Danish Doubles the ones to beat
Date: 4/16/2014 9:13 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
With preparations at an advanced stage for next week’s 2014 INTERSPORT European Championships in Kazan, and with a new title sponsor for the tournament secured in the shape of global sports giant INTERSPORT, we take a look at all three doubles disciplines and the possibility of the rest of Europe breaking the established Danish dominance.

Boe & Mogensen looking for back to back titles

Denmark has a rich history in not only winning European men’s doubles titles but also putting back to back titles together. Lars Paaske & Jonas Rasmussen did it in 2008 & 2010 and Jens Eriksen and Martin Lundgaard completed the hat trick of titles in 2008 after success in 2004 and 2006.

After lifting the title in Karlskrona in 2012 the wise money will be on Mathias Boe & Carsten Mogensen to add their name to the history books by emulating the greats of the game that have gone before them.

The draw has been favourable to the Danes who will most likely face their first real test in the quarter finals where they should meet German veterans Michael Fuchs and Johannes Schöttler. The Germans will have had two matches under their belts at that stage and a prospective match against Dutch pair Jelle Maas and Jacco Arends in the second round will give a good indication as to the Germans form ahead of the Danish clash.

Russia will of course be looking to their top pair of Ivanov and Sozonov to lift a medal on home turf but the Russians will have to play equivalent of two finals before a semi-final meeting with the Danish top seeds.

In a section of the draw that is riddled with quality pairs the Russians will have to come through against Wacha & Cwalina in round two and a potential quarter final meeting with any one of three, Langridge/Mills, Rasmussen/Astrup and compatriots Durkin/Ashmarin will mean the third seeded Russians will be battle hardened before a potential meeting with Boe & Mogensen.

In the bottom half of the draw Mads Conrad and Mads Kolding from Denmark have been dealt a potential banana skin in the opening round against Polish number two pair Moren & Szkudlarczyk, While England’s Chris Adcock and Andy Ellis will feel blessed with their potential route to a medal.

Click here for the #EC2014 men's doubles draw

A week is a long time in Sport

Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen are without doubt the best European women’s doubles pair and are that by a considerable distance if world rankings are to be the yardstick by which we measure. At number two in the world, and regular Super Series adversaries to the Asians, the nearest pair to them on paper are Dutch duo Selena Piek and Eefje Muskens who sit at 14 in the world but are untested on the biggest stage.

The gulf is huge and the defending champions should easily defend their crown in Kazan next week. Juhl and Pedersen have had a tough schedule recently and are only just back in Denmark after their silver medal in Singapore on Sunday. A week should be enough time for Juhl and Pedersen to recover and the rest will be hoping that this schedule has had an effect on the Danes if they are to mount a challenge. There is also solstice in the knowledge that recent history goes against Denmark retaining their women’s doubles title.

There has been Danish winners in 1998, 2002 and 2008 but a Danish pair has not managed to win consecutive titles since Marlene Thomsen/Lisbeth Stuer Lauridsen in 1996 and Thomsen again alongside Rikke Olsen in 1998.
The Danes have the power to rewrite history of course and it is up to Piek/Muskens, Bankier/Nedelcheva and Kruse/Roepke to bring the fight to the defending champions but all things considered this looks like a cast iron gold for Juhl & Pedersen.

Click here for the #EC2014 women's doubles draw

History favours a Danish Mixed Doubles Gold

Just as history goes against a title for Denmark in the women’s doubles so it suggests that Denmark should lift the mixed doubles title and Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen are perfectly positioned to do so.
Denmark has traded alternate titles with England back as far as 2002 with Polish pair Mateusiak and Zieba upsetting the Danish steamroller in 2012 in Sweden. Robert Matuesiak is back again this year but without long-time partner Nadia Zieba. The Polish veteran partners Agnieszka Wojtkowska and judging by recent form the Poles might be an outside bet for a medal.

Fischer and Pedersen have little or nothing to worry them in the top half of the draw just as long as they travel to Kazan prepared and in the winning frame of mind. The defeat from Karslkrona two years ago is something the Danes will surely want to rectify and other European pairs will feel if it happened once what is to prevent it happening again.

The bottom half of the draw is where the potential fireworks will take place en route to the final. Kolding & Juhl’s potential quarter final against Blair and Bankier has quality written all over it and Julie Houmann will look to follow up her silver medal from Karlskrona by taking down second seeds Adcock and Adcock as early as the second round with partner Anders Kristiansen. Throw into the mix exciting younger pairs such as Piek/Arends and Peter Käsbauer/Isabel Herttrich and the bottom half of the draw has upsets written all over it.

Click here for the #EC2014 mixed doubles draw

All the action starts next Tuesday 22nd April with matches streamed live via Badminton Europe’s YouTube channel. To watch live and on demand click HERE

To follow all the latest news as it happens follow Badminton Europe in twitter by clicking HERE

Article by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe. Photo by BadmintonPhoto.
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