Draw yields some interesting first round ties
Date: 4/9/2014 5:25 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
With Visa’s stamped for Kazan and a hard training block almost coming to an end the best players in Europe learned of their fate for the upcoming European Championships after Tuesday’s draw at Badminton Europe’s office in Copenhagen.

Badminton Europe’s blue ribband event is only two short weeks away and with preparations for the tournament at an advanced stage the wait is now over for Europe’s elite as they learned of their opponents and their possible route to achieving a much coveted European medal. The first round, which is traditional an opportunity for some of the smaller badminton nations to shine on the biggest of all European stages, has thrown up some interesting ties in each of the five disciplines.

Raw ‘Diehl’ for Schnaase

When it comes to wildcards in this European Championships Russia certainly have several aces up their sleeves and none more so than veteran Ella Diehl in the women’s singles. Diehl has proved this year that there is still some miles left in her legs and at circuit level has been a thorn in the side of some of Europe’s younger brigade.

Germany’s Karin Schnaase has been handed the task of taming the technique of Diehl in the very first round and the pair know each other inside and out from the German league and Diehl of course lives in Germany. Schnaase has been in the form of her life since cutting back on her commitments to the German national team and should be slight favourite in this the pick of the women’s singles opening round matches.

The winner will most likely face off against bronze medallist from Karlskrona, Bulgaria’s Linda Zetchiri and should they come through that a semi-final place against top seed Carolina Marin looks on the cards.

The first round meeting between Finland’s Nanna Vainio and Lianne Tan from Belgium is also sure to be a close run match.

Women’s Singles draw click HERE

Battle of the Baltics

The men’s singles draw will allow the top seeds ease into the tournament while others will have to be ready, sharp and focused from the outset.
Must against Navickas will have a certain Baltic bite to the match as the Estonian and Lithuanian number 1’s go head to head.  Silver medallist from Karslkrona two years ago, Henri Hurskainen, faces a potential banana skin in the form of Belgian number 1 Yuhan Tan. The fact that Tan is only training part time these days while studying to be a doctor just might work in the Swedes favour.

Denmark’s third seed Hans Kristian Vittinghus could not have asked for a better draw even if he picked it himself. The disappointment from Sweden will be all the motivation Vittinghus will need and a potential semi-final against reigning champion Marc Zwiebler looks well within the grasp of the crowd pleasing Dane. That is of course Zwiebler has got over his mini slump and gets by the Russian Giant Ivanov as early as the second round.

Men’s Singles draw click HERE

Dutch V German first round shoot out

Dutch player Samantha Barning has had her fair share of injury trials and tribulations recently but glimpses of her class were apparent at the French International two weeks ago. Alongside Iris Tabeling the Dutch pair have had to play second fiddle to Piek and Muskens for much of this season and will travel to Kazan with a point to prove. The Dutch will have the opportunity to impress from day one as a first round battle against Germany’s Michels and Goliszewski awaits. All four know each other all too well from the German Bundesliga and while the Germans will go on court as slight favourites it will be no surprise to the Dutch in the second round.

The Russians have no fewer than four pairs in the women’s doubles draw and the law of averages will apply with Chervaykova and Vislova looking the most likely to medal.

Women’s Doubles draw click HERE

Poles will be made work hard for a medal

It is very difficult to look at the men’s doubles draw without looking beyond the first round. Let there be no mistake first round ties such as Conrad/Kolding DEN V Szkudlarczyk/Moren POL, Dremin/Lunev RUS V Käsbauer/Zurwonne GER and Langridge/Mills ENG V Ashmarin/Durkin RUS are all mouth-watering prospects. However should they both advance past the first round the potential matchup between Cwalina/Wacha and Ivanov/Sosonov is worth travelling all the way to Kazan for alone.

If the Badminton Europe Circuits most successful men’s doubles pair of the past year are to medal at these Europeans they are going to have to do it the hard way with Boe and Mogensen sitting in wait should they make it to the semi-finals.

Men’s Doubles draw click HERE

England back on the mixed map

It has been a lean few years in terms of European mixed doubles medals at any major championships. The glory days of Robertson/Emms and Clark/Kellog seem light years away but 2014 represents a real opportunity for England’s golden couple Chris and Gabby Adcock to put England firmly back on the mixed map.

The English are second seeds behind Fischer and Pedersen for the title and this seasons performances mark the Adcock’s out as one of the pairs to beat in Kazan. The English will look at the draw and most likely not even look beyond the possible second round encounter with silver medallist from Karlskrona Julie Houmann and new partner Anders Kristiansen. The bottom half of the draw is littered with top talent as Robert Mateusiak will looking to grab another European medal in what is most likely his European swansong with partner Agnieszka Wojtkwowska. Piek and Arends will look to end the Poles tournament as early as round one.

Blair and Bankier will have to battle by a handful of Russian pairs in the opening rounds and will still have the prospect of playing Kolding and Juhl before a medal is secured.

Mixed Doubles draw click HERE

BETV will be in Kazan from the first coin toss live and for free on YouTube with selected matches each day from first rounds to finals.

Article by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe.
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