Ten matches, ten wins, 20 games won and none lost - England’s badminton players could scarcely have hoped for a better start to the European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships.
The women began proceedings with an early tie against Norway in Group 6, with all ties going the way of the English and no match lasting more than 25 minutes.
Their male counterparts had to wait until the final session of the day to get their campaign under way in Kazan, though, but the wait did not seem to hamper them as they triumphed 5-0 over Hungary in Group 2.
Making their international team debuts in Russia this week, Grace King and Abigail Holden settled with aplomb in their singles encounters.
King toppled Emilie Hamang 21-17 21-12 in just 23 minutes before Holden defeated Vera Ellingsen 21-16 21-18 in just two minutes more.
The other women’s results saw Chloe Birch beat Elisa Wiborg 21-10 21-11 while Lauren Smith and Sarah Walker downed Solvar Flaten Jorgensen and Natalie Syvertsen 21-14 21-7.
The second doubles encounter saw another debutant, Jess Pugh, team up with Birch to defeat Emilie Hamang and Anne Klyve 21-7 21-14.
And the debutants got off to a fine start in the men’s event too, with David Jones downing Marton Szerecz 21-17 21-19 in the third singles match.
While Ben Lane and Sean Vendy also got off to a winning start in team competitions with a 21-9 21-16 win over Levente Csiszer and Pal Padar.
The rest of the matches saw experienced heads prevail, with European champion Rajiv Ouseph beating Gergely Krausz 21-17 21-11 and Sam Parsons downing Gergo Pytel 21-13 21-15.
The final match of the day saw Olympic bronze medallists Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge overcome Krausz and Pytel 21-13 21-8.
Excited to be going to Russia tomorrow for European team championships after 3 good days preparing with the team👊🏻🇷🇺 big thank you to @BabolatBad @babolat, @MDGSPORTS and @WycombePerform for all the help and support ☺️ pic.twitter.com/si5LC6u487— Abigail Holden (@abs_holden) February 10, 2018
Congratulations to @DJonesy_ . Flag bearer on behalf of @BadmintonEnglnd at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Euro Team Champs. Also collects his first cap for England in our match against Hungary. pic.twitter.com/dhRj0pR1WO— Anthony Clark OLY (@anthonyianclark) February 13, 2018
Important wins for debutants @abs_holden @jessRpugh & Grace King as England open with a 5-0 win over Norway in Kazan at the #EWTC18— Badminton England (@BadmintonEnglnd) February 13, 2018
It may be -12 in Russia but our women’s team are warming up nicely for greater challenges ahead. pic.twitter.com/CRwyLo52BU
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