The 2022 edition of the tournament has had three golds going to European players, while the other two have went to athletes from Chinese Taipei. “Yonex Latvia International 2022” was held in the city of Jelgava for the seventh year in a row. This edition of the tournament took place from 1 until 4 September, gathering 219 players from 35 different countries in the Zemgale Olympic Center.
Chinese Taipei was the most successful nation in the tournament. Players from the country won the gold in women’s singles and men’s doubles, as well as the silver in men’s singles, and took a bronze in women’s doubles. Poland also got to take home medals — with silver in men’s and women’s doubles, and one bronze in all three doubles categories.
Another Latvian gold for Marran/ Rüütel
In women’s doubles, repeating the success of 2019, the Estonian pair Kati-Kreet Marran/ Helina Rüütel won yet another gold in Latvia, defeating the Polish pair Dominika Kwasnik/ Kornelia Marczak in three games (20-22, 21-14, 21-16). The third place was shared by the Polish duo Paulina Hankiewicz/ Magdalena Swierczynska and Chinese Taipei’s Lee Yu-Hsuan/ Wang Pei Yu.
Unfortunately, the women’s singles final did not take place, as France’s Anna Tatranova withdrew from the final match, leaving Chinese Taipei’s Wang Pei Yu to win the champion title. In the same event, Switzerland’s Dounia Pelupessy and Vietnam’s Thi Anh Thu Vu shared the third place.
From Latvia, Ekaterina Romanova and Diāna Stognija lost in their fight to get a spot in the quarterfinals. However, they both made it to the quarterfinals in women’s doubles — Ekaterina Romanova with Anna Kupča, and Diāna Stognija with Ieva Pope.
Vittoriani, men’s singles champion
Young talent Christopher Vittoriani, Italy, took the title in the men’s singles, finishing off his winning strike over Chinese Taipei’s Cheng-Han Tsai in straight games (21-18, 21-15). Lim Shun Tian, Singapore, and Nguyen Hai Dang, Vietnam, won the bronze.
Lai Po Yu/ Tsai Fu Cheng, Chinese Taipei, convincingly won the men’s doubles final, defeating the Polish pair Michal Sobolewski/ Adam Szolc in two games (21-8, 21-7). Another Polish duo, Milosz Bochat/ Szymon Slepecki, and British pair Paak Shing Raymond Chong/ Paak Yee Chong shared the third place. The two Latvian pairs who started in the main draw, Gustavs Dāvis Brečs/ Pauls Eliass Rozenvalds and Edijs Līviņš/ Toms Preinbergs, did not make it past the first round.
An all-European podium in mixed doubles
In the mixed doubles, the first place was taken by the Danes Emil Lauritzen/ Signe Schulz, who defeated the French pair Enogat Roy/ Anna Tatranova (21-11, 21-8).
The third spot was shared by two other European pairs —Kristjan Kaljurand/ Helina Rüütel, Estonia, and Szymon Slepecki/ Dominika Kwasnik, Poland. Playing on home ground, Artūrs Akmens/ Annija Rulle-Titava, Andis Bērziņš/ Arīna Babre, Gustavs Dāvids Brečs/ Evelīna Smirnova, and Leonardo Golovčenko/ Marta Heize, did not succeed in making it past the first round.
Preparing for the action in Jelgava
Although the “Yonex Latvia International 2022” started only on 1 September, the first tournament players from East Timor and Malaysia arrived in Jelgava already on 27 August. Two days later, they were joined by players from the USA, India, Taiwan, Bahrain, and Singapore.
Some of the players from distant countries came to Latvia from very distant countries, such as Raymond Sign from East Timor, while players from Taiwan and Singapore came to Latvia from France, where they participated in the Victor Nouvelle-Aquitaine, which took place the previous week Bordeaux, France.
An international training environment
These badminton players who arrived in Latvia early had the chance to train in the Ozolnieki Sports Hall together with Latvian players.
“This year, unlike other years before Covid-19, we had a lot of work to do with the transport of players from the airport to Jelgava. Despite the current situation in airports right now, we were prepared for it,” informs Kristians Rozenvalds.
This year, 219 players from 35 countries have participated in the Latvian tournament. Since the tournament has been held in the city of Jelgava, players from 60 different countries have taken part in it. This year, the countries of East Timor, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Egypt are having representation for the first time ever in Jelgava.
After the “Yonex Latvia International 2022”, the next World Ranking badminton tournament will be held from 12 until 15 September on the Spanish island of Ibiza.
“Part of the long-distance participants of the Latvian tournament will participate in the Spanish tournament Iberdrola Spanish International, so players from East Timor, India, and other countries will be able to see and train in Jelgava even longer,” says Kristians Rozenvalds, tournament director of the “Yonex Latvia International 2022”.