DENMARK retained their men’s team gold and reclaimed the women’s gold to win the 2014 European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships, and in doing so reasserted their dominance in European team events after a few cold years in the wilderness.
Both men’s and women’s teams were awash with experienced world class player but it was their younger generation who made their mark this week in Basel by winning some vital points in crucial matches.
Such was the contribution of Line Kjaersfeldt this week that Denmark did not need to call on world number 2 women’s doubles pairing Juhl and Pedersen for any matches in the knockout stages of the women’s event.
The 19-year-old Dane led the line from the front and her defeat of Natalia Perminova at first singles in today’s final against Russia was both ruthless and graceful as Kjaersfeldt begins to repay the faith of her coaches over the past years.
Boe & Mogensen lead by example
There are not many certainties in life but in the European men’s team championship Denmark were once again odds on favourites to lift the title for the fifth consecutive time. Their opponents in today’s final were England and even with player of the tournament, Rajiv Ouseph taking the first singles of Hans Kristian Vittinghus it was still virtually impossible to think that Denmark were ever going to lose.
Second singles Viktor Axelsen probably had the easiest match of the week, taking down Toby Penty in two games.
“This was a good match for me today. I got off to a quick start and never really looked back from there. It might have been a bit different if we had gone behind 2-0” said Axelsen with a smile on his face.
Mads Conrad Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding finished off the job for Denmark taking the second men’s doubles defeating Chris Langridge and Peter Mills in two games securing yet another men’s team victory for Denmark by 3 matches to 1.