Spain’s Carolina Marin will be chasing another title double when the 25th European Championships head for France for the first time at the end of April.
The 2014 and 2015 World champion was today named top seed in the women’s singles as she looks to defend the title she won in Kazan two years ago when the Europeans come to the Vendéspace at La Roche Sur Yon in the Vendée region from April 26-May 1.
Scotland’s Commonwealth silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour is second seed, one place ahead of Line Kjærsfeldt, the Danish player who defeated her in the Scottish Open Grand Prix final in Glasgow in November.
Karin Schnaase and Olga Konon fill the fourth and fifth seedings as the two team-mates threaten to take their battle for Germany’s women’s singles place at the Olympic Games right down to the wire. The European Championships is the final qualifying event in the year-long Race to Rio.
Women’s singles seeding
1 Carolina Marin (Esp)
2 Kirsty Gilmour (Sco)
3 Line Kjærsfeldt (Den)
4 Karin Schnaase (Ger)
5 Olga Konon (Ger)
6 Beatriz Corrales (Esp)
7 Kristina Gavnholt (Cze)
8 Linda Zetchiri (Bul)
Denmark’s Jan Ø. Jørgensen is bidding to become the first player to retain the men’s singles title since five-time champion Peter Gade’s 2004 and 2006 wins (he also won back-to-back titles in 1998 and 2000) .
Jørgensen is also aiming to close in on Kenneth Jonassen’s feat of six successive podium finishes at the Europeans after Denmark’s current singles coach took silver in 1998, bronze in 2000, silver in 2002, 2004 and 2006, and finally his elusive gold in 2008 in his home town of Herning.
Jørgensen has won four medals so far - bronze in 2008,silver in 2010, bronze in 2012 and gold in 2014. But he is likely to have to withstand a major challenge from Denmark team-mate Viktor Axelsen, the recent India Superseries runner-up who is second seed, and much-improved team-mates Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, the Scottish Open winner and Yonex All England semi-finalist.
Axelsen had to settle for bronze two years ago after losing to Jørgensen in the semi-finals but is much more experienced nowadays.
Germany’s Marc Zwiebler, the 2012 European champion who narrowly lost to Vittinghus in the Birmingham quarter-finals 21-15 13-21 22-20, is third seed and England’s 2014 runner-up Rajiv Ouseph is at No. 5 just ahead of France’s Brice Leverdez.
France have never produced a European men’s singles medallist and Leverdez, semi-finalist at the recent Orleans International, will relish the chance to try to change that on home territory.
Men’s singles seeding
1 Jan Ø Jørgensen (Den)
2 Viktor Axelsen (Den)
3 Marc Zwiebler (Ger)
4 Hans-Kristian Vittinghus (Den)
5 Rajiv Ouseph (Eng)
6 Brice Leverdez (Fra)
7 Pablo Abian (Esp)
8 Raul Must (Est)
In the men’s doubles all eyes will be on Russia’s new Yonex All England champions Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov as they defend their European title as top seeds (Ivanov also won a bronze in singles two years ago).
But Denmark’s 2014 runners-up Mads Conrad and Mads Kolding will be out to avenge their final defeat in Kazan and the second seeds gained a psychological boost yesterday at the Malaysia Open with an emphatic two-game win over the Russians.
The Danes have three pairs seeded with Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup fourth seeds and Mathias Boe seeded fifth as he teams up with Mathias Christiansen as regular partner Carsten Mogensen continues his rehabilitation. Boe would love another crack at the Russians having lost to them in the quarter-finals two years ago.
Men’s doubles seeding
1 Vladimir Ivanov & Ivan Sozonov (Rus)
2 Mads Conrad & Mads Kolding (Den)
3 Marcus Ellis & Chris Langridge (Eng)
4 Kim Astrup & Anders Skaarup (Den)
5 Mathias Boe & Mathias Christiansen (Den)
6 Przemyslaw Wacha & Adam Cwalina (Pol)
7 Michael Fuchs & Johannes Schöttler (Ger)
8 Baptiste Careme & Ronan Labar (Fra)
Denmark’s Kamilla Rytter Juhl is chasing a fourth women’s doubles title since her first triumph in 2008. She and Christinna Pedersen are top seeds and defending champions as they bid for a hat-trick together.
As a form guide they were the only European pair to reach the last eight at the All England and finally bowed out in the semi-finals.
Dutch pair Selena Piek and Eefje Muskens lost to the Danes in the 2014 semi-finals and they are seeded at No. 2 – one place ahead of the Stoeva sisters Gabriela and Stefani, who they defeated in the Kazan quarters.
Women’s doubles seeding
1 Kamilla Rytter Juhl & Christinna Pedersen (Den)
2 Selena Piek & Eefje Muskens (Ned)
3 Gabriela Stoeva & Stefani Stoeva (Bul)
4 Johanna Goliszewski & Carla Nelte (Ger)
The mixed doubles is the only event where the defending champions are not the top seeds. Pride of place goes to World SuperSeries Finals winners Chris and Gabby Adcock, England’s husband and wife pair.
The Adcocks will be keen to make up for their second-round exit two years ago when second seeds. They lost to Anders Kristiansen and Julie Houmann as the Danish pair went on to claim a bronze medal.
The Adcocks, who will compete at an Olympics together for the first time, will also want to make up for that All England upset by defending European champions and second seeds Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen when they squandered a 20-15 lead in the second game of the semi-final and ended up losing 21-13 22-20 to the eventual runners-up.
But both pairs will be wary of Poland’s 2012 champions and 2008 and 2010 silver medallists Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba. Mateusiak may now be 40 but the man who started winning European medals back in 2002 is still good enough for the pair to be fourth seeds.
Mixed doubles seeding
1 Chris Adcock & Gabby Adcock (Eng)
2 Joachim Fischer & Christinna Pedersen (Den)
3 Jacco Arends & Selena Piek (Ned)
4 Robert Mateusiak & Nadiezda Zieba (Pol)
5 Michael Fuchs & Birgit Michels (Ger)
6 Vitalij Durkin & Nina Vislova (Rus)
7 Ronan Labar & Emilie Lefel (Fra)
8 Niclas Nøhr & Sara Thygesen (Den)
The draw will be live on Badminton Europe’s Youtube channel on Tuesday, April 12 at 13.30 CET via this link
Article by William Kings - photo by Badminton Photo