Polish juniors dominated in the Latvian city of Sigulda, where the Badminton Europa U17 circuit tournament Yonex Latvija U17 took place. The Polish badminton pair won the first titles in all three doubles disciplines, while in the men’s singles the title was won by Yevgeny Stolovoy from Ukraine, and the women’s singles title was won by Gianna Stiglich from Italy.
The winners of the tournament won not only medals and European U17 rating points, but also Evelatus wireless headphones and prizes from the tournament sponsor Yonex.
Tournament Yonex Latvija U17 2021 took place in Sigulda Sports Center from July 29 to 31. Initially, 100 players from 10 countries entered the tournament, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, only 66 players from 9 countries participated in the tournament, including Israel, Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia and 20 Latvian players.
In Sigulda, Polish juniors dominated the doubles tournaments, moreover, in the men’s and women’s doubles both finalists were from Poland. The Polish doubles title was won by the Polish couple Bartlomiej Butkus & Jan Wilczak. In the women’s doubles in the first place Polish couple Maja Janko & Julia Stankiewicz.
The Latvian U17 tournament took place at the same time as the medal games at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. “We placed a big screen in the awards area and watched live broadcasts from Tokyo. It was important to me that juniors follow what is happening in Tokyo, watch and learn from the world’s best badminton, and dream of participating in the Olympic Games themselves,” informed Kristians Rozenvalds, Secretary General of the Latvian Badminton Federation and tournament director of Yonex Latvia U17 2021.
“Of course, it is a great challenge to organize a tournament in such an atmosphere of uncertainty. In the last few days, we were forced to change our plans because half of the Estonian team was forced to go into self-isolation. Initially, 100 players applied, but by the time of the tournament there were only 66, which is 2/3. However, it should be noted that the dropout rate has been even higher in other tournaments, ”informs Kristians Rozenvalds
“I am very pleased that together with Sigulda municipality and Sigulda badminton club we have overcome the fear of this uncertainty and insecurity. Every such event gives us faith that we will return to normal life. It motivates players, coaches, organizers, sports facilities, equipment manufacturers and dealers, sponsors. It would have been easier to wait and give up, but no, we must not relax! ” urges Kristians Rozenvalds.