(Photo: Badminton Europe)
The countdown to the EMTC21 begins
Date: 2/3/2021 5:41 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
In less than two weeks, eights teams will be battling it out to be crowned 2021 European Mixed Team Champions in Vantaa, Finland. Here is a look at what happened two years ago. 

Still basking in the glow of the three-tournament return of badminton in Thailand, the European players who were there will have arrived back home. After adhering to any necessary quarantine measures in their countries, once back on the training court, all focus will be on Finland. 

Here are the groups for EMTC21: 

Group 1 – Denmark (holders), Finland (hosts), Germany, Scotland

Group 2 – England, France, Netherlands, Russia

What happened in 2019? 

The 2019 EMTC was hosted in Copenhagen, Denmark. As the hosts were also the holders from Lubin 2017, this opened up seven spots at the finals. 

After a qualification stage across seven European cities, including Milton Keynes (England), Ciorescu (Moldova), Caldas da Rainha (Portugal), Aire-sur-la-Lys (France), Erlangen (Germany), Sobotka (Poland) and Sofia (Bulgaria), the final eight were found. 

Group 1 consisted of Denmark, Netherlands, France and Spain, while Group 2 had Russia, Germany, England and Ireland. The shock of the group stages was that England failed to qualify for the knockout stages for the first time since 2004, following two 3-2 losses to Russia and Germany. 

Denmark overpowered the Netherlands in a 3-0 semifinal win, while Germany scored a 3-1 victory over Russia. The scoreline, however, does not do the match justice as both singles matches, Vladimir Malkov against Kai Schafer and Evgeniya Kosetskaya against Yvonne Li had to be settled in three games and could have gone either way. 

The final 
This was the third meeting in the final between Denmark and Germany at the last five championships. Denmark, in the hunt for their seventeenth title, were strong favourites but had Germany’s win in 2013 in the back of their minds. 

Denmark opened proceedings with the mixed doubles pairing of Christinna Pedersen and Mathias Christiansen. In 2018, the two won silver at the European Championships and were able to defeat Mark Lamsfuss/ Isabel Herttrich 21-12, 21-12. 

Anders Antonsen was coming off the back of winning the Indonesia Masters, defeating Kento Momota in the final. Naturally, the in-form Antonsen took the leading role in the men’s singles over Viktor Axelsen. He made quick work of Max Weisskirchen, winning 21-9, 21-13. 

Antonsen went on to have a stellar year, winning the European Games gold and a silver at the World Championships. 

With just one more point to secure the championship, Line Kjærsfeldt took on Yvonne Li in a tighter match. However, she was able to deliver the win, 21-16, 21-17, to the delight of the Danish home support. 

For the medal ceremony and EMTC19 highlights playlist, click here

Pedersen’s goodbye
In her final involvement for the Danish team, Christinna Pedersen, one of Europe’s most decorated players of all-time, announced her retirement the following month. It was a fitting end to a glittering career to sign off with a championship win on home soil. 

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