Sweden fight back against the odds
Date: 2/13/2013 8:02 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler
Team Sweden provided all the drama on the second day of the European mixed team championships as they defied the odds to fight back against a fancied Ukrainian team. The victory was all the more remarkable given the Swedes lost Henri Hurskainen through injury in the third set of his encounter with Dmytro Zavadsky when already a point down after losing the opening mixed doubles.

Team Sweden never really looked like group contenders after the opening mixed and when Hurskainen went a set down to Zavadsky the Swedes looked dead and buried. The European silver medallist then started a spirited fight back which drew warm support from his team.

A wrist injury then halted the Swedes comeback and all looked lost but nobody informed Ellinor Widh that the tie was all but lost. The gutsy Swede pulled off an unlikely win in the ladies singles against Maria Ulitina and suddenly the comeback was on and the Swedes had the momentum. Lundqvist and Nordh levelled the match with a dominant display in the men’s doubles before the experienced pair of Wengberg and Lennartsson sealed the win with a victory in the women’s doubles.

“Ellinor Widh was the hero today and she deserves all the applause. We were just happy to get the match to 2-2 and to win was an amazing result but all credit goes to our team mates that went before us” said Wengberg to Badminton Europe.

Group 7 is turning into the tournament group of death as Belgium bounced back from their first day’s disappointment to re-ignite their chances. The wins for Sweden and Belgium now means that any one of three teams can win the group where every point will become critical.

“It was good for us to come out fighting today and play like we did as yesterday was disappointing. With Sweden winning we are back in with a chance” commented Belgian singles expert Lianne Tan

Elsewhere France were made to work hard against Finland in group 6 and the Irish might well fancy themselves in taking the group decider tomorrow after demolishing a valiant Israeli team.

The Netherlands continued on their way with an easy white wash win over a lacklustre Hungary and now set up a group decider against Switzerland after the Swiss were equally convincing in seeing off Luxembourg.

“We knew coming into the tournament that our first two matches would be pretty easy. All is set up now for a group shoot out with Switzerland and it might be a match of two halves. They have very strong ladies but equally our men are very dominant. It will be a tight match” said Selena Piek to Badminton Europe.

In a match with more sentiment that real class the Czech Republic overcame near neighbours Slovakia 5-0 to set up a group decider with Scotland tomorrow.

To re visit and watch all the action from today’s play log on to Badminton Europe TV by clicking HERE.

For all today’s results click HERE

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Article by Mark Phelan (Live in Russia) Photo by Badminton Photo (Live)
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