(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Who will be added to this list?
Date: 2/4/2021 1:26 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
With 12 days to go before the 2021 European Mixed Team Championships (EMTC), we look at European Junior champions who have in the last 12 years gone on to win EMTC gold. Can you name them all? 

More specifically, we are looking at European Junior gold medallists who went onto represent their country in the gold medal-winning final of the European Mixed Team Championships from 2009 onwards. 

Membership of this exclusive club stands at 11. There are naturally many superstar names, but also some surprises and notable omissions! 

The big names
The first EMTC of interest is Liverpool 2009, the 20th edition of the championships, with Denmark having to come back from a 2-0 deficit against hosts England to lift the trophy. 

Kicking off the list are Europe’s top stars of the last two decades, Christinna Pedersen, Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen. Pedersen won the mixed doubles European Junior gold in 2005 with Rasmus Bonde and went on to accumulate a total of five EMTC trophies in her career. 

Mathias Boe won double European Junior gold in 1999, playing with Kasper Jensen and Karina Sørensen. At the 2020 European Junior Championships, Boe’s nephew, William Boe, won the gold with Mads Vestergaard. His doubles partner Carsten Mogensen won European Junior gold in 2001, with Rasmus Andersen. 

The surprise
In 2011, Denmark scored a 3-1 victory over Germany. Playing in the women’s singles slot for Denmark was Indian-born Karina Jørgensen, who was the 2007 European Junior champion. She was also part of the winning Danish women’s team in Warsaw 2010 and featured in the 2011 Sudirman Cup squad that won silver in Qingdao, China. 

The German golden era
Breaking up Denmark’s dominance, Germany shook-up European badminton in 2013 by defeating the reigning champions 3-0 in the final. The three players delivering this top performance in Ramenskoye, Moscow Oblast, Russia, set this path in motion from their junior years. 

Marc Zwiebler was double European Junior champion in 2003 on Danish soil, when winning the gold in men’s singles and mixed doubles with Birgit Michels (née Overzier). 

Michels, also part of the 2013 EMTC gold medal team, played with Juliane Schenk in the final, winning the vital last point against Pedersen/ Rytter Juhl. Schenk, known as a singles player on the world stage, won her European Junior gold in 2001 in singles, but narrowly missed out on the women’s doubles gold with Carina Nette. 

The switching of categories 
Denmark returned to winning ways in 2015 at the EMTC, defeating England 3-0 in the final. Line Kjærsfeldt won gold at the 2011 European Junior Championships, but interestingly it came in the mixed doubles with Kim Astrup. 

Just two years before her first EMTC trophy, in 2013, she narrowly lost in the European Junior Championship final to Bulgaria’s Stefani Stoeva, who has gone in the opposite direction and is now plying her trade as a doubles player. 

Also featuring in this Danish final’s day team is Mads Conrad-Petersen, who in fact won his European Junior gold in the men’s singles while having to settle for a silver medal in the men’s doubles with Mads Pieler Kolding. 

The recent years
Joining Kjærsfeldt in the singles department for the Danish finals at the EMTC is Anders Antonsen. The 2015 European Junior champion took just two years before featuring in his first EMTC final. In 2017, the same year he won silver at the European Championships, Denmark defeated Russia 3-0. 

With several retirements in the traditionally strong doubles group, a number of new faces are getting their opportunity in the team. Denmark’s 2019 EMTC victory on home soil saw Maiken Fruergaard get her chance. She won the European Juniors in 2013 in the mixed doubles with David Daugaard. 

The notable omissions
Who is missing? Well, the current world number two and European Champion, Viktor Axelsen, and European Games champion, Mia Blichfeldt, despite playing a large role in Denmark’s success at the EMTC and have medals to prove it, they are yet to feature in the final for Denmark.

However, this could all change at the 2021 European Mixed Team Championships in Vantaa, Finland, which will take place 16-20 February 2021. 

Check out our teaser trailer here.

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