Jørgensen & Marin lead Europe's challenge
Date: 8/12/2014 2:43 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

Alongside the Olympic Games, the annual World Championships represents the holy grail of badminton medals. Europe has had its fair share of doubles success in the recent past but a 15 year singles drought is something both Jan Ø. Jorgensen and Carolina Marin are well placed to rectify in Copenhagen starting 25th August.

Jørgensen has become one of the most feared men’s singles players on the global Super Series tour in the past twelve and many judge his win at the Indonesian Open, a Premier Super Series event, as the Danes coming of age victory. Add into the equation that Jørgensen will sleep soundly in his own bed at night and with a partisan home crowd behind him the world number three has a real opportunity to become the first European singles winner of a world championship since Camilla Martin in 1999.

While the Dane will be afforded the opportunity to ease himself into the competition with a first round match against Maxime Moreels of Belgium, world number 1 Lee Chong Wei will ultimately stand between the European Champion and the top step of the podium. And without Lin Dan in the field the Malaysian will leave no stone unturned as he attempts to finally lift the major gold championship medal that has eluded him.

Jørgensen’s compatriot and crowd pleasing favourite, Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, will be secretly smiling after a draw that represents a real opportunity for the Danish number two to attack the podium. Son Wan Ho represents Vittinghus’ biggest stumbling block en route to a potential quarter final with Chen Long. The Chinese world number two is without a win since the Korean Open at the beginning of the year and if the stars align right Vittinghus may be in with an outside shout of a medal.

Click here for the men's singles draw

“I would have liked an easier first round draw and I have a lot of respect for Jen Hao Hsu as I've had some tough matches against him in the past. That being said, I've played him twice this year and had some really comfortable wins, so I'll obviously go into the match with great confidence. I'll have to perform at a high level from the start with this draw, but that can also be an advantage as I'll be well into my "groove" if I make to the last 16 and a possible clash with Son Wan Ho.”

It has been a season to forget for 2012 European Champion Marc Zwiebler who has shown little or no form since his runners up spot at the Bitburger Open almost a year ago. But the German number one has recently moved club and the old saying ‘sometimes a change is as good as a rest’ might ring through for one of Europe’s gentlemen as he fights to regain some form.

Marin medal motivated

The world championships has a special place in the memory of Spain’s Carolina Marin. The Spaniard came within a whisker of winning a medal in 2013 only losing out to eventual winner Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in a memorable quarter final battle.

In the twelve months since the Spanish ace has set up station inside the world’s top 10 as well winning her first Grand Prix and Grand Prix Gold events. As European champion, a title that Marin won with ease in Kazan just a few short months ago, the Spaniard will have firm sights set on a podium this year in Copenhagen.

Click here for the women's singles draw

Marin’s form will be tested as early as the third round where she will most likely face off against multiple All England winner and 2011 World Champion, Wang Yihan of China. Should she come through that battle a likely semi-final against the rejuvenated Wang Shixian awaits before the ultimate gold medal test most probably against Olympic Champion and world number 1 Li Xuerui of China.

In a battle of the young guns both Beatriz Corrales and Line Kjaersfeldt find themselves in the same section of the draw as Thai pair Busanan Ongbumrunpan and reigning champion Ratchanok Intanon. Newly crowned Commonwealth silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour will relish the opportunity to kick start her world championship assault against European opposition in the shape of veteran Karin Schnaase. The German has beaten Gilmour before but the Scot will be looking to repeat her victory from Sweden this year en route to lifting the title in Uppsala.

Rich European world mixed doubles history to drawn Inspiration from

The doubles events have always been the world championships medal banker for European badminton. Both England and Denmark have brought the fight to the Asians since the turn of the century and we do not have to delve to far back to find gold for Europe with Laybourn and Juhl’s 2009 victory still ringing fresh while Robertson’s and Emms’ victory in 2006 still acts as the motivation for further English success.

Indeed the English Adcock’s travel to Copenhagen as one of the pairs to beat and Chris Adcock knows how to win world championship medals. Who can forget his silver, alongside Imogen Bankier in 2011, on the lead up to the London Olympics. Almost a year married and fresh off a team silver at the Commonwealth Games, Chris and Gabby Adcock will look to make it 12 months they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Click here for the mixed doubles draw

The draw has been less than kind to the English who will have to mix it up with Asian opposition from the start before a potential semi-final match against world number 1 pair Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei.

That aside Chris Adcock remains optimistic as team England put the final touches to their preparation before leaving for Copenhagen.

“I really can't wait to get to Copenhagen and get started at the World Championships. It's always nice to have the championships in Europe especially if it can help European performances. In both events I have tough draws from the outset, however I am really excited by the challenge and will be taking it a game at a time. The next 10 days will be crucial to get myself in the best condition I can for the World Championships.”

In the pick of the early all European mixed match ups the games between De Ruiter/Barning V Käsbauer/Herttrich and Arends/Piek V Mateusiak/Wojtkowska have a certain home continent edge to them with the prize for the winning pairs a second round match up against seeded opposition.

Third seeds Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen represent Europe’s best mixed medal chance and with the forced withdrawal of reigning champions Ahmad and Natsir this just might be the year for the likeable Danish duo.

European Championships final part 2 in round 1

The men’s doubles draw has thrown up an interesting first round tie in a repeat of the 2014 INTERSPORT European Championship final from Kazan just a few short months ago. On that occasion Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov lifted the title on home soil and Conrad Petersen and Mads Kolding will look to make home court count on this occasion.

Ashan and Setiawan are in Copenhagen to defend their title but Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen will look to avenge their final defeat from last year in China and finally climb the top step of a major championship podium.

Click here for the men's doubles draw

Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang travel to Denmark in defence of their women’s doubles title, the difference this year is they do it as fourth seeds. This time last year the dynamic pair of Bao Yixin and Tang Jinhua were unheard of but one year later they are the hottest of hot favourites to lift the world title. 10 title in 10 months for the Chinese pair is proof that the rest are vying for the bottom two steps of the podium.

From a European perspective many will focus on the potential second round tie between Dutch pair Piek and Muskens and their arch rivals from the past circuit season the Ng sisters from Malaysia. Bragging rights will be the domain of the winner and with it the opportunity to look down the line to a potential quarter final meeting with the defending champions.

Come the business end of the tournament European hopes will most likely fall on the shoulders once again of Pedersen and Juhl with the Danes, as they have done year on year, offer the stiffest challenge to the Asian dominance.

For all draws for the 2014 World Championships CLICK HERE

Article by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe. All photos by BadmintonPhoto. 

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