Varenhorst and van Garderen first beat Slovenia’s Nejc Zemljak/Jan Pokersnik 19-21, 21-19, 16-14 in a truly dramatic match. This set the tone for what was going to follow later in the day. In the semis, Varenhorst and van Garderen beat Germany’s Lorenz Schümann and Alexander Walkenhorst, to whom they had previously lost in the second round of the competition in Kharkiv. It was a sweet revenge for Varenhorst and van Garderen, who played under a heavy shower first and under the sun in the tiebreak before celebrating a 2-1 (21-18, 20-22, 15-11) victory.
In the other semi-final, home heroes Oleksii Denin and Sergiy Popov easily routed Russia’s Ilya Leshukov and Alexander Likholetov 21-7, 21-18.
Schümann and Walkenhorst regrouped in the bronze medal match, where they beat Likholetov/Leshukov 21-16, 21-15. This is the second medal for Schümann in this year’s European Tour, after he previously finished third at the Baden Masters together with Julius Thole.
The final was the real climax of the tournament held in Kharkiv. The weather changed again, ranging from rain to sun, as Denin/Popov won the first set 21-18. The home heroes fought bravely for victory but in the second Varenhorst/van Garderen were able to break the Ukrainian team’s rhythm, extending the final to a tiebreak (24-22). It was a real drama, with the visitors from the Netherlands having a little more luck to their side as they stamped a 15-13 win to record their third 2-1 victory of the day and seize gold.