The Dutch women aiming to keep the medal tradition in the Women's Doubles (Photo: Badminton Europe)
The Dutch are ready to battle for medals in Spain
Date: 4/22/2018 1:05 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The most prestigious Badminton event for European players commences this Tuesday. Bringing back a medal for your country from the European Championships, after competing with the very best in Europe, can be the proudest moment in a player’s career. One country which is looking prepared and focused on bringing back more than one medal is the Netherlands. 

With seeded players in Men’s Singles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles, the Dutch team is looking to be strongly in the mix for 3 out of the 5 events.

An air of optimism 
One pair with this aim is Women’s Doubles pair, Cheryl Seinen and Selen Piek, who are the number 5 seeds. They are more than capable of putting together great tournament runs. As seen by their title wins in the Belgian International and Scottish Open Grand Prix last year. Also, more recently with their quarter-final appearance in the Swiss Open and the semi-final result at the Orleans Masters in the run-up to the European Championships 2018. Selena Piek already has experience of winning medals at European level, with a bronze in 2014 and silver in 2016, when playing with Eefje Muskens. All this leads to an air of optimism around Cheryl who says

- I am ready to play the Europeans, I feel really good and fit to play in Huelva, Spain. We will leave today, and then have some training sessions before we start in Mixed Doubles (with Robin Tabling) on Tuesday, which will be quite hard against 3rd seeds from England, Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith. Then our Women’s Doubles on Wednesday, which will be against Latvian pair Ieva Pope and Monika Radovska.

First schedule for Huelva is ready

We are aiming for a medal
Mixed pair Selena Piek and Jacco Arrends were unfortunate to not achieve similar European medal success for the Netherlands, when just losing out in 2017 to eventual bronze medallists Sam and Chloe Magee from Ireland. This year they are hoping to continue their consistent form, following 3 quarter-finals results this year in 3 strong tournaments, with the Thailand Masters, Swiss Open and most recently the Orleans Masters. Going into the tournament, maintaining this will be the focus as Jacco says

- Training has been good and we are ready and excited to start the Europeans next week. We haven’t focused much on the draw. We’re taking it one match at a time. We are aiming for a medal in Spain.

And last but not least, the man in terrific form in the Men’s Singles is Mark Caljouw, who is arriving to Huelva, Spain as Orleans Masters champion. The 23-year-old has only improved his game since his European Championship quarter-final exit to Viktor Axelsen last year in Kolding, Denmark. This year the draw is much kinder to the number 6 seed, so most definitely one to watch when counting on medals going to the Netherlands. 

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