Lane Vendy silver 1200

Ben Lane and Sean Vendy earned men’s doubles silver at the European Games after running top seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen close in a thrilling final in Krakow.

The Danish pair claimed the opener 21-15 but Lane and Vendy roared back in the second, opening up an early lead and maintaining it throughout, ultimately closing it out 21-19.

Lane and Vendy were looking to keep European Games gold in Britain’s possession, Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge having come out on top in Minsk four years ago, and battled back from an early deficit in the decider to set up a grandstand finish.

The third game was locked at 19-19 but Astrup and Rasmussen won consecutive points to seal a nail-biting contest.

Lane said: “Of course we wanted the gold and we were so close, just parts of the match let us down.

“We probably didn’t really perform to our best but credit to them because they made us do that.

“We stuck in there, showed fighting spirit when we were down in the third game to come all the way back but it’s fine lines losing by two points.”

Vendy added: “We played a really solid game and we didn’t get the gold medal but we’ve got to be proud of ourselves.

“We’re pushing each other to be better every day and hopefully we can just go from strength to strength.”

Earlier in the day, Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith claimed bronze in the mixed doubles and Kirsty Gilmour won a medal of the same colour in the women’s singles.

In a rematch of the mixed doubles semi-final in 2019, Ellis and Smith were beaten 21-18 14-21 21-18 by French pairing Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue.

Ellis Smith 1200

The defending champions Smith and Ellis let a six-point lead slip in the first game as Gicquel and Delrue fought back to take the game 21-18.

The British duo forced a decider as they took an early lead in the second game and never relinquished it, consistently denying their opponents a foothold in the game.

The third game again saw Delcrue and Gicquel fight back, this time from a four-point deficit, to close out the game and the match and deny Smith and Ellis a shot at a second European Games gold.

The British duo still take home a medal, claiming a bronze to add to their silver and three bronzes from previous European Championships as a pairing.

“Right now, we are really disappointed as we played some top-level stuff there,” Smith said.

“There were parts where we played our best and were the best pair on court, they just did it a little bit more consistently.

“At those key moments, they turned the first set around from quite a deficit and played really well at the end of that third, really aggressively and just put us on the back foot.

“Disappointed that we couldn’t respond better, we couldn’t step up and push them back but that is credit to them.”

In the women’s singles semi-finals, Gilmour claimed bronze after losing out to reigning European champion and three-time world champion Carolina Marin of Spain.

Gilmour won silver last time out in Minsk and now adds a bronze medal to her European Games collection as she lost 21-13 21-11 to Marin, who has beaten her in three previous European Championship finals.

Gilmour said: “The quality of badminton right now in women’s singles is so high, so to be on this podium again this year, I’m happy.

“I’ll take a bronze for Team GB any day. If someone had offered me that at the start of this event, I’d have signed on the dotted line there and then.”

Gilmour 1200

“Carolina was near perfect today. I did what I could, but I think she’s on pretty good form after the Asia run.

“I’m happy that I’ve done it of my own accord, I’ve done it in my own way, and I’ve changed some things and I’ve improved some things, and I’m really excited for what’s to come after this.”

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