After partnering Marcus Ellis to the mixed doubles final by beating Mathias Christiansen/Alexandra Boje 21-17 21-19, Smith returned with Chloe Birch for the mixed doubles semifinals, and the England pair got the better of Dutch duo Selena Piek/Cheryl Seinen 21-18 21-16.
Meanwhile, Rodion Alimov and Alina Davletova will look to make history on Sunday by becoming the first Russian pair to win the mixed doubles title at the European Championships. Alimov/Davletova won a sensational match, saving four match points against Mark Lamsfuss/Isabel Herttrich to prevail 20-22 21-14 24-22 in 78 minutes.
“We are full of emotions now and happy that we managed to make it possible. We are for sure ready for tomorrow, and we are going to win,” a confident Alimov told Badminton Europe. “The shuttles were a bit faster than the other days, so that was a focus, and the faster shuttles made us play a more attacking game.”
In men’s singles, Anders Antonsen will have the opportunity to go for his first gold. His final opponent and defending champion, Viktor Axelsen tested positive for COVID-19 after his semifinal, but the result of a second test is awaited. Both Danes had comfortable semifinal victories – Antonsen against compatriot Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus, and Axelsen against surprise semifinalist Kalle Koljonen.
Women’s singles will see Carolina Marin go for her fifth straight gold, having withstood an early test from Turkey’s Neslihan Yigit, 21-18 21-9. In her path to the title will be young Dane Line Christophersen, who fought past fourth seed Kirsty Gilmour 21-13 7-21 21-10.
“It was a very up-and-down game. We both had to put absolute everything into it. It was ‘who is going to sting first and keep the pressure’. It was a big contrast from yesterday’s match, and considering that I had three-four weeks of pain-free training, I am disappointed, but it is still a European medal,” said Gilmour to Badminton Europe.
“It was all about getting the initiative and the attack. I am happy that I came out aggressive in the third game, and now I am just happy and proud that I will be playing tomorrow,” Christophersen said.
Marcus Ellis’ hopes of matching his partner were dashed in the men’s doubles as he and Chris Langridge were outplayed by Vladimiv Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov.