Bayrak creates Turkish Badminton History
Date: 4/25/2014 12:56 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

After three days of competition the quarter finals of the 2014 INTERSPORT European Championships was the opportunity for all the big guns of European badminton to flex their muscles and issue real statements of their gold medal intentions in Kazan, Russia.

European giants such as Boe & Mogensen, Jørgensen, Marin, Pedersen, Fischer and Juhl did as everyone expected cruise into the semi-finals and gold medal contention. Nestled amongst these luminaries of European Badminton was the diminutive figure Özge Bayrak (pictured), the Turk who has gone about her business this week in an effective and efficient manner.

The Turk beat second seed Kirsty Gilmour in yesterday’s third round and Bayrak continued that form today against Kristina Gavnholt of Czech Rebublic. Indeed such was the dominance of Bayrak in today’s quarter final that she only went behind once in the entire match and that was to the very first point of the first game.

The Turk who has lived most of her badminton life in the shadow of team mate Neslihan Yigit has displayed nerves of steel this week in Kazan and will be looking to push the other surprise packet of these European Championships, Anna Thea Madsen all the way in her bid to keep re writing the annals of Turkish badminton history.

Madsen herself was in sparkling form destroying last Russian singles hope Olga Golovanova in two games while Karin Schnaase rolled back the years to set up a mouth-watering semi-final against tournament favourite Carolina Marin.

“It is great to finally have won a European medal and now I hope I can play freely tomorrow against Carolina and maybe change the colour from bronze to silver” said Schnaase after her victory.

Ivanov the man of the moment

While Bayrak was deserved of all the major headlines the man of the moment was without doubt Russia’s Vladimir Ivanov. The 2.2 metre Russian beat Eric Pang in one of the early men’s singles quarter finals before playing the match of the day in an action packed men’s doubles final alongside partner Ivan Sozonov.

The Russians came through an epic three game battle against second English men’s doubles pair Langridge and Mills in a match that extended to almost an hour on the TV court.

“I am so happy to win and the crowd were really great today” said Sozonov after the victory.

It was also a good day for The Netherlands with both De Ruiter/Barning and Piek/Muskens guaranteeing two medals for the Dutch.

Team Denmark remain the only nation with a fighting chance of victory in all five disciplines. All their top stars came through with Hans Kristian Vittinghus being the only notable exception. The world number 13 got off to a great start against old foe Rajiv Ouseph and look to have the beating of the English number one after taking the opening set.

Ouseph bounced back impressively to make it to yet another European semi-final and was happy with his performance and the manner of his comeback.

“Hans Kristian got out of the blocks very quickly but I knew he could not maintain that high pace for the whole match. I just hung in biding my time and was confident my game plan would see me through in the end.”

To re visit all the on demand action from quarter finals day on Badminton Europe’s YouTube streaming channel click HERE. Tune in tomorrow from 12 midday for the first of two semi-final sessions. All the live action free and uninterrupted from Kazan on BETV.

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 by Mark Phelan (Live in Kazan)

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