European Games 2023 Reflection: Adam Hall

By RJ Mitchell

ADAM HALL has revealed there is no danger of a look back in anger when it comes to the Men’s Doubles bronze he won at last week’s European Games.

Adam and Alex Dunn came up just short (13-21, 21-16, 10-21) against favourites and top seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Rasmussen after a tough three-set semi-final encounter with the Danes – who went on to win the title.

Reflecting on a second major medal moment for his partnership with Alex Dunn, Adam rightly savoured the success and has highlighted the positives from a fine tournament which will serve as a springboard for August’s World Championships in Copenhagen.

The European Games Bronze medallist said: “Obviously we came for gold but to go home with a nice bronze medal is very satisfying and I’m not going to be looking back in 30 years and saying that was terrible it was only a bronze.

“Sure, there is always a hint of disappointment when you don’t win a tournament but it is the first time we have played for GB and we’ve come away with a bronze medal and that is a big achievement and we’ve got to be pleased with that.

“Kim and Anders (World No. 15) are a good pair and stepped up a gear at the right times on the day.

“Also we played them in November last year and they hammered us 6 and 10 in twenty minutes, they are the highest ranked at the European Games and were big favourites and they have then gone on to win it.

“But we did give them a scare and we are just a little disappointed we didn’t continue the momentum into the third set as we built great momentum up in winning the second (21-16) set and if we could just have kept them under pressure at the beginning of the third (10-21) it would have been interesting.

“Plus there were a few style changes we could have implemented to make the game more manageable for us, as they do certain things very well and we found a good solution to that in the second and although we kept that going in the third, we made the wrong selection at the end of the rallies.

“So there is a style change we can make to be more effective against them and we will be looking at that in more detail now we are home.”

Looking back over the games in Krakow as a whole, Adam has no doubt about the positives he and Alex have taken from a campaign which saw them win their opening two Group D match against Mendrek/Kral and French pairing Popov/Popov (who also made the semi-finals and won bronze). In the pool’s closing encounter, Adam and Alex suffered defeat at the hands of Polish pair Bochat and Cybulski.

Adam said: “I think the best performance from us was a toss-up between the quarter-final against the Swedes (q-f beat Hansson & Bexell 21-11, 21-12) and the second match in the group stage against the Popovs (21-13, 21-16).

“Both matches were potentially very tough, the Popovs are a good pair and they got the other bronze medal and if we had lost that one the group stages were going to be very tricky to negotiate but we produced a very commanding performance when we needed it and didn’t give them a chance.

“It was the same against Hansson and Bexell, the Swedish boys had the potential to be a really awkward pair, but we imposed our style on them really effectively and we blew them off the court a bit which was very satisfying.”

When it came to his debut representing a GB Team, Adam admits it was a great experience: “It was interesting as obviously we have had lot of experience with Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games so it is a slightly different vibe with Team GB and although the European Games is a big event it is not on the same scale as the Commonwealth Games.

“But it was very enjoyable meeting new people and we were treated really well and as a whole badminton team it went well, as obviously it is a bit different mashing together English and Scots and different coaching staff but we all got on fine.

“The whole team and support were just fantastic in fact and I couldn’t fault it, really it was a great experience.”

Next up is a training block for Adam and Alex as the build up to the World Championships begins in earnest shortly and the Scottish men’s doubles champion said: “So, we will be going into the next six weeks with a lot of motivation and energy to fix these little cracks we still have in our game.

“Now it’s a bit of a training block building so we will relax, chill, and take stock and then start the build up to that.

“The difference for me and Alex between the Europeans last year and these European Games is massive as although this week has been successful it has also highlighted those areas we need to make improvements in.

“Like I say that is now the priority.”