Events

Grebak & Christiansen end Adcocks Euro dream
Date: 4/29/2016 10:47 AM
Published by : Mark Phelan
The beauty of sport is that is always springs a few surprises – and they didn’t come any bigger today at the European Championships than the defeat of top mixed doubles seeds Chris and Gabby Adcock in one of the last matches of quarter-finals day at La Roche-sur-Yon.

The England pair, the World SuperSeries Finals winners, were bidding to become the first husband and wife winners of the mixed doubles.

But Denmark’s unseeded pair Mathias Christiansen and Lena Grebak (main picture) upset the apple cart by stunning the 2012 bronze medallists 14-21 21-19 21-19.

That more than made up for Christiansen’s disappointment of missing out in the men’s doubles when Matthias Boe pulled out injured. No wonder he went wild without delight and celebrated by removing his shirt – only to be yellow carded!

Christiansen said: “I am an emotional guy on court and throwing my shirt into the crowd is just the way I am. In the match we stayed very calm and in the zone and we want to go further now and not just settle for a bronze medal”

But they weren’t the only Danes to upset the seedings. Anna Thea Madsen was the first unseeded player through to the medal stages in the raucous Vendespace arena.

Madsen, who won the silver medal behind Spain’s Carolina Marin in Kazan two years ago, defeated Germany’s fourth seed Karin Schnaase 21-19 21-19 and to say Madsen was pleased with the victory was something of  is an understatement judging by her celebration.

She said: “The goal was to win a medal and I’ve done that. It feels fantastic and I am going to try to better my silver of two years ago.” Tomorrow she faces second seed Kirsty Gilmour, who secured Scotland their first ever singles medal at a Europeans following her 21-19 22-20 win over Beatriz Corrales of Spain.



Madsen’s success followed a run of early matches that went with seeding as three defending champions quickly reached the medal stage.

Top seed Jan O Jorgensen repeated his men’s singles win over Brice Leverdez at the same stage two years ago but unlike in Kazan he did it in two games instead of three. His 21-18 21-11 win over the French sixth seed also avenged his defeat in the European Team Championship Final in Kazan in February.

Victory ensured Jorgensen drew level with former team-mate Kenneth Jonassen’s haul of five consecutive European medals. “Don’t worry I’ll get another one next time,” he predicted although he added that it seemed strange to see another former team-mate and three-time European champion Peter Gade on the other side of the net as French coach.

“Don’t get me wrong, Peter’s a good friend. He texted me after Brice beat me in Kazan. But it’s weird, I’m not going to say it isn’t. But he’s made a big difference to France in a short time so that’s good for badminton.”

Of the match he said: “Brice gave it all he had at the beginning and I just had to keep it steady.”

Jorgensen faces another rematch in the semi-finals as 2014 runner-up Rajiv Ouseph won the match of the day for both quality and entertainment when he came through a close encounter against Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in the battle of the fourth and fifth seeds.

England’s Ouseph won 19-21 21-12 21-19 after trailing 19-17 in the third and after the 58-minute high-quality contest he said: “Another medal (his third).  I am very pleased with that. It’s always tough when I play him. I had to hold my nerve at the end and I am just happy to have won that one.”

In the mixed doubles Denmark’s second seeds Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen were too strong for German fifth seeds Michael Fuchs and Birgit Michels, winning 21-15 21-15 while Spain’s title-holder and double world champion Carolina Marin eased past unseeded Finland hope Nanna Vainio 21-11 21-7 moments before Madsen’s celebrations.

France, who have attracted big home support for their well-run Championship debut, saw their other two hopes bow out by early evening.

First Bastian Kersaudy and Lea Palermo went out to Dutch third seeds Jacco Arends and Selena Piek 21-17 22-20. Even a raucous roar when Kersaudy got the pair back to 20-20 in the second could not lift them to turn round the match. On the next point there were groans as he netted a return and the Dutch then took the contest on their second match point.



Are Arends and Piek the pair to stop Denmark bidding for a possible clean sweep of titles as they take on Fischer and Pedersen tomorrow? The Danes are the only nation to have done it. That was back in 1996 in Herning, the Danish city which will host next year’s European Championships.

After the first French pair’s exit it was left to the bearded duo of Ronan Labar and Baptiste Careme, the eighth seeds, to keep home hopes alive but it was not to be as Denmark’s fourth seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup toppled them 21-8 21-8.

The Dutch ensure themselves a second bronze at least when unseeded Samantha Baarning and Iris Tabeling  (pictured above) defeated Germany’s fourth seeds Carla Nelte and Johanna Goliszewski, who was in tears after their 17-21 22-20 21-19 defeat after the Germans had held two match points at 20-18 in the second and led 18-15 and 19-18 in the decider.

There was another shock when Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva, the third seeds who were bidding to be the first sisters to win a title, fell to unseeded Danes  Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen (pictured above top) 21-14 14-21 21-18. So two medals for Thygesen this weekend.

Suddenly it really was turning into the day of the underdog. And as we say in England, every dog his its day!

Tomorrow’s semi-final action starts at 11am.

For all results from day 4 of the European Championships click HERE

To watch all the action LIVE and on demand from courts 1 & 2 click HERE
 
For a full photo gallery from day 4 at #EC16 click HERE
 
Article by William Kings. Photos Mark Phelan (LIVE)

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