New Format, Fresh Impetuous!
Date: 9/8/2014 12:51 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
The 2015 edition of the European Mixed Team Championships will be staged in Leuven, Belgium and with its new format the best 12 teams on the continent will shoot it out for honours after an initial group qualification process containing a total of 33 entered teams.

By the time the teams reach Leuven all but five of them will have gone through a gruelling qualification group which will ensure the cream of the crop is on display in the Sportoase Arena, the spiritual home of the Belgian International for the past number of years.

Joining Belgium as hosts and Germany as defending champions will be Denmark, England & Russia as top ranked Europeans nations. That leaves seven spots up for grabs from qualifying in a new format which will see all qualification groups take place on weekend 7-9 November 2014.

From the seven groups only the top team will qualify for Leuven 2015 ensuring the qualification groups themselves will have a palpable intensity with home advantage being of vital importance. With four teams in each group the hosts were decided by offering the qualification event to the top ranked nation. If they declined it went to the second and third ranked and so on.

Group 1 will take place in Lendava Slovenia which will prove to be a huge advantage for the home nation against the travelling Dutch, Lithuanian and Faroe Islands teams. Group 2 will be one of the tightest groups with Scotland favourites against Czech Republic, Switzerland and Latvia. Home advantage to the Czechs might prove decisive.

Group 1: The Netherlands, Slovenia, Lithuania, Faroe Islands
Group 2: Scotland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Latvia

Group 3 sees top seeds France hosting the event and they will be clear favourites to make it to Belgium in a group that contains Belarus, Israel & Austria. The four teams in group 4 will have to make the long trip to Tallinn, Estonia where once again home advantage may prove decisive for the home nation in a shootout against Sweden, Luxembourg and Italy.

Group 3: France, Austria, Belarus, Israel
Group 4: Sweden, Estonia, Italy, Luxembourg

Group 5 will have the most significant geographical impact after all top seeded teams in the group declined the invitation to host. As a result Iceland jumped at the opportunity and Spain, Croatia and Turkey, who will spend as much time in the air as on the court, will get the opportunity to experience the best of Icelandic hospitality.

Group 5: Spain, Turkey, Iceland, Croatia

As top seeds in Group 6 the Irish elected to host the qualification event with Bulgaria, Norway and Slovakia making the trip to Dublin. The clash between Ireland and Bulgaria will be a mouth-watering prospect after the Bulgarians narrowly missed out on a seeding themselves for the groups.

Group 6: Bulgaria, Ireland, Norway, Slovakia

The final group will see Poland host as Wales, Finland and Hungary travel to Arlamow, a small Polish village on the Polish/Ukrainian border. Logistics will prove a challenge to the traveling teams as the Poles try to justify their seeding and make use of their home advantage. Finland will be buoyed by their recent bronze in the European men’s team championship and Wales once settled in after the long trip will cause problems to both group favourites.

Group 7: Poland, Finland, Wales, Hungary

In the overall context of the tournament once again Denmark will be hot favourites to regain the title they lost to Germany in 2013 but Russia, France and an English team that is growing with experience with each passing year will look to have a major influence on the destination of the medals in the second week in February.

The official hashtag for the event is #EMTC15.

Article by Mark Phelan. Photo by BadmintonPhoto.
© All rights reserved.

Related news
Malaysia Masters Day 1 RECAP
European players give a mixed ...

Thrilling finals in Thailand
The TOYOTA Thailand Open 2024 ...

Thai triumph in Bangkok
There are not many tournaments...

We're hiring!
Badminton Europe is seeking a ...

Athletes set for Paris: Olympic qualifiers announced
With just over two months rema...

The World Tour resumes
After over a month's hiatus, t...

More news