Today, Badminton Europe (BEC) has published the official seeding ahead of the 2017 European Championships (#EC17) this month.
On 25 April, the 26th European Championships will commence in Kolding, Denmark, and with the list of seeded entries now published, the audience can begin to imagine how the tournament will unfold at Sydbank Arena.
The Danish home crowd can look forward to many chances for a glimpse of their national players as the Danes top of the seeding in all categories, with the exception of women’s singles. But there is no doubt that the pressure of a home crowd can have its effects and the opponents will not hesitate to use that in their advantage.
Last week’s unfortunate withdrawal from Jan Ø. Jørgensen leaves top seeded Viktor Axelsen as the clear favourite in the men’s singles category. Giving him the best starting point as the defending champion. The world number two and recent winner of YONEX Sunrise India Open winner is expected to face Rajiv Ouseph of England in the final, which will be their first encounter since the quarter-finals at Rio Olympics, last year.
Young players will be playing their first EC this month and it is not impossible for them to challenge the top seeds. Anders Antonsen (Denmark) and Fabian Roth (Germany), both rewarded with respectively a 5th and 8th seed, travel to Kolding as national champions. Titles they won by beating their better ranked countrymen, proving that they are not to be underestimated.
Germany’s Fabian Roth managed to make life difficult for Axelsen at 2016 European Mixed Team Championships (#EMTC16), where he beat him in three sets.
It is to no one’s great surprise that the Olympic gold medalist and double world champion, Carolina Marin, is to be found on top of the women’s singles seeding. But it is the first time in Badminton Europe’s history that Spain has two women’s singles topping the seeding. Beatriz Corrales (Spain), seeded 6th last year, has showed remarkable results on the Circuit, and has been rewarded for her efforts as the second ranked European globally behind Carolina Marin.
Last year’s bronze medalist Anna Thea Madsen of Denmark is off court due to a knee injury, which is exactly what Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour has just returned from. Still finding her form ahead of Kolding, Gilmour recently triumphed at Orléans International. If she finds back to where she was last year in France, she could be a serious candidate to reach the final.
The best seeded Dane in this category, Line Kjærsfeldt  is accompanied by Natalia Koch Rohde  and Denmark’s newly crowned national champion, Mette Poulsen, who enters her first European Championships with a 5th seeding.
Even though Carolina Marin has not been able to bag a title since Rio, she has not lost to a European in two years and is by far the strongest favorite.
Denmark has earned a great spot on the top three spots of the men’s doubles seeding. Olympic silver medalists rom 2012 Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen are back at the European Championships as the first seeds. Right behind them, we find, respectively, the defending champions Mads Pieler Kolding/Mads Conrad-Petersen and the silver medalists from #EC16 Anders Skaarup Andersen/Kim Astrup. Both pairs have shown great signs leading up to the tournament and have both achieved a top ten world ranking. Adding to the Danes dominance in the category is the 6th seed Mathias Christiansen and David Daugaard, earning Denmark four seeded pairs in men’s double.
Seeded 4th and 5th, we find the Russian All England Champions, Ivanov and Sozonov, and recent Olympic bronze medalists Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge of England, ready to challenge the local favorites.
First seeds Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen has company by the newly Danish national champions Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen, seeded 3rd, and Julie Finne-Ipsen and Rikke Søby, seeded 6th as Denmark’s has three seeded entries in women’s doubles. Bulgaria is the only country with two seeded pairs after Denmark. The Stoeva sisters are seeded second after great campaigns in the Superseries tournaments this last season.
Eejfe Muskens and Selena Piek has been off court for quite some time now, due to Selena’s foot injury, but with their 5th seeding, we hope to see them up to speed for the first match in Kolding.
Once again, we find Denmark topping the seeding this time with Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen. Not far behind them Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock of England lands their second seed in what could become an interesting final.
Two Russian seedings ties with Denmark, as Evgenij Dremin/Evgenia Dimova and Vitalji Durkin/Nina Vislova is seeded for the quarter-finals. Poland and Sweden can rejoice about their quarter-final seedings, as the only seeded entries for both countries. Mathias Christiansen and Sara Thygesen were on opposite sides of the net last year in Vendée, but will go to Kolding for the first time as partners with 3rd seeding.
What, at first glimpse, can look like a predictable tournament can change in a heartbeat. Many young players will be hungry to leave their mark on European badminton history and multiple past champions might have to dig deep for the motivation. Yet, there is no denying the possibility for the Danes to dominate on home soil.
A final overview is still to come as the draws are published on Tuesday 11 April. Find the seedings here