England impresses in Kiev | Badminton England
The 2021 European Championships will certainly be remembered for a long time.
Not only were the final day medals delivered via drones, there were only three finals instead of five after two stars tested positive for the coronavirus.
It was a successful week for our English contingent, with three medals going home on the plane with the team.
On the Kiev court, seeded Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith faced stiff opposition against Russia’s sixth seed Rodion Amilov and Alina Davletova. Our English duo fought hard after a good start, before narrowly losing first place. The match ended 21-11 16-21 15-21.
Smith bounced back and returned to court to team up with Chloe Birch in the women’s doubles final where they faced the number one Bulgarian sisters Stoeva.
They were the top seeds who won 21-14 21-19 in such a close game.
We also won a bronze medal thanks to Ellis and Chris Langridge in the men’s doubles event.
They missed Russia’s third seed Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov, 21-15, 21-10 on Saturday.
Ellis said: “Overall I’m happy with a good work week; disappointed not to have won gold. However, after a very difficult preparation, we must be very happy with what we have achieved.
Smith added, “There are a lot of positives to take from last week.
“Our performances in women’s doubles showed above all a rise in level, where we gained some key points of Olympic qualification.
“I’m disappointed that I couldn’t win any of the finals, but I feel sharper and more at home with each tournament and motivated to push again as we get closer to Tokyo.”
There was also an English interest in the men’s singles, with Alex Lane falling to French seventh seed Toma Junior Popov, 21-9, 21-13.
Freya Redfearn also put in impressive performances reaching the last 16 games where she lost to German third seed Yvonne Li, 21-19, 21-8.
On the day of the quarter-finals we had a lot of interest in the men’s doubles as Matt Clare and Max Flynn put in a strong performance against future champions Ivanov and Sozonov.
They fell 21-11, 21-13 in a 30-minute duel, but will take a lot of the positives from the week in Ukraine.
Fourth seeded Ben Lane and Sean Vendy had a longer encounter against German duo Mark Lamsfuss and Marvin Seidel, just ahead of 21-15, 17-21, 21-19 in just over an hour.
The team will now resume training ahead of their final two Olympic qualifying events in Malaysia and Singapore later this month.