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Qualifications: Day 3
Date: 11/13/2016 12:29 PM
Published by : Emma Lollike
Group 1
All four teams played an exciting performance for the spectators in Karviná, during the final day of matches in Group 1. 

To play for the third place, Israel and Luxembourg went on court first. Winning none of their previous ties both teams wanted to do well in their last matches at the event. An interesting pairing was to be seen on the Israeli side, when Svetlana Zilberman, who has been coaching her team during the whole tournament, went on court in mixed doubles together with her son Misha to win the first point for their teammates. Luxembourg managed to level the score in women´s singles, however, Israel immediately took the lead back thanks to Misha Zilberman. The two-times Olympian managed to win all his three men´s singles matches in Karviná. Luxembourg´s Stefka Hargiono and Myriam Have managed to level the score in women´s doubles. But the men´s doubles decided that it would be Israel going home as the third best team. 

The Czech Republic were once again welcomed by a packed venue, when entering the final battle against the favourites from France. The mixed doubles and men´s singles were played in a high pace, but the Czechs never managed to win the much-desired points in any of those matches. Not only was now France leading 2:0 on court, but also fighting bravely in the auditorium. However, outnumbered by the incoming spectators, the French team´s encouraging shouts and songs addressed to their fellow countrymen were never to be overheard. A hope for the Czechs arose when Kristina Gavnholt beat Marie Batomene in a two-set women´s singles. The following men´s doubles between France´s Bastian Kersaudy – Julien Maio and Czech´s Jakub Bitman – Pavel Drančák proved to be the decisive match of the tournament. The Czechs used all their skill to defy their opponents´ offensive power, but the French pair eventually found their rhythm and brought the match, and thus also the whole tie to a victorious end. The women´s doubles only adj
usted the score to a final 4:1. 

Becoming the winners of Group 1, France have qualified for the main event of the European Mixed Team Championships, which is to be held in Lubin, Poland in February 2017. 

Check out the full results of Group 1, or have a look at the photos on our facebook. 

Group 2
The mixed double gave a good opposition between two pairs composed of different players for both teams since the beginning of this qualification group. 

After quite a close start, the Lithuanians seemed to feel more in control of the game with a 11-4 lead in the second set. The match was finally concluded: 21-17, 21-15.

The men’s single opposed Poulsen to Slusnys; after a good start from the Faroese, Slusnys fought more and waited for his opponent’s mistakes, concluding in two sets. 

In an uneven women’s single match, Lithuania was sure to win the tie when its player Stapusaityte gave the 3rd and winning point in two straight games. 

As a symbol of fighting spirit, Benjamin Gunnarstein and Niclas Højgaard Eysturoy took the first point to Faroe Islands in this tie. A well-deserved win for the two Faroese boys who have battled strongly during the three days and despite very good matches, haven’t won any of the matches until today.  Match won: 20-22, 23-21, 21-7.

The Djurhuus Carlsson-sisters could not bring the second point to their team as the Estonian women double won the last match of the tie; 21-15, 21-15.

Lithuania finished 3rd in the group while Faroe Islands is taking the 4th position. 

The deciding game of the group started with an interesting mixed double where the Estonians took the first set upon the same Bulgarian pair that played yesterday, Nedelcheva-Rusev. Fewer mistakes this time and more offense play turned into a 21-14 lead. Second set was closer and made the Bulgarian coach very nervous in his chair, but the Estonians showed better abilities on court as a pair – 1-0 Estonia. 

Raul Must made his status respected after a win in two straight games against Shishov. Estonia 2, Bulgaria 0. But Linda Zetchiri didn’t let any chance to Getter Saar and gave Bulgaria its first point. 

In the men’s double, the Bulgarian boys, Rusev and Nikolov, were taking the first set in a crowded and excited hall. Second set was easier than expected and they were putting Bulgaria back in the game.

Last stage of all, women’s double was launched and gave the group a winner. As the Stoeva sisters left for China Open, Petya Nedelcheva and Mariya Mitsova tried to bring their team to victory while Kristin Kuuba and Helina Rüütel played for Estonia. 

In a match with no suspense it was Nedelcheva and Mitsova who brought the winning point to their team in this tie. Bulgaria will be fight for a medal in Lubin in February 2017.

Find the final results here.

Group 3
Team Ireland left it late against Austria to claim their spot at the finals in Lubin having to win the last two matches to get over the line at home in Dublin. Scott Evans proved to be Ireland’s MVP this week winning all his tough singles matches and setting Ireland on the road today with a two-set win over Luka Wraber. 

Elizabeth Baldauf got the first point on the board for Austria beating Chloe Magee in a tight three set women’s singles. The momentum completely shifted in Austria’s favour when Zirnwald & Stipsits beat the Magee brothers Sam and Joshua to leave the home nation needing the final women’s doubles and mixed to repeat their achievement from two years ago. 

An inspired pairing of Rachael Darragh and Sinead Chambers got the women’s doubles pointed the Irish needed and the performance of the day came from Sam and Chloe Magee in the very final mixed doubles taking down Zirnwald and Baldauf 21-8 21-6 to send Ireland to the finals as group 3 winners. 

Team Hungary rounded off their weekend with a huge 4-1 win over Norway to finish 3rd in group 3. Hungary’s top man Gergely Krausz took a big point against Marius Myhre and team Hungary never looked back from that inspiration performance from their top men’s singles player. 

“I enjoyed my match today and it has been a good weekend for us in Dublin. We knew Ireland and Austria were the favourites but I think we showed this week that we are not far off their level and we will work to get better” 

Ireland top the group, Austria finish second with Hungary and Norway finishing third and fourth. 

For the final group table and results from group 3 click here.

Group 4
Team Switzerland was the one to watch during the morning session of Day 3 in Slovenia. The underdogs showed early in the tie that they deserve to earn the qualifying spot. Starting with lots of action in the mixed doubles, Schaller/Burkart secured the first point for the team.

“It was a very important match for us, we didn’t count on it, so now we are really happy about the result. I think we have good chance in both women’s singles and women’s doubles, but every match is open. It is the final day and everyone wants to win, but I hope for a better end for us.”  said Oliver Schaller.

Winning her third women’s singles this weekend, Jaquet took Switzerland one step closer to the final stages, but Scotland called upon their experienced men's singles and doubles players to level the score at 2-2, leaving the tie to be decided by the women’s doubles. 

In a tense and closely fought deciding match, it was Celine Burkart and Sabrina Jaquet who were able to seal victory for the Swiss.

Switzerland is through to the final stage, which will be played from 15-19 February 2017 in Lubin, Poland. 

Slovenia finished the day with a 5-0 win over Latvia on home soil.  

The host team didn’t leave much chance for Latvia to fight for the third place in the group. Winning both singles matches in straight games, the Slovenians quickly advanced to a 2-0 lead. It was up to women’s doubles duo Pope/Radovska to keep the Latvian hopes alive. Unfortunately, the pair were not able to overcome the strong Slovenians, who won the match in 3 games. Having already secured victory, the Slovenian team did not ease up and continued to dominate the remaining matches, to record a comfortable 5-0 win for the host country. 

To see the day 3 results of Group 4 click here.

Group 5
The winner and qualifying team from group 5 was to be found in the tie between the hosts from Sweden and their northern neighbors from Finland. 

The latter of the two teams, coach Teguh Santoso, wanted the team to keep focus in every match: “We know that that Sweden is our biggest competitor, but every match will be tough.” He was right about the first thing, not so much about the second. Both teams have had 5-0 wins the last couple of days, and today the ‘final’ of group 5 was to be.

The mixed double constellations on both teams have been playing well in their previous matches, but in this tie, Sweden walked off court as winners in straight sets.

It was to no surprise that Henri Hurskainen (SWE) finished the qualification off with one more win in the men’s single. Even though the Fin, Eetu Heino, put up a brave fight not much could be done. 

This group will indeed be remembered for the thrilling women’s singles, and the match between Airi Mikkelä(FIN) and Elin Svensson(SWE) was no different. But this time, Elin were not able to strike back in the third set, and Sweden lost its first match in Uppsala: 21-19, 19-21, 20-22.

It was now or never for Finland. The young Finnish duo of Heino(a brother to Eetu) and Aarnio have played some great badminton in the two precious ties, but with a bit more experience and patience, Ruponen and Eidestedt of Sweden could secure the first set with the thrilling score: 22-20. Heino/Aarnio were in the lead quite a few times in the exciting men’s double. In the end, though, the Swedes caught up with them and worked their way to a match point at 20-17. With help from the spectators, Sweden took the match and the lead 3-1. From there the qualification was, more or less, complete for the Swedish team. Emma Wengberg and Clara Nistad’s wonderful women’s double win against Jenny Nyström and Sonja Pekkola that followed, only underlined it clearer. 

The team of Slovakia came to Uppsala with one specific goal; “We want to beat Portugal”. Coach Michal Matejka was very certain of this on the first day. They knew it was going to be difficult against Finland and Sweden, so they had this aim they were keen to achieve in the last tie. And two days of defeat seemed to have fired up the two teams for their final tie. 

Dratva and Palkován(SLO) won the mixed double in three sets, and Bernardo Atilano (POR) won the men’s single.

Martina Repiska had once again a dramatic women’s single and played three sets Helena Pestana before getting her victory, 13-21, 21-15, 21-13.

Alongside young Zuzana Palková, who just got back from the World Junior Championships in Bilbao, they won the women’s double, that was the last match of the tie.

The Slovakian team earned a third place after a 4-1 win. An impressive result since their team only consisted of four players. Last minute injuries, forced the team to give it their best in Uppsala. And with great team spirit, they managed to end the weekend with a positive result.

Find Group 5's final result by clicking here.
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