Denmark extended their dominance in the European Mixed Team Badminton Championships on Saturday with a thrilling 3-2 victory over hosts France in the final.
The Danish squad, were favourites pre-tournament, having won the past four editions of the event – and 13 of the last 14 since 1996.
They had looked dominant throughout the event in Aire-sur-la-lys, with comfortable victories over Ukraine, Scotland and England in their group, before again beating England in the last four.
However hosts France – who were beaten 3-0 in the final two years ago – also approached the final in good form.
The French had dropped just two rubbers in group stage ties against Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Germany, and then beat Germany 3-1 in Friday’s semi-final.
They started the final in perfect fashion, with Thom Gicquel and Delphine Delrue defeating Mathias Christiansen and Amalie Magelund 21-17 24-22 in the opening mixed doubles clash.
Denmark needed a strong response, and they got just that with Viktor Axelsen edging past a valiant Christo Popov in a classic encounter.
After Popov claimed the opening game, Axelsen rallied to seal a thrilling 15-21 22-20 21-14 victory to level up proceedings.
Line Christophersen then put the four-time defending champions in front for the first time, easing past Qi Xuefei 21-12 21-11 to put her country just a rubber away from the title.
The hosts did not go down without a fight though, and forced a decider.