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(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Denmark fight hard to win title number six!
Date: 2/16/2020 3:54 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery

After five days of battle, today we crown the champions. First up were the women, with reigning champions taking on the fourth seeds, Germany. These two nations have met twice in the final, with the head to head being one apiece. In fact, the last time Denmark missed out on the gold was when losing to Germany in the 2012 final.

Both had tough ties in the semifinals, with Denmark fending off the hosts who had made history by being amongst the medals and had terrific support from the home crowd. Similarly, Scotland’s historic presence was a big hurdle for German to overcome, but today is indeed a repeat of the final in Kazan two years ago. 

The first match on court was between two players who met four times in 2019, Germany’s Yvonne Li and Denmark’s Julie Dawall Jakobsen. The 2019 head to head ended 3-1 in the Dane’s favour, the latest being the quarterfinal of the Italian International before Christmas, which Jakobsen took in three games. 

Today’s match had a three-game marathon written all over it as soon as they began to play. Li had a small lead after changing ends in the deciding game, but Jakobsen kept fighting on. In the end, it was to no avail as Li held on strongly to give Germany a 1-0 lead with a 19-21, 24-22, 21-16 win. Following the match, an emotional Jakobsen said.

- I think I got a bit nervous. I played very well in the first game and the first half of the second game. I then made some mistakes and it was really tight. Maybe I then started to think about what it meant. Right now, I am really disappointed. I really thought I had this one.

The German hero Li was delighted with the win after losing the last three encounters with the Dane and said.

- The same thing happened again that I was leading in the first game but then lost it, so I was quite frustrated that I couldn’t change that. I just kept going and never gave up, as there is a team relying on you. It was a great fight and I really enjoyed the match. 

Down to the wire

The second women’s doubles on paper was always going to be a tight one to call, with just five world ranking points between them, although, they had never played against each other until today. Alexandra Bøje and Mette Poulsen took on Linda Efler and Isabel Herttrich. The match went all the way and ended 22-24, 21-16, 21-19 in favour of the determined Danes who levelled the tie at 1-1. Speaking after the crucial win, Bøje stated that.

- It is really fun now, not so fun on court. It was quite a messy game today, but I am just so relieved right now that we won the match. 

The Germans were so close to putting a lot of pressure on the Danes in the tie. Naturally disappointed after the loss, Efler speaks about what went wrong. 

- It was really close and many rallies, it was the pair who made the mistake first who lost out. 

- Little things make the difference. Both pairs were nervous because everyone knew what was at stake. Our girls have been brilliant all week, shouting their hearts out at the back of the court. That is what we are going to do now and hope it helps, Herttrich added. 

All square and all to play for

With the match level, there was an opportunity for one side to take the initiative, and that was exactly what Denmark did in the second women’s singles. In stark contrast to the previous matches, Line Christophersen was able to give her team a 2-1 lead with a swift 25-minute win over Fabienne Deprez, 21-14, 21-11. 

The surge towards the finishing line

With just one more win to secure another Danish victory, up stepped Maiken Fruergaard and Amalie Magelund to face Stine Kuspert and Kilasu Ostermeyer. However, the Germans took the opening game, once again making the Danes work hard to retain their title. Fruergaard and Magelund rallied their efforts, forcing a decider, to the roars of the crowd. 

The Danish duo could now see the finishing line and surged towards it. The Germans could not find a way to stop this momentum and Denmark went on to win the tie 3-1 and secured their sixth European Women’s Team Championships, and the fourth on the bounce! An incredible feat which was summed up by the winning pair, who said.

- It’s amazing, we have such a good team. We just support each other. We have had injuries, but we are here and fighting hard for each other. It is so great to be a part of this team. 


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