Victorious French team lift U19 team title
French create history on home soil
Date: 4/11/2017 3:43 PM
Published by : Mark Phelan
A crowd-driven performance has given France its first European Junior Team Championship after only needing three of the five scheduled matches to take home the gold against Russia. The French would see themselves 1-0 ahead going into the singles after mixed doubles pair Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue came out victors against senior circuit pair Alimov/Davletova of Russia. It was a point-for-point affair in the opening set with the Russians taking it 21-19 but this did not stop Gicquel/Delrue who powered through the second taking it 21-14. The French opened an early 8-1 lead in the final set and there was no looking back from there for the young guns as they gave France a 1-0 lead after winning 19-21 21-14 21-14. 

The men’s singles encounter saw young Georgii Karpov take on French favourite Toma Junior Popov. The first set showed that both men were here to win as only two points separated the two at the first interval. Popov’s experience and team motivation gave him the edge in the closing stages as he took the set 21-16. A string of 4 consecutive points from the young Russian showed he was trying desperately to keep his team in this game and led 11-10 going into the interval. The calm on-court characteristics of Popov showed he was still focused on the win and he took 7 of the last 8 points to win the match 21-16 21-16.  

Russia are known for adding a bit of flavour to their team line ups and their title hopes lay in the hands of 14-year-old Anastasia Shapovalova as she attempted to stop Yaelle Hoyaux from giving France the title. Hoyaux seemed to be in control of the first set as she had a comfortable 18-10 lead but the Russian bounced back with 8 in a row to level the game. She would go no further though and it was Hoyaux who went on to take the set 21-18. A similar scenario occurred in the second with Hoyaux taking the lead early and leaving Shapovalova playing catch up for the duration of the set. The Russian did not give up though and recovered from 4 match points to bring the game to 20-19 in France’s favour, however, it was not enough to stop Hoyaux (pictured above winning WS) who gave France their vital 3rd point and the title of European Champions on a score line of 3-0. 

Speaking exclusively to Badminton Europe afterwards, Popov spoke of the win “It’s a great honour and almost miraculous to win on home soil”

Head Coach Christophe Jeanjean had this to say about his team’s success “I am very proud of my players as they were courageous, it is an advantage to play in your home country but can also bring a lot of pressure too” 

For all results from #EJC17 team final click HERE

For photo gallery from today’s final click HERE 

To re visit all the action on demand via our youtube channel click HERE

Article by Ben Phelan for Badminton Europe Images by Mark & Ben Phelan (Live in Mulhouse)

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