Denmark ousted by Spanish Giant killers
Date: 3/29/2015 10:50 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
For the second time in three European Junior Team Championships events, hot favourites and top seeds Denmark, failed in their quest to win the European Team Championship. The Danes looked to be on course after not dropping a game in their group as all around them stuttered in some form.

Denmark took on surprise packet, Spain in this afternoon’s semi-final and looked to be on course to reach the final after taking the opening mixed doubles thanks to Bond & Hansen. It was the singles where it all started to unravel for the Danes as favourites for the individual title, Anders Antonsen & Mia Blichfeldt both came unstuck against Luis Enrique Penalver and Clara Azurmendi respectively.

After plan ‘A’ had failed Denmark did bounce back to win the men’s doubles in impressive style thanks to Eipe and Mortensen which sent the tie down as far as the last match with Denmark’s fate resting on the shoulder of Julie Dawall Jakobsen and Ditte Søby Hansen.

It all looked to be going according to Denmark's plan - but ...

All looked to be going according to plan ‘B’ for the Danes in the women’s doubles after winning the opening game 21-19 but Spain, led by the unquestionable player of the tournament so far Clara Azurmendi, hit back to take the second game alongside Isabel Fernandez.

Plan ‘C’ was then put in place by Denmark as Dawall Jakobsen & Soby Hansen regrouped to put one foot in the final holding five match points at 20-15 in the final set. It was at this point where it all began to fall apart for the Danish favourites as the Spain began the comeback that nobody thought possible.

Point after point Azurmendi and Fernandez put together and from starring defeat in the eyes had momentum on their side as they levelled up at 20-20. Denmark were now in the last chance saloon and the final throw of the dice saw them take a settling point to give them yet another match point.

Once again the Spanish youngsters responded and took three points in a row to cause one of the biggest upsets in European Junior Championship history by knocking Denmark out and making their first ever final in what has been an historical year for Spanish badminton.

Spain will now meet England in tomorrow’s final after the English beat France 3-2 in another thriller with Ben Lane outstanding in both the opening mixed doubles and final men’s doubles.

Denmark vs Spain 2-3 (7-7) For full results click here
England vs France 3-2 (7-5) For full results click here

The 2015 European Junior Team Championships final England vs Spain will be played on Monday starting 10.00 CET. The final can be watched via YouTube.

Article by Mark Phelan.

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