Adcocks battle their way to back-to-back European titles
Badminton

Adcocks battle their way to back-to-back European titles

29 April 2018 / 18:12

Chris and Gabby Adcock could barely find the words to describe their emotions after winning a thrilling mixed doubles final at the European Championships.

The couple successfully defended their title from 2017 to become the first English pair to retain a European crown in 32 years thanks to a 21-18 17-21 21-18 win over Danish second seeds Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen.

With Gabby having twisted her ankle earlier in the year and the pair having limited preparations for March’s All England Open they shocked themselves to make the semi-finals.

They then picked up a team bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games before defending their mixed doubles title on the Gold Coast.

And now, having retained another crown, Gabby was lost for words.

“Back-to-back European Champions!” She posted on Instagram.

“No words right now, just a massive thank you once again for all your support. We have the most amazing team around us.”

While Chris was also a man of few words in his on-court interview after the match

“It’s been a really tough week, but we are really proud of this one,” said the 29-year-old.

The top-seeded Adcocks trailed 10-7 in the early stages of the opening game but fought back to lead 18-16 and then won three of the next four points to seal the set.

And they were in control in the second game at 15-10 ahead but Christiansen and Pedersen narrowed the deficit to two and later went on a run of eight points from nine to send the showpiece into a decider.

A back-and-forth final game saw the Danes leading 11-6 and 13-8 but the English duo then claimed six consecutive points to edge ahead.

The Adcocks led 19-18 when Christiansen returned Chris’ serve straight into the net to bring up match point before then leaving a deep return from the 29-year-old that landed right on the line to hand the reigning champions a second European title.

However, there was disappointment for Raj Ouseph as his title defence fell at the final hurdle – suffering a 21-8, 21-7 defeat to Viktor Axelsen in the men’s singles final.

Ouseph made history 12 months ago when he became the first Englishman in 27 years to win the European men’s singles title but top seed Axelsen ensured it was silver this time round for the Hounslow shuttler.

The Dane flew out of the blocks to win the first nine points of the match and although the reigning champion closed to 16-8 at one stage, Axelsen reeled off five points on the spin to take the opening game in 14 minutes.

Ouseph started quicker in the second game and took his only lead of the match at 5-4 but the top seed and world champion then claimed 17 of the next 19 points to wrap up a second European title in 31 minutes.

It was the perfect return for Axelsen, who was playing his first tournament back since undergoing ankle surgery, but five-time European medallist Ouseph now has two silvers in addition to his pair of bronzes and last year’s gold.

While on Saturday there was a bronze medal for Lauren Smith and Marcus Ellis - the English pair losing in the semi-finals of the mixed doubles 16-21 21-19 12-21 to Christiansen and Pedersen.

Sportsbeat 2018