European Championships: Finland, Turkiye Spring Surprise

European Championships: Finland, Turkiye Spring Surprise

Finland’s Joakim Oldorff and Turkiye’s Bengisu Ercetin/Nazlıcan Inci created a sensation in the quarterfinals of the 2024 European Championships by upsetting higher-rated rivals.

World No.69 Oldorff ambushed No.46 Alex Lanier of France 21-12 21-19 in 45 minutes to set up a semifinal against second seed Anders Antonsen, who survived a tenacious challenge from another Frenchman, Arnaud Merkle, 24-22 27-25.

“At the moment, I’m speechless, but I’m happy and excited,” Oldorff told Badminton Europe.

“Of course I knew it will be a tough match. Alex is a good player, and I was nervous, but I handled it well. I just focused on doing the right things. I thought I didn’t need to change anything. I will prepare the same as before for the semifinals. To me, I feel like I didn’t do anything that I can’t do on court. For some people it might seem like a surprise, but I’m confident this is my level.”

The top half of the draw will see Viktor Axelsen against Toma Junior Popov.

Meanwhile, women’s doubles saw Turkiye win a medal, with Ercetin and Inci knocking out top seeds Maiken Fruergaard/Sara Thygesen.

After losing the opening game, Ercetin and Inci held their nerve in a tense second before easing home comfortably in the end, 16-21 21-19 21-13.

Ercetin (left) and Inci survived a tough second game.

“This is a historic day for Turkish badminton, as the Danes are very good players and we won, and we are happy with our performance. We just wanted to play, and we didn’t want to think of a loss or the medal,” said Inci.

Turkiye will also feature in the women’s singles semifinals as Neslihan Arin beat France’s Rosy Oktavia Pancasari in straight games to earn a last-four place against Kirsty Gilmour.

Eighth seed Julie Dawall Jakobsen knocked out third seed Line Kjaersfeldt to earn a showdown against Carolina Marin.

Christiansen/Boje in Final

In the only semifinals played on the day, Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra Boje held off Robin Tabeling/Selena Piek in a 71-minute thriller, with the Danes coming through 25-23 21-23 21-18.

They will face Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue, who too were taken the distance by Mathias Thyrri/Amalie Magelund 22-20 16-21 21-13.