Close Shave for Bulgaria, Russia – Day 1: 2018 European Men’s & Women’s Team Championships

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Bulgaria and Russia earned narrow 3-2 wins over France and Turkey in the women’s team event of the 2018 European Men’s & Women’s Team Championships that started in Kazan, Russia, yesterday.

Bulgaria and France were engaged in a tight battle in Group 5. Linda Zetchiri gave Bulgaria the lead beating Yaelle Hoyaux 21-12 23-21, but Marie Batomene levelled the tie for France beating Mariya Mitsova in an hour-long thriller, 22-20 18-21 21-19.

Stefani Stoeva once again gave Bulgaria the lead in the third Women’s Singles, getting past Leonice Huet 21-16 21-9.

Delphine Delrue/Lea Palermo brought France back into the contest beating Mariya Mitsova/Dimitria Popstoikova 21-19 21-18.

Bulgaria’s ace doubles pair of Stefani Stoeva/Gabriela Stoeva then came to their rescue, steering the tie their way with a 21-8 21-13 victory over Emilie Lefel/Anne Tran.

Hosts Russia recovered from a 1-2 deficit against Turkey in Group 4. Aliye Demirbag and Ozge Bayrak had given Turkey the lead after Neslihan Yigit faltered in her opening Women’s Singles against Evgeniya Kosetskaya.

Anastasia Chervyakova and Olga Morozova (featured image) brought Russia back into the tie winning the first doubles against Bengisu Ercetin and Nazlican Inci 22-20 16-21 21-16, before Ekaterina Bolotova and Alina Davletova swung the tie for Russia beating Ozge Bayrak and Neslihan Yigit 21-12 18-21 21-12.

In Group 1, Israel held off a combative Iceland 3-2, with Dana Danilenko/Margeret Lurie scoring the winning point against Thorunn Eylands/Arna Karen Johannsdottir, 21-16 21-16.

Group 6 also saw a close battle, with Poland recovering from 1-2 down to beat Czech Republic 3-2.

In the men’s competition, most of the ties were one-sided affairs. England, Denmark, France and Germany recorded 5-0 margins over Hungary, Israel, Ukraine and Iceland respectively. Ireland, in Group 1, overcame Croatia 4-1.

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