Events

Juhl and Pedersen look to be five-time European champions. Photo: Badminton Europe
Can Denmark conquer all at Huelva?
Date: 4/4/2018 10:19 AM
Published by : David Grice(BEC)

For the last 30 years, it’s safe to say that Denmark has been the dominant force at the European Badminton Championships, and with three weeks to go until the 2018 event in Huelva, the expectations of matching their tournament sweep of 1996 starts to mount.

2017 saw the Danes take the men’s and women’s doubles titles. So reaching the final in all five competitions is surely a minimum for Europe’s most successful nation?

By far the most successful pair of all-time at this event is women’s doubles stars Kamilla Rytter Juhl & Christinna Pedersen. It has been a near perfect 2018 so far, that included title wins at the Malaysia Masters and the All England Open. Last year saw them take the European crown for the fourth consecutive time. They look set to further extend their record of being the most dominant duo at the championships.

See also: Pedersen & Juhl win All England Open

As for men’s doubles top seeds Mathias Boe & Carsten Mogensen,they will be aiming to defend their title and become three-time champions.Winning the Swiss Open and reaching the final at the All England last month has put the highly-experienced pair in good stead for another major title.

Denmark could take the top three seedings, as pairs Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding, as well as Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen have also had a strong enough 2018 to be seen as possible title contenders.

Axelsen leads the men’s singles challenge

The men’s singles could also see Denmark enter with the top three seeded competitors. As expected, leading the way is world number one Viktor Axelsen. Despite only recently returning to competitive action after a minor injury lay-off, Axelsen still looks as dominant as ever and aiming to improve his semi-final efforts last year.

After his upset loss at the All England Open, Jan O.Jorgensen still looks to be recovering back to full fitness after injury setback that saw him miss the entire second half of 2017. However, the seasoned veteran aims to quickly bounce back and prove everyone he is still one of Europe’s best.

Also entering the event is last year’s finalist Anders Antonsen. Being billed as the young pretender for Axelsen’s throne, Antonsen will be looking to go one better and possibly having to oust fellow countryman Axelsen once again. Also featuring is recent Orleans Masters runner-up Rasmus Gemke.

See also: Orleans Masters finals day

In the mixed doubles, the two-time winning pair of Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen have sadly gone their separate ways.This time, Nielsen will be partnering rising star Alexandra Boje. The double European champion along with the 18-year old for the moment will be entering the event as the tournaments top seeds.

As for Pedersen, she will partnering with Mathias Christiansen. A title at the Indian Open and a semi-final showing at the AllEngland Open has already seen them have a strong 2018.

Blichfeldt looking tostop women’s singles drought

The toughest part of Denmark sweeping all five events will most certainly be the women’s singles. We have not seen a Danish winner since Tine Baun in 2012.

Despite looking to have three seeded players at the event,none of them currently occupy the top two spots. Leading the charge in terms of both ranking and form is Mia Blichfeldt. A recent finals appearance at the Orleans Masters has surely got Blichfeldt currently in the best form possible.

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