(Photo: Badminton Europe)
What a year! 2020 in review
Date: 12/27/2020 3:04 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
In what will be an unforgettable year in more ways than one, we look back at the major events that took place. 

2020 European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships – Liévin, France – 11-16 February
The year began with a huge and exciting event. There were 62 teams competing for the European crown in France. While Denmark flexed their muscles once more by winning gold in both the men’s and women’s event, it was a year of firsts. In the women’s team championship, Scotland and hosts France came away with medals for the first time. While in the men’s event, Russia and the Netherlands also secured medals for the first time. 

Delphine Delrue, a key component of the French women’s team said this after securing a medal on home soil. 

- Playing in front of this home crowd is really great because it pushes us to want to win for them. We are proud of this moment and we will enjoy it.

In one of the most emotional interviews of the year, Scotland’s Julie MacPherson was in a state of shock after winning the final match to secure a 3-0 victory over second seeds Russia. 

-I feel amazing right now. I am still shaking. I just cannot believe we have beaten Russia 3-0. Everyone performed amazingly today, so I think we deserved the win in the end. For me, especially in singles, I really can’t believe that.

Click here to watch the full interview.

The tie of the tournament has to be the EMTC semifinal between the Netherlands and France. It went down to the final game of the final match. Ruben Jille / Ties van der Lecq were able to hold on and win 21-18 against Christo Popov / Toma Junior Popov before the Dutch team charged the court in celebration. 

Click here to watch this moment.

European Men's Team Championships
Gold – Denmark
Silver – Netherlands
Bronze – France & Russia

European Women's Team Championships
Gold – Denmark
Silver – Germany
Bronze – France & Scotland

For the full results, click here.

2020 European U15 Championships - Liévin, France – 14-16 February
The Arena Stade Couvert de Liévin also welcomed Europe’s top U15 talent. In 2018, France and Russia dominated the podium places, but this year saw the return of Denmark with five medals, including two golds in the men’s and women’s doubles. Russia took home four medals, including the mixed doubles gold. There were strong showings from Turkey and Sweden, with three medals each. The latter not having medalled at the championships before also took the men’s singles gold. 

The star of the tournament was undoubtedly Nella Nyqvist, 13, from Finland, who won the gold. Her sensational story in 2020 continued back home at the European Junior Championships later in the year. 

For the full results, click here

While spectators were allowed to enjoy the great badminton events at the beginning of 2020, the global pandemic hit, which resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 European Championships in Kyiv, Ukraine. Kyiv will now host the 2021 European Championships. The 2020 European Senior Championships in Zadar, Croatia has been postponed until next year. 

The European Junior Championships, consisting of the team and individual events, successfully took place in Finland under strict restrictions, Covid-safe protocols, and no spectators. 

2020 European Junior Team Championships – Lahti, Finland – 29 October to 2 November
After a seven-year wait, Denmark retained their team title. In a repeat of the 2018 final, the double reigning champions France and Denmark put up a great fight. After two bronze medals and one silver, the Danes were back at the very top of the podium, winning the final 3-0.

Certainly, the surprise package was Estonia, who won their first medal at the event with the team bronze. 

Gold – Denmark
Silver – France
France – Estonia & Russia

For the full results, click here.

2020 European Junior Championships – Lahti, Finland – 2-7 November
Christo Popov continued a legacy of French singles champions. A proud moment came in 2017 for the Popov family when his older brother Toma Junior defeated his countryman Arnaud Merkle to gold. A year later, Merkle had his moment against the young Christo in the final. This year it was Christo’s turn to be crowned king of Europe. He defeated his compatriot Yanis Gaudin in the final. Following the final, he said. 

-I am very proud of my achievement as that was my goal for this year. Despite the cancellation of the World Junior Championships, I am very happy to finish my young career with a win.

Click here to watch the full interview.

A tearful Anastasiia Shapovalova was delighted with a special victory in the women’s singles after just making her return following a lengthy injury. Russia also took the women’s doubles title with Anastasiia Boiarun/ Alena Iakovleva. But they were not able to get the hattrick of golds in the men’s doubles, which went to Willam Boe/ Mads Vestergaard. Serbia scored their first medals at the event in men’s doubles and women’s singles. 

Matthias Kicklitz/Thuc Phuong Nguyen scored a gold in the mixed doubles for Germany, defeating the unseeded Swedes, Gustav Bjorkler/ Edith Urell. An honourable mention must go to this pair and Urell, who narrowly missed out on women’s singles gold. 

Lastly, hosts Finland were proud to score medals on home soil for the first time since the men’s singles gold from Pontus Jantti in 1987. His son Robin represented Finland this year. Bronze medals were scored by Joakim Oldorff in the men’s singles, and the eye-catching European U15 champion, Nella Nyqvist, at just 14 years of age. 

Men’s Singles
Gold - Christo Popov (FRA)
Silver - Yanis Gaudin (FRA)
Bronze - Matthias Kicklitz (GER) & Joakim Oldorff (FIN)

Women’s Singles
Gold - Anastasiia Shapovalova (RUS)
Silver - Edith Urell (SWE)
Bronze - Marija Sudimac (SRB) & Nella Nyqvist (FIN)

Men’s Doubles
Gold - William Boe/ Mads Vestergaard (DEN)
Silver - Egor Kholkin/ Georgii Lebedev (RUS)
Bronze - Kilian Ming-Zhe Maurer/ Matthias Schnabel (GER) & Sergej Lukić/ Mihajlo Tomić (SRB)

Women’s Doubles
Gold - Anastasiia Boiarun/ Alena Iakovleva (RUS)
Silver - Leona Michalski/ Thuc Phuong Nguyen (GER)
Bronze - Clara Løber/ Mette Werge (DEN) & Polina Buhrova/ Mariia Stoliarenko (UKR)

Mixed Doubles
Gold - Matthias Kicklitz/ Thuc Phuong Nguyen (GER)
Silver - Gustav Bjorkler/ Edith Urell (SWE)
Bronze - Lev Barinov/ Anastasiia Boiarun (RUS) & Christo Popov/ Flavie Vallet (FRA)

For the full results, click here.

2021 European Mixed Team Qualification – various locations – 9-12 December
At four locations across Europe, the last competitive action of 2020 was played. The stakes were high as the winner of the group advanced to the EMTC finals and join hosts Finland and reigning champions Denmark from 16 to 20 February 2021.

In groups 1, 2 and 3, England, Russia and the Netherlands followed their seeding and advanced from their groups. In Group 6, Scotland, just like at the EMWTC in February, defied all odds by defeating Spain 3-2 on the final day to book their spot in the final eight. 

After a decision by the Badminton Europe Board of Directors, France and Germany complete the finals line-up from their cancelled qualification groups. 

For the full results, click here

Badminton Europe looks forward to a busy and action-packed 2021! 

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