Tours to host the cream of Europe’s clubs
Date: 6/10/2015 10:11 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

The 2015 European Club Championships takes place between 10th and 14th July and for the third year running the cream of Europe’s club talent will make their way to France after the excellent staging of the championships in Beauvais (2013) and Amiens (2014). This year’s event will be hosted by CEST Badminton Club in Tours, the garden of France in the heart of the Loire valley.

The tournament itself dates back to 1978 with the first staging in Goppingen, Germany. The winners on that occasion were Danish champions Gentofte BC 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.
This year’s event will take place in the Palais De Sport with the group qualification rounds starting at 10am local time on Wednesday with Primore Vladivostok once again the team to beat after dominating the competition in recent years.

The Russian powerhouse outfit will travel to Tours with a team that resembles the Russian national team and it will be an opportunity for all badminton fans to see European men’s doubles champions, Vladimir Ivanov & Ivan Sozonov perform for their club before they depart for the European Games in Baku just a week later.  The Russians will also have 2012 Olympic women’s bronze medallists, Nina Vislova & Valeria Sorokina in their ranks as they look to win the event for a fourth successive year and an unprecedented sixth time since 2007 just one victory shy of Danish outfit Gentofte.

French can upset the Russian revolution in new format

Like in 2014 the main threat to the Russians will come from home French clubs with Chambly and AIX looking to make the Russians fight to retain their title. Chambly, the recently crowned French national champions will have an eclectic mix of talent at their disposal and in Robert Mateusiak, the 2012 European mixed doubles champion, working alongside Imogen Bankier, world silver medallist from 2012 the French have vast experience to draw on both on and off the court. Thomas Rouxel has improved immensely over the past 12 months and will test the Russian singles should it get that far. Roll into the mix the talent of Kirsty Gimour and Beatriz Corrales and the French champions have the capabilities to upset the Russians in the new truncated 5 match format.

Click here for all results and live scoring from Tours

AIX themselves will be keen to bounce back from their French final result and like Chambly the new five match system will suit their team structure. Petya Nedelcheva will lead the line backed up by Lianne Tan. French international Ronan Labar will be formidable in the doubles event and Italian based Indonesian Indra Bagus Ade Chandra has the beating of any men’s singles player on his day. The French vice champions will also bring their mascot BigBee to the championship and if nothing else the atmosphere will be electric when AIX are on court.

An opportunity for underdog upsets

While the destination of the trophy is most likely to be battled out between the big three the European Club Championships is as much about the smaller European clubs and their participation on the big stage. Who can forget the performance of Italy’s BC Milano and TBR of Iceland from 2014 where both created their own little piece of national history making it to the quarter finals? The Italians return in 2015 with a stronger squad and will have the bigger teams looking over their shoulders and taking nothing for granted. Milano will look to progress even further than their quarter final from last year and some wise money might suggest they can do so.

Portuguese Champions ACD CHE Lagoense always have the potential to cause an upset with one of Europe’s most talent singles players, Pedro Martins in their ranks and the tournament will welcome Helsingfors (Finland), Kristiansand (Norway), BC DKC (The Netherlands) and Spanish Champions BC Oviedo to the competition for the first time in recent years.

The top two from each of four groups will progress to the quarter finals and all the action will be streamed live on Badminton Europe’s YouTube channel with the following games scheduled for the group stages:

Wednesday 10th June 10am CB Oviedo (ESP) V ACD Che Lagoense (POR)
Wednesday 10th June 2pm AIX Universite (FRA) V TBR (Iceland)
Wednesday 10th June 6pm Chamby (FRA) V CB Oviedo (ESP)
Thursday 11th June 10am TBR (Iceland) V BC DKC (NED)
Thursday 11th June 2pm  BK 1973 Deltacar (CZE) V BC Milano(ITA)
Thursday 11th June 6pm AIX Universite (FRA) V BC DKC (NED)

Article and photo by Mark Phelan.

© All rights reserved.

Related news
2024 BEC Awards Gala celebrates badminton stars
The 2024 BEC Congress conclude...

Axelsen gets off the mark
The noise was deafening in the...

BEC welcomes new Vice-President and Directors
Today at the 57th Annual Deleg...

Danish Delight
It was an action-packed semfin...

BEC Congress begins in Budapest
The 2024 BEC Congress kicked o...

The 2024 BEC Congress awaits in Budapest
Budapest, Hungary, will host t...

More news