(Photo: Badminton Europe)
Time to crown the champions
Date: 9/11/2021 7:44 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
What a great semifinals day at the 2021 European U17 Championships we were treated to. We had thrills, drama and a lot of quality from the upcoming European stars, but now we are ready to crown our new champions. 

Men's singles
Alex Lanier, bronze medallist two years ago, showed that experience counted for a lot as he dispatched  the reigning European U15 Champion  Romeo Makboul in two straight games, 21-16, 21-11.

-I am ready to fight, but when I had a lead I began to think about my doubles match later, so I had to focus more, stated Lanier. 

Lanier know's what it feels like to be the European U15 Champion and then get bronze at U17, so gives some advice for Makboul.

-I know that I have improved so much in the past two years and that I played a lot of matches, so will he.

In the other semifinal, Denmark's William Bogebjerg also showcased a strong two-game win against second seed Charles Fouyn from Belgium. 

-I am hoping I can be the next one and do as great as Viktor Axelsen. He's a big idol for me, Bogebjerg said when asked about the significance of this medal in Slovenia, something Axelsen achieved in 2009.

MS FINAL: Alex Lanier (FRA) (1) vs Willam Bogebjerg (DEN) 

Women's singles
Bronze medallist in her home country two years ago, Joanna Podedworny of Poland makes it to the final this time, however, through unwanted circumstances. After losing a tight opening game, her well-matched opponent Yevheniia Kantemyr injured her knee. 

The tough Ukrainian tried to play on but it was clear that her tournament is over, not being able to push off without wincing in pain. This also meant that there would sadly be no mixed doubles final for her. 

Kaloyana Nalbantova meets the Pole in the final, emulating her compatriot Stefani Stoeva. It was through a strong showing against Sofiia Lavrova, shaking off a mighty comeback from the Ukrainian in the first, even giving her game points. The Bulgarian eventually won 22-20, 21-8. 

WS FINAL: Joanna Podedworny (POL) (1) vs Kaloyana Nalbantova (BUL) (2)

Men's doubles
Alex Lanier is in two finals after winning with Baptiste Labarthe. It was a heart-stopping end of the semifinals day, defeating Jonathan Melgaard/ Mike Vestergaard 21-15, 27-25. 

-We look forward to the final for a revenge match (against the Russians) from the team final. Tomorrow is another day, said Lanier.

Daniil Dubovenko/ Gleb Stepakov got into their rhythm at the right time and are in the final. after defeating the Turks, Anil Ulac Atan/ Mirac Kantar, 21-11, 19-21, 21-13.

-We are very happy to be in the final. I look forward to my revenge match (for the singles quarterfinal) against Lanier and his partner Labarthe, said Dubovenko.

MD FINAL: Baptiste Labarthe/ Alex Lanier (FRA) (1) vs  Daniil Dubovenko/ Gleb Stepakov (RUS) (3)

Women's doubles
Maria Lezzhova/ Galina Mezentseva stepped it up in the decider to secure a spot in the final, winning 21-18, 12-21, 21-11 against Malya Hoareau/ Camille Pognante.

Bulgarian pair of Kaloyana Nalbantova/ Tsvetina Popivanova had to settle for bronze after a loss to the Russian second seeds. Remember, the Stoeva sisters also got bronze in 2009, so watch this space.

It's an all-Russian final, securing back-to-back golds in this event.

WD FINAL: Maria Lezzhova/ Galina Mezentseva (RUS) (6) vs Daria Kharlampovich/ Galina Lisochkina (RUS) (2)

Mixed doubles (no final)
The Ukrainian top seeds Yevhenii Stolovoi/ Yevheniia Kantemyr held their nerve against Serbia's Viktor Petrovic/ Andjela Vitman to make the final, 14-21, 21-11, 22-20. It was a nail-biting affair in which only when the job was done the Ukrainians let out their emotions. 

In another three-game tussle, Danes Jonathan Melgaard/ Maria Hojlund Tommerup fought their way into the final against England's steady pairing of Oliver Butler/ Chloe Dennis, 15-21, 21-14, 21-14.

XD FINAL: Yevhenii Stolovoi/ Yevheniia Kantemyr (UKR) (1) vs Jonathan Melgaard/ Maria Hojlund Tommerup (DEN) 

Jonathan Melgaard/ Maria Hojlund Tommerup (DEN) are European U17 Champions due to the unfortunate injury of Yevheniia Kantemyr sustained in her women's singles semifinal.

Watch all the semifinal action live!
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