Hat Trick Opportunity for Primorye Vladivostok
Date: 5/15/2014 11:32 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
As the competitive domestic league season draws to a close around Europe the cream of Europe’s club teams will turn their focus to the upcoming European Club Championships which will, for the second year running, take place in the Picardy region of France from 24th to 28th June.

This year’s events moves from Beauvais to Amiens with the city’s Coliseum hosting the event for the first time. Amiens itself is home to France’s tallest complete cathedral with its stone vaulted nave reaching almost 43 metres and Russian champions Primorye Vladivostok will dream of such dizzy heights as they return to defend their title and look to become only the second team in the events history to win a hat trick of titles.

The tournament itself dates back to 1978 with the first staging in Göppingen, Germany. The winners on that occasion were Danish champions Gentofte BK who still hold the record of most European club wins with 7 victories and the only team in the competitions rich history to win a hat trick of titles in 1981, 1982 and 1983. Gentofte dominated the competition in the 1980’s and a runners up spot in 1984 prevented and unprecedented 6 in a row as the Danish giants went on to win the title twice more in 1985 and 1986.

With 15 teams entered the Russian champions are looking to dominate the modern competition as Gentofte did in the 80’s. Once again Primorye Vladivostok are the team to beat as they travel to Amiens with a team laden with Olympic and European medallists. Recently crowned European men’s doubles champions Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov (pictured) will lead the lines and Olympic bronze medallists from London 2012 Vislova and Sorokina fortifying Vladivostok’s line up.

The home nation will have two teams competing as BC Chambly Oise gain automatic qualification as hosts. Chambly will most likely be the biggest threat to Primorye Vladivostok with European stars such as Robert Mateusiak, Imogen Bankier, Beatriz Corrales and Kirsty Gilmour leading the line supported by a team of seasoned French national players such as Thomas Rouxel.

With the French play offs yet to be decided one of AUC badminton, IMBC 92 and defending French champions Strasbourg will be joining Chambly in the group draw.

After missing out in 2013 Czech champions TJ Sokol Vesely Jehnice return and will fancy their chances of medalling with Koukal, Cwalina, Augustine, Basova and Adam Mendrek in their ranks.

The European Club Championships also has a rich history of inclusiveness and Amiens will welcome with open arms some of the smaller badminton nation’s national champions with clubs competing from Luxembourg, Iceland and Italy.

The group draw takes place on Tuesday 27th May where all 15 teams will learn their prospective route to a medal.

Badminton Europe TV will stream all the action LIVE from Amiens for the duration of the week with all the action live from the streaming court on our YouTube channel HERE.

Article by Mark Phelan. Photo by BadmintonPhoto.
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