The 2021 European Championships are among the last qualifying events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Popov, winner of the Orleans Masters in March and the SaarLorLux Open last November, faced an opponent who had played only two matches this year prior to the European Championships. The left-hander however controlled the game well to win 21-12 21-17.
“I had a really good day. For the last two months, I have been practising really hard,” said Koljonen.
“However, three weeks ago I pulled a muscle in my back, so I was only able to practice easy stuff, but it seems to be working that I did some easy training after a really hard period.”
In his last eight battle, Koljonen takes on third seed Rasmus Gemke, who was stretched to three games by Dutchman Joran Kweekel.
There were a number of close matches yesterday, particularly in the paired events. The most significant result was in women’s doubles, with Swiss pair Aline MÜller/Jenjira Stadelmann beating fifth seeds Anne Tran/Emilie Lefel 21-16 7-21 21-19.
Mixed doubles fifth seeds Robin Tabeling/Selena Piek and eighth seeds Ronan Labar/Anne Tran both made it to the quarterfinals after a hard-fought third game, holding off their opponents Niclas Nohr/Amalie Magelund and Jones Ralfy Jansen/Kilasu Ostermeyer respectively.