Badminton Life

No All England Final in Denmark

The All England final hoped for in the Mixed Doubles tournament at the European Championships in Denmark failed to materialize when Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms were defeated in the semi-final but an English team still managed to grab the gold.

Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg avenged the defeat of their team-mates by defeating the Polish duo of Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda and Kostiuczyk. It was no walk in the park and the Polish duo won the first set by 21-16 and the Poles had genuine expectations of winning the trophy

However, Clark and Kellogg bounced back and clinched a thrilling second set by 22-20. The closeness of this set was a true measure of both teams and having come so close but failing to clinch the victory seemed to have a depressing affect on the Polish team as they meekly surrendered in the third set 21-15. Any comeback victory shows strength and fortitude as well as genuine badminton skills and Clark and Kellogg can consider themselves worthy winners.

Victory was sweet for the pair as they had previously suffered defeat in a World Mixed Doubles final in 2006 but there was to be no repeat of that disappointment in Denmark and the duo can be rightly proud of their achievements.

Unfortunately for Donna Kellogg, there was to be no further gold for her as she and Gail Emms lost in the Ladies Doubles to second seeds Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Lena Frier Kristiansen. The defeat suffered by the English girls was fairly comprehensive with a straight set score of 21-18, 21-18 being a fairly consistent and just review of the final itself. The final started well for the English team and they managed to win the first six points of the match but after this, the Danish duo roared back and limited their rivals to twelve points while they picked up 21.

Given that Emms lost out in the semi final of the Mixed Doubles with Nathan Robertson, it was definitely a tournament she will look back on with not much joy or pleasure.

Gail Emms certainly has had her share of bad luck and ill fortune this year and yet again the player can feel as though things have not been going well for her. There is still plenty of time for the player to return to full form before the Olympics. The promise of the Beijing Olympics is driving a lot of players on this year but there is every chance that many players are playing through injuries or have returned from injury too quickly in an attempt to make it onto the big stage.

It is hard to criticize players for pushing hard to be included in the major sporting events but all too often the event manages to pass them by as they are up against players at their peak. It can only be hoped that Emms recovers fully to do herself justice in the big events this summer but given the great depth of talent in the English squad, if she is not at her best, it may be better for another player to take her place.

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