Vantaa: Despite the fears of new variants of coronavirus have been driving new lockdowns and new mask rules in Europe, that didn’t deter the charged-up Denmark to defend their European Mixed Team Badminton Championships with a 3-0 victory against France in Vantaa, Finland on Saturday.
Denmark has won a total of 18th titles since the biennial event started in 1972.
Denmark’s World No. 2 Viktor Axelsen started the men’s singles match against World No. 71 Christo Popov of France, and needed only 39 minutes to win 21-16, 21-12, giving Denmark a 1-0 lead.
“I think that I had the upper hand against Christo. He committed some easy mistakes, and I was relaxing a little bit because I was in the lead,” said Axelsen.
“Axelsen has very strong smashes, he played very good lift and defense. It’s hard to score against him,” said Popov.
The World No. 39 Qi Xuefei of France gave Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt a good fight before conceding 18-21, 19-21 in a match that lasted 49 minutes. Denmark was edging closer to victory after the victory from Blichfeldt in the women’s singles event.
In the men’s doubles match, Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark were barely troubled as the World No. 15 easily saw off scratch pair Ronan Labar/Julien Maio 21-12, 21-14 to seal the victory for Denmark.
Astrup/Rasmussen were no strangers to Labar/Maio, they have met in the final of the 2016 European Men’s Team Championships, and the Danes also delivered the winning point for their country by outlasting the French players 21-10, 21-5 five years ago.
Meanwhile, Russia and Germany took home the bronze medals.