BADMINTON

Spain ensure first team medal with victory over Ukraine

The Spanish women's team won their quarterfinal 3-0 on Friday to set up a last four meeting with Bulgaria and a guaranteed bronze medal at the Euros.

Spain ensure first team medal with victory over Ukraine
Marc Phelan Diario AS

The Spanish women’s badminton team have assured themselves of a medal at the European Championships after beating Ukraine 3-0 in Friday’s quarterfinal to reach the last four. It will be the first time in history that Spain has won a team medal at the highest level. The country’s best previous showing was a quarterfinal in Basel in 2014.

Ernesto García’s team, led by world champion Carolina Marín, were at their peak against Ukraine. Marín opened the tie against Maria Ulitina and saw off her opponent in two sets, 21-18 and 21-15.

Beatriz Corrales then took to the court against Natalya Voytsekh. The Ukraine player had two set points in the first but Corrales, who started slowly but gradually found her range, saved them both to take the set 23-21. In the second there were fewer nerves from the Madrid-born player, who won it 21-18.

Then junior player Clara Azurmendi made light work of Elena Prus, who was only able to stay in the match in the early exchanges and eventually succumbed 21-15 and 21-9.

Spain will go on to play Bulgaria in Saturday’s semifinal after losing to the same nation in the opening tie of the tournament, eventually qualifying for the knockout stages as runners up in their group.

Spain’s victory over Ukraine also ensures that the team have earned their place at the world championships to be held in Kunshan, China, in May.