Day 2 at the European Mixed Team Championships in Lubin saw the conclusion of the group stages to decide all 8 quarter finalists for the knock out stages of Europe’s premier mixed competition.
Following the trend from day 1 there were very few surprises with all the top teams booking their expected quarter final berth. Second seeds England did feel the heat from Sweden and had to call on the mixed power of the Adcock’s to get them through as group 2 winners.
The Sweden V England tie was always going to be tight with both teams putting out their best line up possible in an effort to top the group and avoid the might of Demark in the next phase of the competition.
Henri Hurskainen got the Swede’s off to the perfect start winning the opening men’s singles against Toby Penty before Fontaine Chapman avoided a potential banana skin match against emerging young gun Emma Karlsson to pull team England back into the tie with an easy two game win.
An expected men’s doubles point followed for England thanks to Olympic bronze medallists Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis and England looked odds on to take the match comfortably with the women’s doubles and mixed doubles to follow.
However, Sweden have come to these championships with their most balanced team in many years and played their trump card in the women’s doubles in the inform pair of Wengberg and Nistad. The Swedes, recent winners of the Swedish International, were up against another circuit winning pair Smith and Walker and after sharing the opening sets the deciding game went down to the wire.
At 15-15 the match was on a knife edge but it was Wengberg and Nistad who held their nerve to win in three games and send the tie into the final mixed doubles.
On paper the world number 8 pairing of Chris and Gabby Adcock were hot favourites to beat Nico Ruponen and Amanda Hogstrom but like all team events form and ranking goes out the door in a final match shoot out.
The Swedes will rue missed opportunities in the opening set and squandered a 16-14 lead with the experience of the English taking them through 21-19. The second game was also a tight contest with Ruponen and Hogstrom pushing the English to work hard for every point. In the end the Adcock’s took the match in two games to send England through as group 2 winners with Sweden as runners up.
Denmark crush France to top group 1
Team Denmark, the overwhelming favourites for the title, eased to group success by beating France 5-0 and in doing so gave Viktor Axelsen (pictured above), Joachim Fischer and Natalia Koch Rohde their first taste of competition in this year’s event.
Rhode led the way for Denmark beating Marie Batomene in an easy two setter and Viktor Axelsen followed taking down Lucas Corvee in equally easy fashion to give the Danes a 2-0 lead.
The French did regroup and brought the fight to the Danish in the doubles but the might of Boe & Mogensen in men’s doubles and Juhl and Pedersen in the women’s doubles was always going to be too much for the French to break down.
The best match of the tie was reserved for the final mixed doubles and Fischer and Pedersen overcame a classy and resilient French pair in Bastian Kersaudy and Lea Palermo. The Danes did come through to top the group and take France with them as second.
The French of course will be happy to avoid Denmark in the quarter finals and will fancy their chances of probably meeting the Danes again deeper in the competition.
Russia and Germany came through the late evening session to top groups 4 & 3 respectively and took both Poland and The Netherlands with them into the quarter finals as runners up.
For all results from day 2 at the European Mixed Team Championships click HERE
For photos from all three sessions in today’s play in Lubin click HERE
Article by Mark Phelan, Images by Ben Phelan for Badminton Europe