France & Spain guarantee first ever team medals
Date: 2/19/2016 6:09 PM
Published by : Mark Phelan
History was made today at the quarter finals of the European men’s and women’s team championships as both the French men and Spanish women guaranteed historic team medals by virtue of their quarter final wins over Ukraine. 

The French men had come into this tournament as fourth seeds but with a very young team. The manner of their victory over Ukraine in today’s quarter final can only serve to give them a fix of confidence as they head into a semi-final against England tomorrow. 

Brice Leverdez led the lines for the French beating an underperforming Dmytro Zavadsky in two games and Lucas Corvee and Lucas Claerbout followed their leaders example wrapping up the match with wins in both the second and third singles. 

“Today’s victory is very special for me” said Leverdez after his victory. “With everything that has gone on in France over the past months it gives us a great feeling to get this medal for France. The team were amazing today and also the girls team who came in to support us was a big boost”

Spain’s (pictured) journey to a medal has been somewhat of a fairy-tale. Only three days go the Spanish lost their very opening match of the tournament to Bulgaria and eventually qualified for the knockout stages as runners up in their group. 

Just as the French did in their men’s quarter final so did the Spanish ladies with Marin, Corrales and Azurmendi delivering the vital three points in the first three singles matches. As with the French, Ukraine were also the victims of the singles onslaught and it is Spain led by world champion Carolina Marin who advance to the semi-final and a guaranteed bronze medal. 

Germany ended the hopes of home nation Russia in the second quarter final with Fabienne Deprez taking the vial point for the German girls who have proved almost unbeatable as a unit this week in Kazan.

“To win this deciding point for my team is an amazing feeling. I have to really thank my team mates who have kept encouraging me and taking a lot of the pressure off me this week in Kazan” said Deprez after the medal securing victory. 

The third team to make the semi-finals tomorrow is of course hot favourites Denmark who also won 3-0 against Finland with Line Kjaersfeldt avenging her group defeat to Nanna Vainio earlier in the week. Anna Thea Madsen, who won a European silver medal in this very arena two years ago, followed Kjaersfeldt with a win and Mette Poulsen rounded off the rout to take Denmark to yet another semi-final. 

In one of the most hotly contested quarter finals Bulgaria came through 3-1 against near neighbours Turkey to at least match their bronze medal from 2014 in Basel. 

European women’s team championship semi-final line up

Denmark V Germany
Spain V Bulgaria

Ouseph lead England to easy win over Poland

Rajiv Ouseph proved once again invaluable to team England as he maintained his remarkable record at first singles in European team events. The ultimate team player Ouseph has led from the front all week for England and today again set the tone for a well-constructed English medal with a two game win over Adrian Dziolko. 

Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge took the biggest scalp beating Cwalina and Wacha with Toby Penty maturing as the tournament progresses to take the decisive point in two games beating Michal Rogalski. 

Joining France and England in tomorrow’s semi-finals are hot favourites and unbeaten champions since the event began, Denmark and an ever improving Germany.

Dieter Domke (pictured) got the vital third point for Germany in their 3-0 win over Sweden. 

“This has been a great tournament for Germany so far guaranteeing medals in both the men’s and women’s team event” said Domke after his decisive win. “Personally it has been a tough week with many tough matches but to get this one over the line for Germany is really a great feeling”

European men’s team championship semi-final line up

Denmark V Germany
France V England

For all results from today’s play in Kazan click HERE

For a full Facebook photo gallery from quarter finals of #EMWTC16 click HERE

To watch all the matches on demand from court 1 on Badminton Europe’s YouTube channel click HERE

Article and images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe
© All rights reserved.

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