Coming into the match, Denmark had dropped just one match of the 19 matches that they had played. They were the clear favourites against Russia, but knew this would be their hardest match of the competition. Tine Rasmussen was expected to defeat Ella Diehl to take the lead in the match, and delivered in stunning fashion with a 21-8, 21-14 victory to give Denmark a 1-0 lead.
If Rasmussen’s win was expected, then Tatjana Bibik’s win was just as unexpected. A stunning 21-12, 21-11 upset over Camilla Sorensen levelled the match at 1-1. Denmark were to be shocked further, with Anastasia Prokopenko’s 3-game victory over Karina Jorgensen 19-21, 21-16, 21-16 putting Russia on the brink of a stunning upset and the title of European Champions.
The Danish doubles had to save the match, with Lena Frier Kristiansen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl taking on Tatjana Bibik and Olga Golovanova. 25 minutes later, the match was poised for a one-match play-off for the European title. With a 21-14, 21-14 win for the Danes. Helle Neilsen and Marie Ropke were given the opportunity to win the final rubber for Denmark. Prokopenko and Sorokina stood in the their way, after a tight 21-17 victory for the Danish. Russia then had a chance to win the second game, at 17-20. The Danes played five sensational points to take the game 22-20 and win the European title for Denmark, by 3 matches to 2.
In the 3rd/4th playoff, Germany easily defeated the Netherlands 3-0. Wins for Schenk over Stolzenbach, for Overzier and Marinello and for Karin Schnaase allowed Germany to qualify for the Uber Cup as the 3rd placed European side.
Peter Gade made his second appearance in the competition, after not being needed until the semi final stage. Europe’s #1 would play Przemyslaw Wacha in the opening match of the men’s final against Poland. Gade edged a tight opening game 21-16, the second game was another tight affair but Gade went from trailing 9-7 to lead 13-9 with a six point run and never looked back, taking the second game 21-17 and put Denmark 1-0 in the match.
Boe and Mogensen would play the Polish heroes of the semi final, Cwalina and Logosz. The Poles took a 15-12 lead in the opening game, before capitulating and conceding 9 straight points to gift the game to Boe and Mogensen. The second game was a similar story, Boe and Mogensen led 10-8 before the Poles allowed another 9 point run and gifted the second game and Denmark a 2-0 lead in the match.
Jan O Jorgensen had the opportunity to clinch the European title, with a win over Hubert Pazcek. Jorgensen took the opening game after some scoring consecutive points on a number of occasions to stretch out a lead before winning the opening game, 21-14. The second game started a lot tighter, with Pazcek leading 11-10 at the interval. Jorgensen responded with a 7-point run to take a 17-11 lead, it was a lead he was never going to give up and clinched the match and Denmark’s all important third match, 21-14, 21-13.
In the 3rd/4th playoff for a place in the Thomas Cup, Germany won 3-1 over Ukraine. Zweibler opened the match with a win over Zavadsky 21-16, 27-25. Dieter Domke suffered a three-game defeat over Atrashchenkov to level the match up, before Marcel Reuter regained Germany’s advantage with a straightforward win over Konov. Hopp and Scholetter completed the victory with a come from behind victory over Druzchenko and Atrashchenkov.
It seemed almost destined that the young up and comer Viktor Axelsen would storm his way to the title in Sweden, but another relatively unknown player from Indonesia named Indra Bagus Ade Chandra was too much for the young Dane. Similar to Axelsen, Chandra fought his way through the qualifying rounds to find his place in the finals. The Indonesia defeated Axelsen with a confident 21-15, 21-12 scoreline. We can likely expect to hear much more from both of these young players.
In the women’s singles it was Kaori Imabeppu of Japan taking the title over England’s Elizabeth Cann in a relatively quick 21-15, 21-10 win. After defeating China’s Rong Bo it appeared that Cann would have more to challenge Kaori with, but it appeared that perhaps fatigue got the best of her. The only game that Kaori dropped throughout the entire tournament was to the top seed Ella Diehl.
While they may have lost the women’s singles, England rebounded with a confident looking Robin Middleton and Chris Langridge in the men’s doubles event. The two managed to take the title without dropping a game, and with few close games at that. They defeated their Danish opponents Mikkel Elbjorn and Christian John Skovgaard 21-11, 21-18.
Both the women’s doubles and mixed doubles went to Danish pairs, and both finals were intensely fought. In the women’s doubles Helle Nielsen and Marie Ropke snuck past their Dutch opponents Lotte Jonathans and Pauline Van Dooremalen in three close games 17-21, 21-15, 21-18. Then in the mixed doubles Mads Pieler Kolding and Britta Andersen narrowly defeated their Ukrainian opponents Valery Atrashchenkov and Elena Prus 18-21, 21-18, 21-17.
The EBU tour goes on a bit of a break again now with Thomas and Uber Cup preliminaries happening around the world. Stay tuned for more BWF tour results from those events soon.