European Games: Axelsen, Marin Reign Supreme

European Games: Axelsen, Marin Reign Supreme

Viktor Axelsen and Carolina Marin added one of the very few missing titles to their long list of achievements by winning the European Games 2023 gold in Tarnow, Poland.

Three-time world champion Marin, playing at her first European Games, got the job done in straight games, beating reigning champion Mia Blichfeldt 21-15 21-14.

“I wanted to show my determination, that I really want to improve my game. The communication with my coach was important, even during the high moments. I’m eager to keep going, to keep working hard.”

Men’s singles world No.1 Axelsen, however, did not have it as easy against Frenchman Christo Popov. Popov went one ahead 21-16 but Axelsen came back in the second game by the same score before completing the victory 21-11 in the decider.

“Feels great. It’s a title I haven’t won. It was a tough match, I was almost out and away but I managed to fight my way back. I had to find a way to win, it could have gone both ways but I stayed tough in there. Winning medals for Denmark is something important to me and I’m proud I managed to provide a gold.”

Mixed doubles went to Dutch pair Robin Tabeling and Selena Piek, who defeated Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue 21-10 13-21 21-13.

This is Piek’s second European Games gold, having won women’s doubles with Cheryl Seinen four years ago in Minsk, Belarus, from where Tabeling took home the men’s doubles bronze with Jelle Maas.

“It was a rollercoaster match. We started well but they came back strong. You start love-all in the third game so you need to go all-in again. We were leading the entire game, we stayed cool, changed our gameplan a bit and that worked out well.” – Piek

“I didn’t stop smiling (when the match ended). This is the best feeling. This one will always be special.” – Tabeling

Quotes from Badminton Europe