Nathan Robertson (Notts) and Jenny Wallwork (Yorks) guaranteed England their first medal at the Yonex European Badminton Championships at the M.E.N. Arena in Manchester tonight.
The third seeds defeated Russians Alexandr Nikolaenko and Valeria Sorokina 21-17 21-18 in the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles as Robertson looks to add a gold to the one he won with Gail Emms in 2004 and the bronze two years ago.
In the semi-finals he and Wallwork, who are now assured their first major medal together, will face 2008 runners-up and second seeds Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiuczyk. Mateusiak’s quarter-final win tonight now means he has won a medal in doubles events at the last six European Championships.
Robertson said: “It was a tough match tonight.. We didn’t play as well as yesterday but we played as well as we needed to.”
But he accepted they needed to be at their best tomorrow, adding: “The Poles are a world-class pair. But being assured a bronze will give us confidence and now we want to do even better.”
The Poles won their quarter-final 21-10 21-5 against Valeriy Atrashchenkov and Elena Prus of Ukraine.
The pair to beat remain world champions and top seeds Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Juhl of Denmark, but Robertson and Wallwork have been heartened by a victory over them in the Yonex All England second round.
England had two men bidding for medals in the singles. But Carl Baxter
(Avon) went down to top seed and four-times champion Peter Gade of Denmark 21-14 21-11.
Butthree-times English National champion Rajiv Ouseph (Middx) survived a match point at 21-20 in the second game against Ireland’s Scott Evans to win 15-21 23-21 21-12. Ouseph’s win denied Ireland their first ever medal.
England have Chris Adcock (Notts) and Robert Blair (Leics) and Marcus Ellis (Yorks) and Peter Mills (Notts) in the men’s doubles and Mariana Agathangelou (Avon) and Heather Olver (Sussex) in the women’s doubles in action later tonight.
Scotland’s Susan Egelstaff (Glasgow) was also bidding for a medal but found the second seed and Yonex All England champion Tine Rasmussen too strong as she went down 21-8 21-16.
To follow results check out www.tournamentsoftware.com or www.europeanbadminton.com