Kazan: Defending champions Denmark defeated England 3-1 to claim the European men’s team championship badminton title on Sunday in Kazan, Russia.
Six-time European men’s team championships winners Denmark got off to a good start in the first men’s singles match when World No. 17 Anders Antonsen had to dig deep to give Denmark a 1-0 lead by defeating World No. 22 Rajiv Ouseph of England 12-21, 21-15, 21-19 in the European team championships final tie.
World No. 6 Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding put Denmark on course for winning their seventh European team title by defeating England’s Rio Olympic men’s doubles bronze medalists Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge 21-18, 21-13 to give Denmark a commanding 2-0 lead.
“We obviously played to win the silver medal, because last time we won the bronze. It’s always disappointing to lose, but we have to give full credit to Denmark, because they are the best in the world,” said Chris Langridge after the tie.
England’s World No. 78 men’s singles player Sam Parsons – coming off arguably the most important match of his career to date – looked confident and untroubled throughout when he clawed back from 5-11 down in the first set to clinch the game against World No. 42 Emil Holst of Denmark 21-16. Parsons continued to show fierce resistance against the higher ranked Holst in which he remarkably outlasted the Dane player 21-10 to keep England in contention.
“I went into that match with a lot of pressure, and I didn’t think of winning, and I didn’t expect to beat Emil Holst,” said Parsons.
England must win two of their remaining matches to upset Denmark. And Peter Briggs/Sean Vendy almost sent the final tie down to the wire as they won the first set against Kim Astrup/Mathias Christiansen of Denmark 21-19 in the second men’s doubles match. Briggs/Vendy were able to push Astrup/Christiansen to the limit before losing the second set 27-29. The tough second set win was a timely morale booster for the Denmark pair as they seized complete control over the England pair in the decider to help Denmark win their seventh European men’s team championships by beating Briggs/Vendy 21-12 in the decider.
Meanwhile, Denmark’s women’s team remained unbeaten as it retained the Badminton European Team Championship title after trashing Germany 3-1 in the final.