Photo credit: Thorbjörn Jansson - MD Richard Eidestedt and Nico Ruponen of Sweden
Qualifications: Day 2
Date: 11/12/2016 2:35 PM
Published by : Emma Lollike
Group 1
The second day in Karviná kicked off with the tie between France and Israel. The men´s singles of Lucas Corvée (FRA), WR59 against Misha Zilberman (ISR), WR53 offered an exciting opening match, and saw Zilbermann beating his French opponent in two games giving his team a 1-0 lead.

However, France, the group favourites, managed to take control of the tie soon after. Marie Batomene´s win against Yana Molodezki returned the rhythm to her team and from then on, France marched to a convincing 4-1 victory. Despite their loss, the young Israeli team only confirmed their good performance from last week´s Hatzor International and showed a lot of potential in the years to come. 

Later, the Czech Republic faced Luxembourg in the second team match of these two teams. This time, 300 people pushed their local darling, Adam Mendrek through the match against Robert Mann. Soon after, the fans were delighted to see their favourite clinch the first point for the Czech team. The Czechs then continued Mendrek´s victorious wave, leaving very little room for coach Hargiono´s team on court. The Czech Republic eventually managed to win the tie without losing a single set, although exciting games could be seen in men´s, mixed and women´s doubles.  

The 4-1 and 5-0 victories, opens the door for the tie between France and the Czech Republic to become tomorrow´s "final", as the winner of their mutual encounter will be the one qualifying for the main event of the European Mixed Team Championships in Lubin, Poland in February 2017. Israel and Luxembourg will fight for the third place in this qualification group. 

Check out the full results of Group 1 here.

Group 2
In Sofia, the day started with the tie between Faroe Islands and Estonia. Once again, the Faroese players competed as the outsiders and had to battle strongly to give themselves a chance.

Raul Must was back on court against Bartal Poulsen in the men’s single. Even though Poulsen showed some great resistance and skills, especially at the net, Must demonstrated that experience and abilities to play at different paces are winning factors in badminton, and he won the first set: 21-14. In a strange second set with a lot of mistakes from both sides, the Estonian, finally, put an end to the match.

The women’s single did not give the Faroe Islands the opportunity to score their first point as it was won by Getter Saar (Estonia) 21-10, 21-7. With that win, Estonia’s victory was already secured, and the next to wins in men’s double and women’s double only confirmed it even more.

As expected, Estonia won the first tie 5-0 and, tomorrow, they will face their biggest challenge, Bulgaria, to qualify for the final round.

In a warmer atmosphere with local spectators watching their home team, the mixed double opened the tie between Bulgaria and Lithuania.

The Bulgarian team proved their wish to perform well by making its very experienced player Petya Nedelcheva play for the first time in this competition. With her partner of the day, Ivan Rusev, she performed well and won their match against the young pair from Lithuania, Edgaras Slusnys - Vytaute Fomkinaite; 21-8, 21-5.

The points from the single matches went to Bulgaria. First, Philip Shishov didn’t let any chance to his opponent of the day Karolis Eimutaitis, then, as Linda Zetchiri made her debut in the competition and won her single in two sets: 21-13, 21-19.

The two doubles were closing the day, and both points went again to Bulgaria. The men’s double was an opportunity for the Junior player, Daniel Nikolov, who just got back from the World Junior Championships in Bilbao, to join his team. With Rusev, they won in two straight games. Followed by the irreplaceable Stoeva sisters, who won: 21-5, 21-11.

Tomorrow will be a deciding day for the qualification, Estonia and Bulgaria will fight for the qualification, probably in an exciting atmosphere, and Lithuania and Faroe Islands will be playing for the 3rd and 4th position in the group. 

Find the results here.

Group 3
Team Austria cut it fine once again in Dublin winning their second consecutive match 3-2 to set up a group decider against Ireland. The Austrians, who beat Hungary yesterday 3-2 had to call on the experience of Baldauf and Zirnwald to get them over the line against the Norwegians. 

An under the weather Luka Wraber slipped up against Marius Myhre to let the Norwegians back into the match after Zirwald and Baldauf won the opening mixed doubles. Baldauf maintained her 100% record this weekend taking the women’s singles before Stipsits and Zirnwald made sure of the win taking the men’s doubles, but not without a fight against Norwegian duo Christensen and Rikheim. 

There was a consolation win for Norway thanks to women’s doubles pair of Jorgensen and Syvertsen who took the final women’s doubles and Austria will count themselves lucky to have two wins under their belt. 

Two defeats for Norway will mean they now battle it out against Hungary to avoid the wooden spoon as Ireland continued on their merry way with a convincing 4-1 win over the Hungarians. Once again it was Irelands strength across all 5 disciplines that set them apart however there was some consolation for the Hungarians winning the final women’s doubles as the Irish dropped their first point of the weekend. 

Austria and Ireland will now battle it out for the right to go to the finals in Poland early next year with Ireland slight favourites to see off the Austrian challenge tomorrow. 

For all results from Group 3 in Dublin click here.

Group 4
 Latvia and Switzerland were both ready for battle at 12pm in Medvode. Switzerland seemed to be well rested after last night’s victory, winning the opening mixed doubles match 21-12, 21-6. Playing with a different team composition today, Latvia tried their best to challenge the Swiss, but it was only possible for them to steal the first game of the women’s doubles. Joel König and Sabrina Jaquet both delivered what was expected from them in the singles, securing the second win for the team.

“We came here to Slovenia with the goal to win the group. The first two steps are done, with both wins yesterday and today and we are hoping to take our chance by beating Scotland tomorrow. We are of course underdogs against them but we know that we have the qualities in our team to do well and to maybe create an upset”, said Sabrina Jaquet after her women’s singles victory. 

Winning both their double matches, Switzerland improved their result from yesterday to the best possible, and won the tie 5-0. Now they are only one step away from reaching the qualifying spot. Their final battle against Scotland will begin tomorrow at 10am. 

Team Scotland finished with another 5-0 win over Slovenia, to ensure their place in the “group final” tomorrow. Stepping on court for the first time during the qualifications, Kieran Merrilees didn’t need much time to pick up the rhythm of the second tie. Starting his men’s singles with two straight games, the Scot set a good example for his teammates to follow. After Newall’s win in women’s singles, world ranked 54 Campbell/ Machugh stormed away with a 21-16, 21-10 victory to sadden the home crowd. After a 45-minute fight in women’s doubles and a fairly easy win from Hall/Macpherson in mixed, Scotland finished the day standing on the top of the group without losing a match. 

Day 2 of Group 4 ended with no surprises, the last day will start with a deciding final game between Scotland and Switzerland at 10am. Slovenia and Latvia will play for the 3rd place at 3pm local time.  

The results of Group 4 can be found here.

Livescore of the matches can be followed online here.

Group 5
The Portuguese coach, Antonio George Lopez, knew before coming to Uppsala, that his team was going to have some challenging matches ahead. Never the less, the goal was to win: “We know our worth [compared to the other teams], but I am confident in the players”, he explained. 

And Duarte Anjo showed great elements against Henri Hurskainen in the men’s single of the tie between Portugal and Sweden. Showing impressive technique and fighting spirit, Anjo did his best, but it was not enough to defeat the experienced Swede.

Elin Svensson found herself in trouble yet again, after losing the first set 19-21 to Sónia Goncalves. The Portuguese women’s single was in the lead for the most of the second set, but did not manage to close it. And the match was brought to a thrilling decider. The players battled intensely, and had an even score throughout the set. But at 15-15; Svensson, with her explosive game, did what she did the day before – and brought the spectators out of their misery. 

Eidestedt and Ruponen struggled in the first set against Atilano and Nero, but nevertheless, came out on top with the winning score: 21-19, 21-9 in the men’s double. 

And to finish the tie off, Emma Wengberg and Clara Nistad played like the European circuit no 3 ranked-women’s double that they are, and along with a victory in mixed double as well, the Swedish team won the tie against Portugal – 5-0.

It was once again in the women’s single that the most exciting match was to be found, in the next tie between Finland and Slovakia. Martina Repiska of Slovakia was hungry for a victory after her defeat yesterday against Sweden. But Finland brought out their big gun for the occasion, Nanna Vainio, who took the court for the first time in this qualification. Repiska got the best start and took the first set by 21-14. Which only lightened a fire in Vainio, who fought her way back to take the match in three sets.

In the men’s double that followed, Slovakia’s Dratva and Hlinican walked on court ‘smelling blood’. High level from both sides of the net made the match incredibly action-packed. Unfortunately for Slovakia, Aarnio and Heino won the match with the score 26-24, 21-19. Once again, Slovakia was close to getting their first match in the qualification, but it was not to be in this tie. 

Finland got a painless victory and can now prepare for the deciding tie against Sweden tomorrow. Only the winner will qualify for the final stage.

The two ties in Uppsala both begin at 2pm local time. Results can be found here.

Keep track of the action with live stream and live score.

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