Badminton Life

Europeans Falter at the Uber Cup

One of the aspects that players have to contend with playing events all around the world is the inevitable strain that travelling and foreign climates can place on a body.

With sports science playing a major role in preparation and many of the top names having time to acclimatise before events, this should be less important but remains a major factor in many major sporting events. This may be seen as one of the reasons why the European teams competing in the Uber Cup have failed to make much of an impact. There is also the fact that the Asian badminton teams are extremely skilled and talented to consider though.

In the female event, hopes were high for the German, Danish and Dutch nations but the semi-final stage was the furthest that Europe's females managed to get to. This was achieved by the German females where they were defeated by Indonesia, the host nation. With the majority of the crowd urging on a home nation victory it was perhaps no surprise that the German girls wilted but they should be proud of their overall showing.

One of Europe's other hopefuls, Denmark, were defeated in the quarter finals so at least the German team can take some pride in being the top team in Europe. The opening match of the all European quarter final was a nervous and close affair with Tine Rasmussen holding her nerve to clinch a 21-19 triumph. This seemed to settle German nerves and the team went on to record a convincing 3-0 victory over Denmark.

Denmark had gotten off to a strong start in the event with an impressive showing against Korea but ultimately their hopes came to nothing. The Dutch team also earned a lot of praise for their performance and with a bit of luck they may have achieved one of the biggest upsets of the tournament.

The Holland badminton team gave the Chinese squad a tough test with the European players performing brilliantly in the singles matches. Yao Jie and Rachel van Cutsen both won their singles matches and Judith Meulendijks came so close to clinching the third singles game which would have sealed the tie for the Dutch team.

Her opponent Lu Lan overcame being a match point down and managed to win 22-20 and this result spurred the Chinese team back to life. With victory in the two doubles matches, China were relieved to clinch a 3-2 victory and the Dutch players could only look back on what might have been. There is no doubt that the Dutch players will take immense pride from pushing so hard against a top team like China but it is all about results.

So with Indonesia handing out a 3-1 defeat to the German team in the semi-final match, all European hopes and dreams were extinguished and the stage was set for a final between China and Indonesia. With the Olympics taking part in China, the Uber Cup will have served as a good warm-up for the European girls who will be looking to take part in this summer's major tournament.

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