Europe remains the Danes’ domain

PETALING JAYA: Denmark extended their dominance in the European Team Championships by capturing both the men’s and women’s team titles.

The men’s team had been crowned champions in every edition since the tournament’s inception in 2006 and won their 10th title in a row by beating France 3-0 in the final on Sunday in Lodz, Poland.

The team’s strength in depth was such that world No. 1 singles star Viktor Axelsen’s services were not required in any of the matches despite being named in the squad.

World No. 4 Anders Antonsen, instead, was fielded in the first singles against France and secured a convincing 21-15, 21-15 win over Toma Junior Popov.

Doubles pair Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen then made it 2-0 for Denmark by easily beating Lucas Corvee-Ronan Labar 21-13, 21-13.

In the second singles, Rasmus Gemke then fought hard to overcome Christo Popov 14-21, 22-20, 21-9 to secure the overall victory for the Danes.

While it was joy for Denmark, France can still be satisfied after securing a place in the Thomas Cup Finals from April 27-May 5 through their runners-up finish.

The top four teams in the European team meet are assured of spots in the prestigious Thomas Cup.

Germany and England, who also made it into the semi-finals, are also through to the Thomas Cup.

In the women’s team final, Denmark came from behind to beat Spain 3-1 with Mia Blichfeldt and Line Christophersen in the singles and doubles pair Christine Busch-Amalie Magelund delivering the points.

Three-time world champion and 2016 Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin scored a consolation point for Spain with a 21-19, 21-12 win over Line Kjaersfeldt.

It was Denmark’s sixth consecutive title and eighth overall.

France and Scotland are the other two teams that have booked their spots in the Uber Cup after making it into the semi-finals.

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