Russia (pictured above) created a shock today to progress to the EJC17 Team Finals after taking down Denmark 3-1 in Mulhouse. Alimov/Davletova broke the deadlock for Russia after a convincing 21-13 21-18 victory over Hybel/Magelund in the opening mixed match. After only featuring once in the group stages, U17 sensation Georgii Karpov stepped up to the big stage for Russia against Mads Thogersen of Denmark. Thogersen was quick out of the trap and picked up a 9-3 lead in the first. The Russian youngster had no fear though and showed his potential by winning 16 out of the next 17 points to lead 19-10. The young Russian went on to take the opening set 21-15. In what was a point-for-point second set, Karpov came out again on top clinching the match 21-15 21-18 and placing all the pressure on the shoulders of team Denmark.
Denmark would have no doubt in their minds that this tie was still theirs for the taking and out stepped seasoned circuit player Julie Dawall Jakobsen to take on 14-year-old Anastasia Shapovalova. Following in the steps of Karpov, the young Russian lead at the first set interval in what was a slow start from Jakobsen. This did not trouble the Dane and she went on to take the opening set 21-15. From here, Jakobsen hit full flight in the second and recorded a comfortable 21-15 21-11 victory over Shapovalova to keep her team in the tie. The Russian pair of Alimov/Kotsarenko defeated Lundgaard/Sondergaard 21-16 18-21 21-9 to crush the Danes Dreams and send Russia into the final. The Russians will feel they were unlucky to not take the match in two sets but instead dictated the third with their power advantage over the Danish Pair, leaving them in the dust with a comfortable 21-9 victory.
This result means that Russia have now secured a silver medal here just like they did in Lubin, Poland at the EMTC17 senior event back in February and they will be looking to go one better tomorrow.
France Cruise To Home Final
France have booked their spot in the EJC17 Team final today after an impressive 3-0 victory over rivals England. After a day of rest, Delphine Delrue stepped into the French squad where she partnered up with Thom Giqcuel (pictured above) to give France the early lead after overcoming Hemming/Liew in straight sets. The English pair jumped straight into a 5-2 lead but a constant swing of momentum on both ends left the French young guns with 8 set points. The second set was a lot closer with the English looking to make some impact on the match when they hit the front midway through the set. This was not enough to stop Gicquel/Delrue who powered through to take the win 21-15 21-18.
The men’s singles encounter was controlled by Toma Junior Popov much to the dislike of Englishman David Jones. Jones looked to be bringing some of his momentum from earlier victory against Hsiao (GER) to the first set and only found himself trailing by two at the interval. This, however, did not last for long and Popov raced into an 18-10 lead before taking the first 21-11. A local favourite amongst the French supporters gave Popov the motivation to carry his form into the second set and take the victory on a score line of 21-11 21-14.
The deciding game, which would be the crucial match in this tie, saw Yaelle Hoyaux take on Abigail Holden for a place in the final. Holden looked down and out at 17-8 in the first but clawed her way back to give to bring the game to 20-19. Nevertheless, Hoyaux went on to take the first 21-19 and control the second to see her team into the Final where they will face in form Russia.
For all results from #ECJ17 team semi finals click HERE
For photo gallery from today’s semi finals click HERE
Article by Ben Phelan for Badminton Europe Images by Mark & Ben Phelan(Live in Mulhouse)