Photo: Badminton Europe/Koen Mutton
Russians with ambitions: We can be one of the leaders in Europe
Date: 7/18/2020 4:52 PM
Published by : Rasmus Bech(BEC)

The European mixed doubles pairs will have to keep an eye on Vladimir Ivanov and Ekaterina Bolotova – the Russians are ready to take up the fight.

They both won medals at the European Games in 2015 and 2019. They were both part of the teams winning medals at the European Mixed Team Championships in 2015, 2017 and 2019, and with 19 victories in their first 26 matches, Bolotova and Ivanov are en route to be one of the underdogs for the 2021 European Championships in Kyiv.

In late 2019, the pair won the Italian International beating strong opponents like fourth seeds Macpherson/Hall, Scotland, Danish Niclas Nohr/Sara Thygesen and Korean stars Eom Hye Won/Kim Sa Rang.

Permanent partnership

The Russian duo previously partnered up at the European team events, and in 2019 Bolotova and Ivanov beat Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith, England, at the European Mixed Team Championships in Copenhagen.

Now the partnership on court is permanent.

- At first, we only played at team events to win a medal for the team. Now the plan is that we will be playing together for the next Olympic period, Vladimir Ivanov said.

Future European leaders?

Already beating European top pairs the Russians have a reason to be optimistic.

- From the very beginning playing with Ekaterina, we have delivered good results and played well. We played some good games against the leading pair of England at the 2019 European Mixed Team Championships.

- We have quite good potential, and the plan for us is to get into top 30 and start to play the top-level tournaments in order to qualify for the Olympics 2024. We can become one of the leaders in European badminton, Vladimir Ivanov stated.

History in the making?

If the Russians succeed Vladimir Ivanov has the chance to deliver a spectacular page to the history book of European badminton:

In 2014 he won the gold medal in men’s doubles at the European Championships and at the same event he claimed a bronze medal in men’s singles. Should he succeed winning a European medal in mixed doubles he will be the first ever player to do so.

After playing two tournaments together Ekaterina Bolotova and Vladimir Ivanov are ranked 135 in the world.

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