Posted on 27th June 2023
By Badminton England
Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith made a victorious start to the defence of their European Games crown on a successful opening day of action in Krakow.
The pair needed just 24 minutes to overcome Slovenia’s Miha Ivancic and Petra Polanc in their Group D opener, comfortably taking the opening game 21-8.
They followed up with a 21-13 success in the second to set them up strongly for what is, on paper, their toughest group match against German fourth seeds Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Lohau on Tuesday.
Ben Lane and Sean Vendy were in similarly clinical form against Azerbaijan’s Ade Resky Dwicahyo and Azmy Qowimuramadhoni as the men’s doubles competition got underway.
The British pair, seeded second, delivered an early statement of intent with a 21-8, 21-10 victory and will play Ireland’s Joshua Magee and Paul Reynolds in their next Group B clash on Tuesday.
It was also a successful opener for Alexander Dunn and Adam Hall, who got past Czech duo Ondrej Kral and Adam Mendrek 21-7 21-14 in their first game in Group D of the men’s doubles.
They take on French pairing Christo and Toma Junior Popov before facing home favourites Milosz Bochat and Robert Cybulski.
Kirsty Gilmour, seeded fifth in the women’s singles, began her Group E campaign with a straight games win against Eleni Christodoulou of Cyprus.
Gilmour reeled off eight consecutive points on her way to winning the opener 21-11 and closed out the second game 21-9 to start on a high.
The Scot will take on Netherlands’ Jaymie Laurens in her second match on Tuesday.
Julie MacPherson and Ciara Torrance got their Games off to the perfect start in the women’s doubles too with a hard-fought 21-17 21-17 victory over Ukraine’s Mariia Stoliarenko and Yelyzaveta Zharka.
The sixth seeds now face second seeds Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen before they take on Judith Mair and Martina Corsini of Italy.
However, it was defeat for Johnnie Torjussen, who lost 22-24 22-20 21-16 to Netherlands’ Mark Caljouw in a thriller in Group D.
Torjussen faces Ireland’s fourth seed Nhat Nguyen and Slovakian Milan Dratva in his final two group matches.