must, bounced back to level the match at 2-2 to send the contest to the deciding rubber. Sam Magee teamed up with Tony Stephenson to win the match for Ireland in what was a great dual win for the young Irish hopeful on day 1.

The home nation had mixed fortunes on day 1 as the Polish women fell to France. The only ray of light for Poland being their final women’s doubles victory delivered by Polish star Kostiuczyk and rising star Kurdeleska. The Polish men got a fright in their opening men’s singles as Wacha went down to Pablo Abian of Spain. The ‘homeboys’ bounced back after that initial upset to take the match 4-1.

Elsewhere the Russian women looked almost pedestrian as they destroyed Portugal 5-0 with Sorokina and Vislova in stunning form. Surely the Russian women have their eyes set on European gold with such strength in depth in their squad.

France, too, had doubles wins in the both events and the under-strength Dutch squads, who are currently without all their top stars due to an internal court battle, set out their stall with two 5-0 whitewashings at round 1 stage.

For all results click HERE

About Mark Phelan