(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
An exciting competition ahead
Date: 4/24/2022 10:24 PM
Published by : Sara Gonzalez Martinez (BEC)
There are less than 24 hours to go until the 2022 European Championships begin. All the top European players are ready to fight, and this is what Lauren Smith had to say about the upcoming challenges ahead.

With two medals together as a pair and two each with other partners, Marcus Ellis/ Lauren Smith are for sure a force to be reckoned with at the European Championships. The number one seeds have arrived in Madrid with plenty of motivation to take more wins.

- We are both really excited about the event. The Europeans are always a big opportunity for us, it is a definite focus in our year. We have had really good training and we just hope that we can play our best in every match, Smith said.

One game at a time
The English duo won a European bronze in 2018 and a silver last year. They’ve been really close to the gold, so could this finally be their chance to take the title? It’s obviously one of their goals, but their main focus is to take it match by match.

- The goal is just to take it one game at a time and show our best performances. There’s tough opposition, so we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves and put a result out there to go for. We just want to go out and play our best, and if we do that, we have every chance of coming back with a gold, Smith stated.

- The opposition is really strong and tough, there are a lot of good pairs in the draw. If we are going to do it, we’ll just have to focus on ourselves and bring our best on the court, Smith added.

Something different this year
In these European Championships, both players in Europe’s number one mixed pair will only be competing in one category. Previously, Ellis and Smith had to also fight for wins in men’s doubles and women’s doubles respectively. This could play to their advantage and, perhaps, give them the extra push to become champions.

- Physically, it will give us an advantage compared to other years. It’s incredibly physically taxing playing two events, also when it comes to the emotional side of things. I’ve been only playing one event since the start of the year, so it’s been quite an adjustment for me, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. It will hopefully mean that we’re in better shape and with less fatigue than we would have had in previous years, Smith explained.

So, one match at a time, the pair will try to make their way to the top. It will not be easy as the title is anyone’s to take, and Smith knows that everyone is ready to show their best just as she and Ellis are.

- I think there’s a lot of depth in the mixed doubles, and there are also some very strong unseeded pairs to look out for. It should be a really exciting Championships, Smith concluded.

Watch all matches from tomorrow on
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