EU Men and Women Team Championships '14

Overlooking the Badminton Men And Women Team Championships 2014, one conclusion can be that the Danish teams have won them. The men's team did in spite of the absence of their strongest player Joergensen. The women's team did in spite of not being the team with the strongest players in the championships. To in particularly the latter team's win was due the high motivation of the players and coaches. Maybe that has to do with the promotion by the Danes of their women players who stayed back compared to their men players.

An other conclusion is that the Danes stay at the world top. They showed again their intentions, their advanced way to top badminton and their attitude.

The control of the matches by umpires need improvement. They should be better prepared to their task on such a championships. It appeared again that emotions can rise high by some players, coaches and teams. Of the Danish women's team, its players and coaches looked for the limits an beyond of the permissible regarding regulations. That provided partly the victory. That, and the absence of a clear match direction.

The merits of these championships are:
an oversight of the state of the art of the European badminton,
getting sight of the rising question which way the development of the game should go in Europe. The ways can be different, depending on the visions on didactics, cultures of coutries, and visions on sports and badminton,
getting sight over the leadership of today's matches,
getting sight on today's behaviour of players who more often are trying to find out how far they can go.

So, it was an interesting championships. But with scarcely such matches, due to the interests of players and difference strength.

Semi finals women, Bulgaria against Denmark, Saturday, 15 february.
Nedelcheva begins against Kjaersfeldt in a quiet manner. She has fine strokes and a good insight where to hit to. She plays her own style and shows her personality in it. But she seems not very interested in winning and makes many mistakes into the net and out. Kjaersfeldt is concentrated and shows the determination and tenacity of the whole Danish team. Faults from her side are some through skills. Only at the end of the third set she shows a little of the dramatic behaviour that the Danish team characterizes. Remarkable is the aggressive reaction of the Danish coach on the hesitiation by the linejudge at the end. It says enough about the fashion in which the women team came along. Kjaersfeldt wins, 21-6, 25-23.

Zecheri starts easy going against Jensen. She is the favorit, but by hitting much out and in the net she loses of Jensen, who plays again determined. Zecheri goes in with the rousing behaviour of Jensen. But all to dramatic cannot she make it, the umpire reacts with a warning on the first dramatic arm waving. But the whole match through, the normally clearly stronger Zechiri makes by her mistakes Jensen the winner.

The Denmark team shows to be determined to strive to the utmost possible. Strong team building looks like the means fot that. The way to reach far is attentive, determined, enforcing badminton.
Other teams look like not prepared to that. But the question is also if other teams see this whole tournament as being an important contest, or merely as a testcase for younger players and to see where they stand amidst the Eorpean badminton. The strongest players of the teams have their own concerns, like the German Open next week, and seem to follow an own track.

In the evening the badminton teams of Denmark versus Spain, again via BadmintonEuropTV, Friday 14 february.
Jensen plays Corrales in the second badminton match. Marin had won from Kjaersfeld.
Corrales starts very determined with a fast game. She plays with long fast jumps to the shuttle. Jensen begins with saving time. Regularly with high strokes to the backline, unregularly with walking around. After 11, she takes a different attitude, determined, fast with smashes, and only high long strokes when losing control in her own rear court. But Jensen moves to the shuttle with long jumps instead running, causing less control over her strokes and court, and she loses this set, 12-21.
At the second set starts Corrales her badminton confidently with a fast game, with technically and confident strokes with sharp smashes. Corrales shows a fast play, and deals easily with the distances at her court with quick and easy footwork. Now and again she plays service-faults. Her tempo is beyond Jensen's strength.
Jensen isn't able to play the pace she wants. She enrolls then a play which seems to be typically for some Danish players. Protesting against decisions, saving time, arguing with the umpire, dramatic play after a linejudge's decision, and so on. The umpire just warns again and again and even shouts at her some times. Jensen seeks just the borders of her behaviour and the tolerance of the umpire. Corrales doesn't keep her calmness. She loses probably this game through Jensen's influencing the game in this way, or maybe better, by this inadequately responding by the umpire, 17-21.
The third set the drama continues. Corrales, wishing to play fast this set to an end, grasps the shuttle under the net from the other side, and a second time of this, both players happen to clinch their rackets in a fight for the shuttle. Jensen goes on saving time, intimidating Corrales with shouting at her and arm stretching, and challenging the umpire. Corrales tries to find herself again after her loss of temper, and she does, catching up a great disadvantage, from 10-18 to 20-20. But she finds not the power anymore to win the prolongation, and she loses, 22-24. Jensen gets eventually after all a yellow card during these last points.

Madsen has a slow and heavy start against Azurmende. Azurmende begins well motivated, thus she takes a lead with nice strokes, well placed, and wins the first set. Madsen begins the second set starting to get in her own faster play with more technical strokes, and wins with 21-18. Both players make a tired impression. Nevertheless, Madsen plays her badminton increasingly better with faster and more appropriate running and nicer strokes, thus being the winner of the third set with 21-5.

Looking at BadmintonEuropTV,
Friday 14 february.
Disappointed of course by "not" broadcasting the badminton match Ukraine against Germany "in your country", in contrary with last days' transmissions.

Thursday 13 februari.
Chapman plays Mikkela in her badminton game in the match of England against Finland.
Mikkela starts motivated to fight for it. Later on in her game she begins to place her strokes more determined, thus more appropriately to the positions of Chapman. Mikkela's attention though isn't directed to the shuttle many times, by which she is surprised once and again by drops and smashes from Chapman. Thereby hits Mikkela from time to time in the net or out and to short into the other side, which doesn't her confidence any good.
Chapman, happy coming back from a period of injuries, also directs her attention not well to the shuttle, letting it go, surprised by strokes of Mikkela. Chapman seems not being able to keep her attention well to the play and strikes many unnecessary faults. Eventually, she plays still confidendently to her win, 21-16, 21-18.

At the badminton women play England against Finland plays Walker against Vainio. A well motivated Vainio bounces over the court, playing with a good oversight, reacting well to the strokes of Walker. Throughout the game is she attentive, but seemingly not quite when hitting the shuttle. She delivers Walker many easy points by just hitting the shuttle out or in the net.
Walker plays technically smoothier and more appropriately to her game. She takes easier her distances across her court by her better oversight. She continues playing confidently and placing the shuttle with ease. She wins, 21-12, 21-17.

At the badminton game of Almer and Borg of Austria against Sweden, both players begin firstly testing each other with a rather relaxed placing and looking at the reactions. At the second game the tall Almer takes a different attitude. An attentive one, with high tempo, with tight drops and half-smashes and tight clears. He shows a constant readiness to move quickly and to cover well his court. It gives him a constant lead.
Borg remains calm, holding oversight and keeping his own play in hands with careful placing to the backline and net.
In the end, when Almer loses slightly attention and tempo, Borg eventually holds yet the game in his hand confidently, and wins, 21-9, 21-18.

Wednesday, 12 februari.
Spain against Germany by the badminton women. Preliminary.
Schnaase in her badminton game fights from the start. Marin comes only slowly in her own power-and-tempo-play. Schnaase seems to be of elastic rubber, strechting and full out jumping to catch uneasy strokes. Marin doesn't come into an inspired game, but she selfconfidently goes on. And she wins, 21-18, 21-17.
The sound of the broadcast was really unearth with growls and squeeks. The image came from a rather low camera position, what caused a loss of oversight over the game and insight in the players' game.

In the first set, Konon plays against Corrales a relaxed and selfconfident game, attentively and technically. She holds a tempo play and places the shuttle well. The second set Corrales begins a fast game. Konon deals well with that pace with good techniques and fluent movements. Corrales seems not really to come in her play and gives it up. Konon wins, 23-21, 21-8. Sometimes the players in the interview after the game give air to their feelings and their personality. Konon did. Nice to know them better.
Too many advertisements, on wrong moments, in the middle of the game, too load.

Michels plays Azurmendi. Michels, being a good doubles player, plays this kind of game slow. Her space of her court seems to be to large for her. She saves time, feels uncomfortable and moves clumsy. Azurmendi isn't able to use it and isn't fully concentrated, thus making many mistakes. In the third set Michels starts fast. She's getting a little grip upon her play and her court and is a bit more able to use her good techniques and movements sometimes. Azurmendi doesn't get grip on her game. Both of them continue to make mistakes. Azurmendi tries with fast drops to the sidelines to play out of Michels reach, in which she succeeds wel sometimes. Michels, being more selfassured, wins, 21-10, 17-21, 21-18.

Tuesday, 11 februari
Preliminary men.
Looking in the morning at the badminton play Denmark against the Czech Republic, expected is that the Danish players are much stronger then the Czech. From the matches I saw, they were.
Looking at the throwing of several 20 seconds advertisements that disturbs the foregoing interview, and listening to the growling sound, I start the badminton championships for myself. The image-quality is good, the shuttle can well be seen, but it is broadcasted just a little to slow, which causes a little shocking, which after a little while don't mind me. Always the matches are broadcasted right from behind the court, which causes a loss of depth and sight on netplay.

Axelsen plays against Froehlich. An easy win for Axelsen. He plays badminton with a high speed with long jump-strides forward and backward. Froehlich brings him in trouble sometimes with well placed drops, when in the right moment. Axelsen makes many mistakes. But his play is sharp in height and to the lines. All his smashes are easy points.
Froelich stays calm. He places well to the sidelines at the backline and net. He doesn't get grip on Axelsen's smashes which are very sharply placed. Froehlich loses his short service sometimes by quick coming in to the net by Axelsen.
In the second set Froehlich goes smoothly across the court with nice running. He tries to play a higher level, more attentive, precisely placing to lines with the height well used, but it's above his strength. It ends with 21-16 and 21-8 for Axelsen, who could play relaxed, but eyed sharp enough.

Holst starts exciting against Bitman. Holst also plays attentive and sharp enough. Without mistakes, going on as strong as he can, with thight play, not lifting high and precise to the lines. But that game doesn't last for long. Bitman seems to give up his match without fighting, maby sparing himself for a next match? Holst wins clearly.

In the afternoon The Netherlands against France.
The Dutch strongest badminton woman, De Visch Eijbergen, isn't present, she's injured. Mahulette has to play against Vignes de Waran. Waran plays clearly faster. Mahulette forces her play and thus making mistakes. Waran is just too fast for Mahulette.
Shouldn't Mahulette play an other tactics? Placing to the backline and net and thereby wel to the sidelines, and not to tight? She would have time then to recover well after a stroke and use her techniques. But she does't. She continues forcing her play and making mistakes.
The second set she takes some time to find herself. But Waran goes on with her fast game. The only way to make a good badminton game of this match seems to go for it immediately and totally. That she does.Then she plunges herself into the game and finds herself playing her own game. And that's nice. Then there is a young woman player with her own personal style and showing without reserve her personality in it. She shows a play with content and talent.
But the fast and conditionally strong Waran wins with her determined play and eventually overclasses her.

Some cultural attitudes are to be seen in this badminton game. Waran playing in the French tradition of well regulated and determined training. Mahulette playing in the Dutch tradition of individuality and relying on own strength.

Then the camera brakes down. Matches were only to see yet with one on waist height from a corner. To difficult to draw conclusions.


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