Fairy-tale continues for Flying Finns
Date: 2/15/2014 10:52 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

The action at the 2014 European Men’s and Women’s tTam Championships kicked up a gear today as we entered the quarterfinal stages in both the men’s and women’s events. Team Finland once again found themselves grabbing the headlines not just by beating near neighbours Sweden but more in the manner of the victory.

Finland, led by birthday boy Ville Lang, have been riding the crest of a wave ever since day one of the tournament when they defeated Russia which proved pivotal in the group. Today the Finns displayed that performance was no flash in the pan in an emphatic 3-0 singles defeat of the Swedes to claim a minimum of bronze and the first ever medal for Finland in the men’s team championship.

Ville Lang got the show on the road in a repeat of the Swedish master’s final from only three weeks ago against Henri Hurskainen. The Swedish number 1 was left feeding off scraps as Lang produced badminton from his top drawer and the match was over as soon as it began 21-13 21-10.

The animated Eetu Heino followed suit and delivered the second point to Finland again in two games this time against Gabriel Ulldahl citing his tactic against the Swede as the major deciding factor in the match.
“I had to keep him away from the net and play some rallies which proved successful.”

2-0 up and the Finns were in control of the tie. Both Lang and Heino always had chances to win given their performances this week but there were not many who gave Anton Kaisti (main picture) a chance against third singles from Sweden Mathias Borg. Enter the unlikeliest of heroes to give the performance of his life in the biggest match of his life. Kaisti remained calm throughout the match to deliver the third and vital point to Finland and all after losing the opening game to his more experienced opponent.

“I cannot believe I won that match. It really is impossible to think we have won a medal at these championships” said the delighted Finn immediately after his victory.

The Finns now play Denmark in the semi-final after the Danish top seeds proved too hot for a spluttering Russia team.

England’s men taken the distance by France

Team England had a 50/50 success rate on quarter finals day as the women went down in three matches to Germany while their men were made fight tooth and nail to secure a 3-2 win over France.

Rajiv Ouseph played a controlled match against Brice Leverdez at first singles to maintain his 100% tournament record and England had to call on other experienced team members Peter Mills, Chris Langridge, Chris Adcock and Andy Ellis to get England across the line in both doubles. The world number 12 pair were pushed to three games in the deciding game against crack French pair Careme & Corvee with Ellis explaining they were just happy to get over the line and into the semi-finals and tomorrow is another day.

“It certainly was not a vintage England performance today. Chris and I did not play well in the final doubles either but we have to be happy with the victory and a guaranteed medal in the semi-finals”.

Danes see off spirited Spanish to book dream semi-final against Bulgaria

Sandra Maria Jensen’s victory at second singles over one of Europe’s most consistent performers, Beatriz Corrales of Spain, proved the shot in the arm the Danish girls needed after losing the opening singles at the hands of Carolina Marin. Jensen simply had to win to keep Denmark’s semi-final hope alive and she did just that to the delight of her team mates.

In a singles match that had everything from intensity to drama with a mix of controversy, Jensen maintained her cool to take the deciding game 24-22 after fending off a fight back from Corrales who trailed 18-10 mid game.
“I was very nervous today which showed in the first game but I am pleased with the way I fought hard even when Beatriz was coming back at me in the deciding set”

“I knew how important it was for me to win knowing if I didn’t we would go 2-0 down with Marin & Corrales to come in doubles so I am so happy I did it for my team and I look forward now to a bigger match tomorrow against Bulgaria."

For all Result from today’s play in Basel CLICK HERE
For photo gallery from Basel follow Badminton Europe on Facebook by clicking HERE

Semi Final line ups as follows:

1.00pm EMTC England V Germany
3.00pm EMTC Denmark V Finland
3.00pm EWTC Russia V Germany
5.00pm EWTC Denmark V Bulgaria

Article by Mark Phelan (Live in Basel)

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