Europe’s finest are in Manchester this week for the European Championships, with Denmark and hosts England being well represented in the seeds this week.
Top seed and All England semi finalist Peter Gade will go for European title number 5 and continue the Danish dominance in the men’s singles. He starts with a first round bye before taking on Scotland’s Kieran Merrilees in the second round. The Scottish 20-year old has never won on the European tour but had an outstanding run in late 2008 and has the ability to defeat any player in Europe on his day.
Denmark’s new star is the 2nd seed, Jan O Jorgensen. The 22-year old starts with a first round bye before taking on Petr Koukal, the Czech national champion and winner of the 2009 Czech International will be an excellent test for Jorgensen in the opening round of his campaign.
England’s main contenders come in the way of 4th seed and 8th seed Rajiv Ouseph and Carl Baxter. Ouseph begins against Austrian Michael Lahnsteiner whilst Carl Baxter takes on Israeli Misha Zilberman, both matches are in the second round.
Denmark will look to break a 10-year wait for a women’s singles title, with Camilla Martin being the last Dane to win the title in 2000. However it is Pi Hongyan of France that is top seed for this year’s European Championships. The French woman begins her campaign against Akvile Stapusaityte of Lithuania in her opening round. The second seed is Denmark’s big hope to end a 10 year drought, Tine Rasmussen begins her campaign against Andrea Zvorc of Croatia on Wednesday night, with her last event seeing her regain her All England title, can she regain the women’s singles for Denmark?
All four of the seeds come from the European powerhouses, Denmark and England. Top seeded Boe and Mogensen and 2nd seeded Paaske and Rasmussen have a first round bye. The surprising news from the draw is that 3rd seeded Clark and Robertson have to play a first round whilst 4th seeded Kristiansen and Henriksen have a bye into Round 2.
Current World Champions Laybourn and Rytter Juhl are the top seeds in the mixed doubles and begin their campaign to claim their 2nd European Championship against Dimova and Makarski of Bulgaria. Polish 2nd seeds Mateusiak and Kostiuczyk hope to regain the form that won them the Hong Kong Super Series title in November last year, they start against Swiss pair Dumartheray and Jaquet. England’s big hope come in the 3rd seeds Robertson and Wallwork, they begin their campaign against Welsh duo Morgan and Sheppard.