Events

(Photo: Sven Heise)
History was made
Date: 4/14/2024 8:15 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The 2024 European Badminton Championships in Saarbrücken, Germany, was filled with history makers on finals day! 

Europe’s top players battled hard all week at the 30th edition of the championships. We saw big surprises, heartbreak and outpouring of pure joy. Today, the new kings and queens of the continent were crowned, and history was made.

Carolina Marin has just made the argument for being the greatest European player of all-time a little easier, by winning an incredible seventh European gold in-a-row. Her reign of dominance began in 2014 at 20 years of age. Now, a decade later at 30, she is still sitting firmly on her throne. 

The Spaniard faced a familiar finals day opponent in Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland. It was the fourth European women’s singles final that featured them both. Marin continued where she left off and it was one-way traffic in the opening game. Gilmour played a free- flowing attacking game in the second, briefly threatening to force a decider, but it was Marin who secured another title, 21-11, 21-18. 

Marin now matches the legendary Kamillia Rytter Juhl with seven titles, joint-second in the all-time European champions list, only behind England’s Gillian Gilks with 12. 

The former Olympic champion and reigning All England champion is now setting her eyes on the ultimate prize, the Paris Olympics. 

Astrup/Rasmussen double up
It was an all-Danish men’s doubles final, with 2018 champions, Kim Astrup/ Anders Skaarup Rasmussen taking on the unseeded pair of Andreas Søndergaard/ Jesper Toft. 

The latter pair have been a bit of a revelation this week, knocking out number eight seeds Toma Junior Popov/ Christo Popov and then second seeds, fellow Danes, Rasmus Kjær/ Frederik Søgaard, to reach a final. 

It was the world silver medallists in Copenhagen and European Games champions from last year, Astrup/ Rasmussen, who had too much know-how in the final, winning 21-16, 21-15. The 2018 final was ended early due to injury, but this time they were able to celebrate and enjoy the winning moment. 

Stoevas settle for silver
Three-time European champions, Gabriela Stoeva/ Stefani Stoeva, were chasing a fourth title in-a-row which would have matched a feat achieved by Christinna Pedersen/ Kamilla Rytter Juhl.  

However, there was something in the air for French badminton this week. Margot Lambert/ Anne Tran watched on yesterday as Thom Gicquel/ Delphine Delrue won the first ever European gold medal for France in the mixed doubles.

Inspired by this, they kept their belief in the final as they came from a game behind to turn the tide and force a decider, before sensationally running away with it, 16-21, 21-17, 21-11. 

France began the week with not having won a European gold, and now they have two in as many days. The win was particularly satisfying for Anne Tran, who lost the 2018 European final to the Stoevas when playing with Emilie Lefel. Today she stands victorious. 

Antonsen finally one to remember
Anders Antonsen has been seeking for a memorable European final moment for quite some time. In 2017, it was a narrow loss to England’s Rajiv Ouseph. In 2021, it was a European gold after a withdrawal before the final. In 2022, it was a disappointing performance against Viktor Axelsen. In 2024, he regains the European crown through terrific play throughout the week and into the final.

His opponent, Toma Junior Popov, gave a helping hand when toppling the world number one and reigning champion, Viktor Axelsen, in the semifinal. Popov was riding the French wave of success, but despite giving everything in the final, he was not able to trouble Antonsen who managed the game well and won 21-18, 21-13. 

Antonsen released all his emotions that were bubbling up inside. It’s the final he’s been dreaming of and now he can call himself the European Champion leading into the Paris Olympics. 

The EC24 medallists:

MS
Gold – Anders Antonsen (DEN)
Silver – Toma Junior Popov (FRA)
Bronze – Viktor Axelsen (DEN) & Joakim Oldorff (FIN)

WS
Gold – Carolina Marin (ESP)
Silver – Kirsty Gilmour (SCO)
Bronze – Julie Dawall Jakobsen (DEN) & Neslihan Arin (TUR)

MD
Gold – Kim Astrup/ Anders Skaarup Rasmussen (DEN)
Silver – Andreas Søndergaard/ Jesper Toft (DEN)
Bronze – Rasmus Kjær/ Frederik Søgaard (DEN) & Ben Lane/ Sean Vendy (ENG)

WD
Gold – Margot Lambert/ Anne Tran (FRA)
Silver – Gabriela Stoeva/ Stefani Stoeva (BUL)
Bronze – Debora Jille/ Cheryl Seinen (NED) & Bengisu Ercetin/ Nazlican Inci (TUR)

XD
Gold – Thom Gicquel/ Delphine Delrue (FRA)
Silver – Mathias Christiansen/ Alexandra Bøje (DEN)
Bronze – Robin Tabeling/ Selena Piek (NED) & Mathias Thyrri/ Amalie Magelund (DEN)

To see all of today’s results, click here.

Watch all matches on demand on BadmintonEurope.tv.

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