Magee brother’s secure first medal for Ireland
Date: 6/25/2015 3:27 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
The sharp end of the inaugural European Games in Baku got underway today on day 4 of the badminton competition. The mixed doubles group stages concluded in the morning session and the medal matches in the men’s and women’s doubles started in the afternoon.

After an early upset in the round of 16 in the men’s singles where Zvonimir Durkinjak beat second seed Misha Zilberman of Israel, it was the men’s and women’s doubles matches in the evening session that began to sort out the real medal contenders.

Irish siblings Sam & Joshua Magee were on paper the outsiders in the quarter final men’s doubles line up after coming through the group stage as runners up to Boe & Mogensen. The Magee look to be struggling in the opening game and trailing 20-16 the wise money was on the fourth seeded Belgians Golinski & Dierickx to take the opening game. The Irish rattled off 5 points in a row to stun the Belgians and took the opening game 23-21 to put themselves within one game of an historic medal for Ireland.

The second game proved to be a mirror image of the first where this time the Irish got the lead and looked odds on to win in two games leading 18-13. This time the battling determination of the Belgians came to the fore as they won 8 of the next 9 points to take the match to a decider 21-19.

The Irish could have been forgiven for giving up after the disappointment of losing the second game after being so close but in true Irish fashion they game out with a renewed focus in the deciding game and raced into an 8 point lead and secured match point at 20-12. The Belgians did rally to take another 3 points before the Magee’s finally put the result beyond doubt with a smash winner of a half court lift.

“It is hard to take in what we have achieved so far here in Baku” said a delighted Sam Magee. “A guaranteed medal is a major thing for Irish badminton and to win alongside my brothers (Daniel Magee is also coach of Irish team) and have Chloe and Rachel in the crowd makes it even better.

“It has been a fantastic team effort as without the amazing work from the Irish Sports Council physio I would have probably not have even made it to court today, I hope now this can spur Scott (Evans) on to win a medal in the men’s singles and in the mixed we are in with a great chance also”

Tan siblings provide some positivity for Belgium

After the loss in the men’s doubles there was also disappointment for Belgium in the women’s doubles where Flore Vandenhoucke and Steffi Annys came within a game of winning a medal and putting out one of the favourites Grebak & Helsbøl of Denmark.

The Belgian girls ended up losing in three games as the Danes came storming back in what was the last international appearance for Annys who retires after the European Games.

On the flip side both Yuhan and Lianne Tan came through their respective singles last 16 matches with relative ease to set up two more medal matches for Belgium and both, judging on their performances this week, are genuine threats on the top step of the podium come Sunday.

Lianne Tan will have to play French youngster Dephine Lansac after the French number 2 finally got a long awaited victory over arch rival Neslihan Yigit of Turkey. Lansac came through juniors with the Turk and up until today has lost the last three meetings between the pair. Today was different, today the real fighter shone through and Lansac managed to win in three after losing the opening game 21-8.

“I have lost so many times to her and today after losing the opening set I said to myself come on this cannot happen again. I just fought hard and found some speed in my legs so I am happy to finally get a win over her (Yigit)” said Lansac.

For all results from today’s play in Baku and a schedule for tomorrow go to the European Games official website at

Article and Image by Mark Phelan (Live in Baku).
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