The Victorious Danish team
Denmark crush Russia to claim another Euro title
Date: 2/19/2017 9:15 PM
Published by : Mark Phelan
Denmark cruised to yet another European Mixed team Championship this afternoon to reaffirm their outright dominance of European badminton. In a completely one sided final team Russia capitulated against the mighty Danes with Denmark running out easy 3-0 winners. 

As soon as the line-up was released today it became clear that Denmark were red hot favourites to win today as team Russia were without the talisman Vladimir Ivanov due to the fatigue. Ivanov had been instrumental in Russia’s run to the final winning all his seven matches in both doubles and mixed doubles. Russia without Ivanov were essentially like a boat without its rudder. 

Denmark themselves made a change leaving out Viktor Axelsen but when you have Anders Antonsen in reserve such a change is highly justifiable. 

The fortunes of the Russians would hinge on the opening mixed doubles match with Ivan Sozonov deputising for Ivanov alongside one of the outstanding players of the tournament Ekaterina Bolotova. 

The Russians to their credit pushed Fischer and Pedersen in the opening game of the mixed doubles but as they have done so often on so many occasions the experienced Danes got the game over the line to lead. 

The Russians struggled to just keep in touch in the second game of the opening mixed doubles but were still ultimately in the game at 13-10. Little did they know at the time but that was to be their last point and the Danes initiated the afterburners and cruised home 21-10.

Antonsen and Kjaersfeldt run riot to deliver title

Anders Antonsen deputised in today’s final for Viktor Axelsen and the young Dane did not disappoint in his utter demolition of Anatoliy Yartzev. On the same court where he won his European Junior title two years ago Antonsen was once again in cruise control leaving the Russian feeding of scraps. 

Antonsen took just 28 minutes to beat Yartzev and was every bit the value for his 21-7 21-8 win. 

Line Kjaersfeldt looked in very determined mood in the team line up before the finals. Kjaersfeldt had a very up and down tournament on lead up to the final but as she has done so many times in the past she delivered the third and decisive point for her team when it was needed most. 

Opposing her in the final was Evgeniya Kosetskaya and the Russian stayed in touch with Kjaersfeldt for two thirds of both games. But the aligning of the stars and the gritty determination of the Dane was always going to serve her well in the final and in truth the 21-15 21-15 win slightly flattered the Russian. 

“Today the feelings were good and it is a great honour to win the deciding point for Denmark. After the mixed doubles and Anders (Antonsen) won I knew this was my time to deliver and my game was better today.” 

In the end Denmark, if all truth be told, were virtually untouchable in today’s final. A team full of super stars who once again left the rest of Europe in their wake. Another European title for the Danes and while there were some decent individual performances from other European nations the facts are simple, the gap is growing between Denmark and the rest. 

Congratulations to team Denmark, winners of the 2017 European Mixed Team Championships. 

For the results from today’s finals click HERE

For a photo gallery from final’s day in Lubin click HERE

Article and images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe 

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