MIXED DOUBLES PAIR Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg (pictured), the former world and All-England finalists, today reached final of the European Badminton hampionships at Herning, Denmark.
Clark and Kellogg have taken over as English national mixed-doubles champions from their great rivals Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms, and outdid the Olympic silver medallists again yesterday with a hard-fought 21-18 21-19 win over surprise survivors from Denmark, Carsten Mogensen and Helle Nielsen.
Top-seeded Robertson and Emms, meanwhile, suffered a shock semi-final defeat, losing 14-21 21-10 21-6 to the fourth-seeded Poles Robert Mateusiak and Nadieszka Kostiuczyk.
Clark said: "I didn't think they played too badly but the Poles played really well.
"I fear people are learning to play against them and they had a good strategy.
"Me and Donna have had some shocking draws but it's made us mentally strong.
"We've not played beautiful badminton but we've ground out results."
Later Kellogg reached a second European final when she and Emms, the top-seeded women's doubles title holders, beat Sweden's Elin Bergblom and Johanna Persson 21-18 21-7.
The defending women's doubles champions and top seeds reached the semi-finals again with a 21-9 21-13 victory over Scotland's Imogen Bankier and Rita Yuan Gao in the last eight.
Of England's other medal hopes, Commonwealth champion Tracey Hallam was forced to pull out of her women's singles clash with German Juliane Schenk because of a back injury.
The 33-year-old, who was scheduled for a two-week break after the Europeans, will have a scan on Monday.Head coach Ian Wright said: "If it had been the Olympics she would have played but we do not want to take unnecessary risks so we pulled her out."
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS