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Smith and Walker European 2017

Three proves the magic number for England at the Euros

There will be English representation in three semi finals at the European Badminton Championships for the first time in 7 years tomorrow - and came within a whisker of making it four but for a remarkable comeback that saw match points saved by a world number seven pair.

On a quarter final day which saw the England flag fly in five disciplines, it ended with joy in Mixed Doubles, Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles as gold remained high on the radar for five players.

Chris Adcock and Gabby Adcock got English interest off to a winning start, cruising into the final four of the Mixed Doubles with a 32-minute victory over Sweden’s Nico Ruponen and Amanda Hogstrom. 

GB’s top ranked duo are now guaranteed their first individual European medal together as a pair and confidence will be high of reaching the final.

Standing in their way will be France’s Ronan Labar and Audrey Fontaine whom created arguably the day’s biggest upset by defeating Denmark’s third seeded pair of Mathias Christiansen and Sara Thygensen.

Ouseph EurosThe Adcocks win was shortly followed by victory for Rajiv Ouseph. The Men’s Singles second seed overcame the threat of Fabian Roth to set up a head to head with old foe HK Vittinghus for a place in the final. 

Ouseph, who is looking for a fourth individual European medal of his career, defeated tomorrow’s opponent to secure bronze last year and will have his eyes firmly set on replicating his final appearance in 2014 which ended in silver.

There was delight too for English fans in Women's Doubles where Lauren Smith and Sarah Walker excelled in knocking out the third seeded Danish pair of Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen 22-20, 24-22.

Fruergaard and Thygesen had won European bronze last year. This time around, it was an enticing encounter but one that ensured English representation in the Women’s Doubles last four for the first time since 2010.

Smith and Walker, still a relatively new partnership on the international circuit, face Bulgaria’s much fancied Stoeva sisters for a place in the final.

And it could have been so much better as England came within a point of ending a 19 year wait for a quartet of European semi finalists. 

Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis held three match points against reigning European champions Mads Pieler Kolding and Mads Conrad-Petersen but the Danes showed why they have climbed to seventh in the world by saving all three before taking the decider at their first attempt.

It was particularly hard on Langridge and Ellis who once again proved they can match the world’s best pairs shot for shot.

And it was similarly as close in the Women’ Singles draw. Fontaine Chapman impressively upseated second seed Beatrix Corrales yesterday and showed every ounce of that high standard in an entertaining three end defeat to Switzerland’s Sabrina Jaquet.

Saturday’s semi final line will open with Smith and Walker in action from 1pm UK time. 


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