European Games: Day two round-up

By Badminton England

Team GB’s badminton squad continued their strong start to the European Games group stage with four wins from six matches on the second day of action in Krakow.

Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith enjoyed a statement victory over German fourth seeds Mark Lamsfuss and Isabel Lohau, coming from behind to win 16-21 21-17 21-10 in a three-game epic.

Smith said: “You could see at the end of the game how much that meant to us.

“It’s given us a chance to get a more favourable draw. We knew they were going to be really tough opponents and they were, we had to fight really hard. But we turned it around in that second set and I’m really proud of our performance today.

“Having the whole team environment and being surrounded by the other athletes and being so well looked after really lifts you. I hope that can inspire us to more great performances this week.”

The British pair could seal top spot in Group D with victory over Austria’s Philip Birker and Katharina Hochmeir on Thursday and Ellis is hoping to build on their impressive early displays.

“We came in unseeded but we know if we play our best, we have a good chance against every pair,” he said.

“We want to win [gold], there’s no doubt about it, but there are still a lot of games we have to perform well in before we get close to that opportunity.

“Hopefully, we can come out the group, continue getting better in every match and if we’re still there by the end of the week, we’ll be in with a shout.”

Adam Hall and Alexander Dunn are also confident of a strong showing in Krakow and made it two wins from two with a 21-15 21-16 win over France’s Popov brothers, Christo and Toma Junior.

The Scottish duo face Poland’s Miłosz Bochat and Robert Cybulski in their last group match on Wednesday and have their sights set on continuing their impressive recent form.

Elswehere in the men’s doubles, Ben Lane and Sean Vendy cruised to a 21-15 21-15 victory over Ireland’s Joshua Magee and Paul Reynolds in Group B.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games silver medallist soared to victory and now face Italy’s Giovanni Greco and David Salutt in their final Group game.

“We are playing pretty well just now,” Dunn said. “We had a good four-week tour in Asia which boosted our confidence, we beat Mark [Lamsfuss] and Marvin [Seidel] in Thailand, the current European champs, so we knew we were coming in to form.

“We are in the toughest group by a considerable distance so it’s really nice to get through the first two in two sets.”

Kirsty Gilmour continued her 100 per cent start in the women’s singles with a 21-13 21-9 victory over Netherlands’ Jaymie Laurens

Wiktoria Dabczynska lies in wait for Gilmour’s final group match on Wednesday morning.

In the women’s doubles, Julie MacPherson and Ciara Torrance were beaten 21-10 21-6 by Danish second seeds Maiken Fruergaard and Sara Thygesen.

They will now need to overcome Italy’s Martina Corsini and Judith Mair if they are to make it through to the knockout stages.

Johnnie Torjussen also missed out in the men’s singles to Ireland’s Nhat Nguyen, with a 21-8, 21-16 defeat in his group stage.

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