2008 WDF Europe Cup XVI - Dames
At the Scandic Hotel in Copenhagen in Denmark, the sixteenth edition of the WDF Europe Cup was played from 27 to 30 August 2008. The first edition of this tournament was also played in Copenhagen in 1978; this edition will complete the circle for the Danes. The tournament also marks a change in organizational terms. From 2008, "Little" Richard Ashdown from England and Jacques Nieuwlaat from the Netherlands are the new faces on stage. They replace Martin Fitzmaurice. Twenty-three countries are taking part in this edition with their men, 22 also bring the ladies. Spain returns to the European playing field for the first time since 1996. It will be the most open and surprising European Cup ever.
Ladies Pairs tournament
A number of top matches in the quarterfinals of the pairs. Julie Gore & Jan Robbins from Wales win 4-2 against Finnish ladies Sari Nikula & Tarja Salminen. Another wonderful match is between Louise Hepburn & Susanna Young from Scotland and the Dutch pair Carla Molema & Sharon Prins. The Netherlands has achieved great success with Hoenselaar and Krappen for many years, but 2008 is a year in which changes are made to the line-up. For the time being that is unsuccessful because the Scottish ladies win 4-3. Russians Irina Armstrong & Karina Nagapetynts came through the group unbeaten and now also beat Nora Fekete & Zsuzsanna Szarka from Hungary 4-1. The biggest surprise, however, is the defeat of the English pair Lisa Ashton & Trina Gulliver. They lose to the Swedish duo Carina Ekberg & Gretel Glaso.
The Swedish ladies keep that good form because they then beat the Russians 4-1 in the semi-finals. In the other semi-final, the Welsh ladies beat Scotland 4-1. The final, which is played on the last day like all other finals and where many countries still have a chance of winning the overall. Sweden and Wales are tied before the final, the winner equals Scotland, which still has a lady in the singles final.
Carina Ekberg & Gretel Glaso win the final on behalf of Sweden against Julie Gore & Jan Robbins from Wales. It is the second time, after the first edition in 1982 when Carina Sahlberg & Charlotte Eriksson won, that a Swedish pair claims the title.
Ladies Singles tournament
All tournaments are very open in 2008, including the ladies singles. Lisa Ashton plays a very strong tournament. Until the final, she only loses one leg during her wins over Veleda Gaiga, Mette Funch, Carina Ekberg and Susanna Young. More surprising is her opponent in the final. Louise Hepburn has been in the Scottish team at Europe and World Cups since 2004 but has never made it past the quarterfinals.
However, this year is her year. She beats Grace Crane, Tarja Salminen, Carla Molema and Janni Larsen on her way to the final. No game is easy and the semi-final against Larsen, who play for her home crowd, is very difficult, but is won 4-3.
However, Hepburn has saved the best for the final. A win not only brings the gold in the singles, but also the overall victory to Scotland. Before the start of the final, the Swedish team is on equal points with Scotland. Both titles would be unique for the Scots in the WDF Europe Cup history with the ladies. Ashton cannot find her doubles especially in the beginning of the match and Hepburn makes good use of that. With a lead to calm her nerves, she then starts to play better and better. A frustrated Lisa Ashton never really gets back in the game. The victory is, perhaps a bit flattering, 4-0 to Louise Hepburn. She is the first player from Scotland to win the WDF Europe Cup singles.
Ladies Overall classification
An exciting finish in the ladies competition brings the WDF Europe Cup to Scotland for the first time in history. Collecting 44 points, Louise Hepburn & Susanna Young write history. Hepburn also takes the gold in the singles. Sweden takes the pairs title and silver overall with 38 points. The bronze is for Wales with 29 points. England falls just shy of the podium with 28 points and Russia finishes fifth with one point less.
1 - 44 points Scotland
2 - 38 points Sweden
3 - 29 points Wales
4 - 27 points England
5 - 26 points Russia
6 - 18 points Denmark
7 - 15 points Netherlands
8 - 12 points Finland
9 - 9 points Hungary
10 - 8 points Ireland Republic/ Northern Ireland
12 - 7 points Germany
13 - 6 points Latvia
14 - 5 points Austria
15 - 4 points Norway
16 - 3 points Switzerland/ Turkey
18 - 2 points Czech Republic/ Italy
20 - 1 point Belgium
21 - 0 points Iceland/ Spain