Belgian siblings steal the show
Date: 4/23/2014 7:52 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

The European Championships kicked off today in Kazan, the self-confessed sporting capital of Russia. With the cream of Europe’s crop gathered for the premier event on Badminton Europe’s calendar it was Belgian brother and sister team Yuhan and Lianne Tan that made the day one headlines.

A week in the badminton life of Yuhan Tan (pictured) has as many up as it has downs. One day it all works like a well-oiled machine and the next it can go horribly wrong. Today in Kazan the Belgian Olympian had one of his golden days as he beat silver medallist from 2012 Henri Hurskainen of Sweden.

Tan looked comfortable in the opening set before Hurskainen tied the match up by winning the second game. In the deciding game everything Tan tried worked and even miss hits managed to find their way over the net for winners.

“It was one of those days when everything went over the net and I could just feel this was going to be my day” said the Belgian.

Tan cruised to a third game win to end the fairy-tale two year journey of the Swede, and moves to a second round tie with Atrashenchov of Ukraine where the Belgian will now justifiably start as favourite.

“Right now one day it’s good for me and the next it can go all wrong” said the Belgian after his victory. “I will probably be favourite tomorrow against Atrashenchov but after my performance today that pressure sits well on my shoulders. I just hope that I can play like this again two days in a row. ”

Lianne Tan followed her brother into the second round of the women’s singles with a three game victory over Nanna Vainio of Finland. The younger of the Tan siblings drew inspiration from her brother’s earlier performance and mix in a bit of sibling rivalry and the recipe for success is complete.

“It was great to see Yuhan win today and of course I wanted to follow him into the second round also which was some motivation for me to play well today.” Said Lianne after her victory.

The Belgian was duly happy with her individual performance especially the way she finished off the third game against the Finn.

“I noticed Nanna was starting to tire in the second game so I knew that I had to keep working hard in the third set and I was pleased with my level at such a crucial time of the game. I now look forward to the second round after getting a good feel for the hall today.

A solid start for Russia of home soil

The home players for Russia had a decent start to the European Championships, the first ever staging of the event on Russian soil. Russia had benefited from a series of wildcards as host nation but in the end it was the established stars that gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about on day one in Kazan.

Durkin and Vislova represent a real medal chance for the Russians after the withdrawal of Michels and Fuchs through illness and the Russian veterans came through in two games against top Swedish pair Ruponen and Hogstrom in an early morning match on Badminton Europe’s streaming court.

Vladimir Ivanov added a doubles victory to his earlier singles win alongside Ivan Sozonov while additional singles victories for Malkov, Perminova, Golovanova and the Russian surprise packet Anton Ivanov rounded off a very productive day for Russia’s home athletes.

To re visit all the on demand action from day 1 on Badminton Europe’s YouTube streaming channel click HERE. Tune in tomorrow from 10am to catch all the live action free and uninterrupted from Kazan.

All #EC2014 results from today can be found here.

For a full Facebook photo gallery from the championships follow Badminton Europe by clicking HERE

For all tweets from Kazan click follow Badminton Europe on Twitter HERE and search hashtag #EC2014

Article and photo by Mark Phelan (Live in Kazan)

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