Clean sweep for China
It was a return to the Falcon Club in Minsk, the site of the very successful European Games earlier this year. Looking at the entry list, it was very clear that China had earmarked this tournament in the calendar to give their up and coming talents a test in Europe.
There was much excitement for the entries of Lin Dan and Zhang Nan to join this young Chinese contingent, but there was a late withdrawal from the five-time and double Olympic champion singles player.
Despite this attention, the young hopefuls performed fantastically well, and helped China take home all five titles. A feat that is rarely seen at this level of the game.
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England’s two runners-up
England are going home happy after strong performances, particularly in both men’s and women’s doubles. Both being unseeded runner-up finishes. Matthew Clare and Max Flynn reached the final without dropping a game, along with a tidy performance against fourth seeds from Poland, Pawel Pietryja and Jan Rudzinski. I suppose they would not have expected meeting the likes of Zhang Nan and Ou Xuan Yi in a European Circuit final, but fought hard to a respectable 21-15, 21-15 loss.
Similarly, Jenny Moore and Victoria Williams reached the final without dropping a game, including an impressive win in the semifinal against the young Chinese pair of Chen Jia Yuan and Huang Jia. However, the final was one step too far against another young talented pair of Yu Xiao Han and Zhang Shu Xian. Zhang, was also in the mixed doubles final earlier in the day.
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Finals day results:
XD – Ren Xiang Yu/ Zhou Chao Min (CHN) (1) bt Guo Xin Wa/ Zhang Shu Wian (CHN) (2) 22-20, 21-19
WS – Wang Zhi Yi bt (CHN) (2) bt Zhang Yi Man (CHN) (1) 18-21, 21-9, 21-8
MS – Lei Lan Xi (CHN) bt Raul Must (EST) 21-10, 21-15
WD – Yu Xiao Han/ Zhang Shu Xian (CHN) bt Jenny Moore/ Victoria Williams (ENG) 21-12, 21-15
MD – Zhang Nan/ Ou Xuan Yi (CHN) (1) bt Matthew Clare/ Max Flynn (ENG) 21-15, 21-15
For the full results, click here.