EURO TEAMS 2010 – Poles send England Packing

A full Ursynow arena tonight witnessed their home grown heroes dump England out of the European Team Championships in what will go down as a black day for English badminton […]


A full Ursynow arena tonight witnessed their home grown heroes dump England out of the European Team Championships in what will go down as a black day for English badminton as neither their men or women managed to qualify for the knockout stages of this Thomas and Uber Cup qualification tournament.

By Mark Phelan (Live in Warsaw). Photos: (Live)

As if sensing an upset was a possibility, the Polish public made their way to the Ursynow arena this evening and their vocal support was surely a catalyst in the Poles victory over the English. Przemyslaw Wacha was first up for the Polish men this evening and in his own heart knew he would need to rediscover some of the form that took him into the world’s top 12 last year if he were to see off English number 1 Rajiv Ouseph.

It was Ouseph however who drew first blood with a 21-15 win in the opening set but the Polish veteran bounced back to level in a set he led from start to finish to send the match to a deciding rubber. Ouseph won the opening point of that deciding set but from there on it was all Wacha as the Polish number 1 recaptured the form that has eluded him over the past 12 months. The Polish crowd went crazy as Wacha sealed victory 21-14 in the third.

Next on court was the first men’s doubles and similar to the opening men’s singles the English duo of Adcock and Blair set the English ball rolling with a 21-15 win the first. In the second set ,the English looked to have the match sown up as they led 19-16 against Logosz and Cwalina with just 2 points required but the Poles rallied and in the blink of an eye won four unanswered points to set up set point at 20-19. The English then levelled at 20-20 before the Polish pair put their foot on the gas again to close out the set 22-20.

euro10poland_mensdoublesIf the second set was exciting it ended up only being a precursor to the third. Once again the English stormed into an 18-14 lead and even the crowd began to believe there was no way back for Logosz and Cwalina. But with home pride at stake, and even more importantly a place in the quarter-finals, the Poles began to reel their opponents back in and remarkably won 5 points in a row to lead 19-18. One again the English stopped the rot but it was only a temporary rest bite, and to the roars of the home crowd, the Polish duo sealed the win with a 21-19 victory in the deciding set.

Leading 2-0 overall the fate of the Polish team now lay in the hands of Hubert Paczek. The Pole, who sits at 284 in the latest world rankings list, had a mountain to climb if he were to defeat Carl Baxter of England. But the Pole was up to the challenge and remarkably sent the crowd wild as he defeat Baxter 21-17 21-14 to send Poland through to the knockout stages of the competition.

The English got some brief rest bite as Langridge and Clark defeated Mateusiak and Wacha after the Poles retired in the second set and to add insult to injury Poland conceeded defeat in the third men’s singles after being ahead 1 set to nil.

“This is a great win for us. We all played well today and as a team we are strong and united. We now get a bye straight to the semi final and we will rest tomorrow and come out ready for that match on Saturday,” said Wacha after his team’s victory.

Denmark continued their march in both the men’s and women’s events as they advanced to the semi-finals without losing a match. Others to impress in qualification were Germany as they two secured the participation of their men’s and women’s teams in the knockout stages of the tournament and Russia who are sure to be in with a shot at gold in the women’s event.

But for most of the smaller European nations this is the end of the road in their European journey and all can go home knowing they gave everything for their country and their teammates. For the elite nations its now down to the business end of the tournament with the ultimate prize of a place in the finals at stake.

For all results go HERE

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