Kyiv: The Rio Olympic women’s singles gold medalist, Carolina Marin of Spain has established herself into a league of her own that was way above the rest in Europe, by winning an unprecedented fifth consecutive women’s singles title at the 2021 European Championships on Sunday, beating Line Christophersen of Denmark 21 – 13, 21 – 18 in the final.
“I just did what my coach and I discussed, I hope I can get better in the future,” said Christophersen after the match.
Despite witnessing the amazing achievement created by Marin, the European Championships finals were rocked by two COVID-19 positive cases.
First and foremost, few hours after winning the men’s singles semifinals, the men’s singles top seed Viktor Axelson posted a message on his Facebook, saying he was tested for COVID-19 positive.
Sure enough, due to the COVID-19 protocol put in place by Badminton Europe, he has to withdraw from the final where he was scheduled to face compatriot Anders Antonsen.
According to Badminton Europe, German doubles player Mark Lamsfuss was also tested positive for COVID-19. Both Axelson and Lamsfuss were being isolated in their rooms at the official hotel in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Lamsfuss men’s doubles partner, Marvin Seidel, and his mixed doubles partner, Isabel Herttrich had to be isolated as well due to being close contacts.
Due to the COVID-19 incident, Lamsfuss and Seidel had to withdraw from the final, which allowed the 2014 European champions Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov of Russia to win the European title without breaking a sweat.
In the longest match of the finals, No. 6 seeds Rodion Alimov/Alina Davletova of Russia created the biggest upset of the day by beating No. 1 seeds Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith of England 11-21, 21-16, 21-15 in 65 minutes.
Meanwhile, Gabriela Stoeva/Stefani Stoeva of Bulgaria won their second consecutive women’s doubles title at the Europeans, beating English pair Chloe Birch/Lauren Smith, 21-14, 21-19.
“It’s amazing! We are really happy about it and we want to share this with our family and our coach,” said the Stoeva sisters.