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EDITORIAL As you can read in this new issue of the BEC Magazine, Kazan was the place to be in February 2018. The European Men’s & Women’s Team Championships and the European U15 Championships were exceptionally well organized. The setup was fantastic, and the experienced Russian organizers, with an army of volunteers, made the stay a pleasant one for all participants. I was also delighted to see the European U15 talents playing in the same setup as the biggest badminton stars of Europe. Congratulations to Denmark for winning both Team Championships titles and for those teams qualifying to represent Europe at the Thomas & Uber Cup finals in May in Bangkok. Also, congratulations to all the medal winners of the European U15 Championships. Kazan was special to me as it was the occasion where the Member Associations of Greenland and Azerbaijan entered in one of our major team events for the first time. The European badminton community is growing and to see 40 Member Associations in Kazan was just amazing. Big things await us. I am especially looking forward to meeting a lot of our Member Associations in Dubrovnik for the 2018 Badminton Europe Congress where will have our Members Forum, our Annual Delegates’ Meeting and the Gala Awards Evening. I am looking forward to honoring people who have made a positive difference for the sport of badminton in Europe in 2017, the badminton stars and upcoming talents. I am also looking forward to seeing all the best players in Europe in the Carolina Marin Arena in Huelva, Spain in the end of April 2018. I am especially curious to see the Carolina Marin effect in Spain and I hope for a great turn out of the Championships. The European Championships is our biggest highlight of the year and I am looking forward to seeing the players competing for a spot in the history books. We will hopefully see good European results on the World Tour this year. I am also convinced that we in 2018 will continue to see the European badminton community grow. The number of people who play badminton in Europe and who follow and interact with badminton on social media is increasing. We will continue to support this growth in close cooperation with our Member Associations. I hope you will enjoy reading this magazine and I encourage you to follow the European Championships in Huelva. All the best

Brian Agerbak General Secretary

Imprint: Badminton Europe - Published by Badminton Europe Confederation, Brøndbytoften 14, 2605 Brøndby, Denmark. • Responsible editor: Rasmus Bech Design: Dzineing Solutions, Malaysia • Coverphoto: Badminton Photo • Photos: Mark Phelan, Dumitru Diaga Turcan

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8

18

26

TOP EUROPEANS

PICK YOUR TEAM

ALEXANDRA BØJE

16

22

36

KAZAN 2018:

INTRODUCING:

THE BIG VICTORY

WELCOME TO

BEC VOICESTORM

ALL ENGLAND

ON BWF WORLD

INTERVIEW

RANKING LIST

2018

GREENLAND CHAMPIONSHIPS

16

22

36


CONTENT

38

50

BEC TOURNAMENT

MY LIFE AT CENTRE

IN PICTURES

OF EXCELLENCE INTERVIEW

40

44

52

STAR TALK:

READY FOR

TOURNAMENT

SORAYA DE VISCH

HUELVA 2018

CALENDAR FOR

EIJBERGEN

CHAMPIONSHIPS

2018

INTERVIEW

40

44

50


THE DANISH WOMEN’S TEAM


IN PICTURES

HAD A GOOD TIME IN KAZAN DANCING FROM VICTORY TO VICTORY. 7


BWF EUROPEAN WORLD RANKINGS WOMEN’S DOUBLES

13 2 25

31 1

3

1

CHEN QINGCHEN JIA YIFAN China

25

ANASTASIA CHERVYAKOVA OLGA MOROZOVA Russia

2 3

MISAKI MATSUTOMO AYAKA TAKAHASHI Japan

MAIKEN FRUERGAARD SARA THYGESEN Denmark

KAMILLA RYTTER JUHL CHRISTINNA PEDERSEN Denmark

27 31

GABRIELA STOEVA STEFANI STOEVA Bulgaria

34

ISABEL HERTTRICH CARLA NELTE Germany

13

LAUREN SMITH SARAH WALKER England

27

34


BWF EUROPEAN WORLD RANKINGS MEN’S DOUBLES

6 2 9

26 1

1

MARCUS FERNALDI GIDEON KEVIN SANJAYA SUKAMULJO Indonesia

2 3

MATHIAS BOE CARSTEN MOGENSEN Denmark

6

3

9

10

27

VLADIMIR IVANOV IVAN SOZONOV Russia KIM ASTRUP ANDERS SKAARUP RASMUSSEN Denmark

LI JUNHUI LIU YUCHEN China

10 26

MADS CONRAD-PETERSEN MADS PIELER KOLDING Denmark

27

MATHIAS CHRISTIANSEN DAVID DAUGAARD Denmark

MARCUS ELLIS CHRIS LANGRIDGE England

9


BWF EUROPEAN WORLD RANKINGS MIXED DOUBLES

2

3

24 7 27 1

1

ZHENG SIWEI CHEN QINGCHEN China

2 3

TONTOWI AHMAD LILIYANA NATSIR Indonesia

7

CHRIS ADCOCK GABRIELLE ADCOCK England

17

LU KAI HUANG YAQIONG China

MATHIAS CHRISTIANSEN CHRISTNNA PEDERSEN Denmark

17

24 25

MARK LAMSFUSS ISABEL HERTTRICH Germany

27 29

SAM MAGEE CHLOE MAGEE Ireland

RONAN LABAR AUDREY FONTAINE France

MARVIN EMIL SEIDEL LINDA EFLER Germany

25

29


BWF EUROPEAN WORLD RANKINGS WOMEN’S SINGLES

5 2 9

26 1

1 2 3 5

TAI TZU YING Chinese Taipei AKANE YAMAGUCHI Japan RATCHANOK INTANON Thailand CAROLINA MARIN Spain

3

17 31 33 34

10

27

KIRSTY GILMOUR Scotland MIA BLICHFELDT Denmark BEATRIZ CORRALES Spain EVGENIYA KOSETSKAYA Russia

11


BWF EUROPEAN WORLD RANKINGS MEN’S SINGLES

17 2 19

24 1

1 2 3 17

VIKTOR AXELSEN Denmark LEE CHONG WEI Malaysia SRIKANTH KIDAMBI India ANDERS ANTONSEN Denmark

3

19 22 24 37

22

HANS-KRISTIAN SOLBERG VITTINGHUS Denmark RAJIV OUSEPH England BRICE LEVERDEZ France RASMUS GEMKE Denmark

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KAZAN 2018

GREENLAND: We really hope we can come back Article by: Rasmus Bech

Greenland took part in the big European badminton party for the first time, but hopefully not for the last. Greenland and badminton. Not two words that often are said in the same sentence. But in Kazan the Greelandic rookies became a darling for a lot of people. Especially after they won their first match. - It has been fantastic to be part of this tournament. The boys won a match, and that is amazing. The population of Greenland is only 55,000, so we are very proud to be here, national coach of Greenland Rune Svenningen says. - Of course, we have lost a lot of matches, but we are also here to develop, and that we have for sure.

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FIRST TIME FOR A LOT OF THINGS The Greenlandic team travelled to Kazan knowing that the setup would be quite unfamiliar for the players and the staff. - We have never played in such a big hall before. We said “well, wind, how hard can it be?� before we got here, but it is actually hard. We have a guy who learned to play badminton at a place you cannot even call a hall. And we have never played on mats before, Rune Svenningsen says.

- Here we can have a new shuttle if we need it. At home, shuttles of feathers are only for seniors. The young players have to use plastic, Svenningsen adds.


KAZAN 2018

NEED FUNDING TO COME BACK

Greenland left Kazan with six losses, but despite of losing more matches than they won, the Greenlanders are eager to take part in the next European Team Championships. - It has been an amazing experience for the players. Some of the players have learned more this week than ever. But to be honest it is hard for us to continue, if we don’t get financial help, Svenningsen says. - The trip from Greenland is expensive no matter where you go. For this event, we got funding from the Elite Sport Greenland, but to be honest, we need more funding, if we are going to take part in this kind of tournament again. The next big team event for the European national teams will be the 2019 European Mixed Team Championships.

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19 - 23 JUNE 2018


YONEX Estonian International 2018

The first tournament of the year kicked off in Estonia. Peter Käsbauer and Olga Konon won back to back tournament, while a new young talent, Michelle Skødstrup, and Israeli profil Ksenia Polikarpova gave the spectators a great women’s single final.

The first tournament of the year kicked off in Estonia.


Peter Käesbauer and Olga Konon won back-to-back tournaments, while a new young Danish talent, Michelle Skødstrup, and Israeli profile, Ksenia Polikarpova, gave the spectators a great women’s singles final.


OUR VOICESTORM MISSION: Engaging the badminton community Article by: Emma Lollike

Badminton Europe is currently working with an employee communication and engagement platform for social media called Voicestorm. Anybody is welcome to join the ‘community’ we have created on where the common goal is to help badminton grow on social media.

One of the major challenges for organizations right now is that the news feed algorithm on Facebook has been changed. Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, published a post in the beginning of 2018 in Facebook, stating that instead of the original 5%, the percentage of news will drop one percent. “This update will not change the amount of news you see on Facebook. It will only shift the balance of news you see towards sources that are determined to be trusted by the community.” The question for Badminton Europe is therefore; how are we able to reach our readers and the badminton fans out there now that it gets harder for news articles to get into their feeds? And this is where Voicestorm enters.

BEC + VOICESTORM Badminton Europe has been using Voicestorm for the last year to engage their current badminton community in Europe, which includes expanding their reach to the rest of the world.

- All the people that like our page on Facebook need to know that we also have an interest in knowing what kind of content that they would like to see and share.

Currently, the amount of likes on the Facebook page is at a staggering 95,000 in the month of March. Thanks to the 50 members of the Voicestorm programme, we see our numbers increase each month. - We wish to be all badminton fans’ number one go-to when it comes to European badminton and this means that we must accommodate their wishes, Rasmus Bech, Head of Communication at Badminton Europe says.

Our lucky winners: Lihn and Rebecca


BEC VOICESTORM

A TRUSTWORTHY PAGE FOR BADMINTON NEWS As an employee communication and engagements platform, Voicestorm helps our organization to treasure authentic, organic advocacy. With this platform, Badminton Europe can adapt into the new reality on Facebook and start the journey towards becoming more acknowledged as a trustworthy page for European badminton news. - It is important to us that the sport of badminton appears credible on social media, and that is why it is with great pleasure that we are experiencing how our fans and users of Voicestorm are welcoming and embracing towards our content, says Rasmus Bech. - We know that the users of social media see quite a big amount of content in their feeds, which is why we are doing our best to deliver content of quality simply because we believe that is what the sport of badminton deserves. - It is our fans’ actions on Facebook that is going to decide whether we are in their feeds or not. Which is why we are extremely proud to experience the increasing interest for European badminton, Bech adds.

JOIN OUR VOICESTORM COMMUNITY As a step towards building a community for fans of European badminton we need your help. Yes, we are talking to you – the person who is reading this magazine and these words right at this moment. We have made sure that joining Voicestorm is also an attractive option for you. Besides the obvious, which is to spread badminton related content AND promoting the sport that you love - you can in fact win a trip for two to YONEX All England 2019. The winning price even includes flight tickets and hotel during the weekend of the

tournament when the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals are played. All you have to do is write to Badminton Europe’s Communication Manager Rasmus Bech at rasmus.bech@badmintoneurope.com and let him know that you want to join. With a few clicks you will be able to navigate through our content and share the content that you find interesting for your network.

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CHRISTO POPOV The future star of French and European badminton?

A

t the age of 16, Christo Popov has been described by many as one of the future stars of European badminton. We sat down with the newly crowned European U17 men’s doubles-champion (with Kenji Lovang) to talk about his training and his goals for the future. Text: Matthieu Hecker

BADMINTON IN THE BLOOD In the Popov family, badminton indeed runs in the blood. His father, Thomas, played for and coached the Bulgarian national team some years ago. He is currently the coach of Fos-sur-Mer, a club in the French 1st division. His older brother – Toma Junior – won three gold medals at the 2017 European Junior Championships in Mulhouse, France (men’s singles, men’s doubles & the team event). With role models like his father and his brother, a clear path was traced for Christo. Ever since he started playing badminton, when he was 4 years old, Christo has been training with his father and his older brother. - It is the best training I can get in France, but it is also really nice to be able to train with my family, Popov says. While some teenagers try to avoid their parents, Christo is spending twice as much time with his father and he is really enjoying it.

Training with his older brother is also a motivation factor. - Because we are brothers there is always competition between us, we want to push each other to do the best we can.

- Without competition, you can not become the better version of yourself. Both Cristo and Toma enjoy this brotherly competition and they even spice things up by adding some forfeits for the loser of their matches. Even though they have never faced each other in an official game, Christo and Toma Junior play each other on a daily basis, and although Cristo is the youngest brother, he sometimes beats his brother. When we asked what is their father is doing while they play against each other, he says: - He is never coaching one of us but is mostly watching and laughing at us….


Paris 2024

is my long-term goal’’

It is not a secret that for many athletes, qualifying, and more importantly, getting a medal at the Olympic Games is the ultimate goal. Christo is still young and therefore has still some time to make it happen, but his first encounter with the Olympics might happen soon. Christo is currently competing with fellow Frenchman Arnaud Merkle to grab what will most likely be the only available spot to represent France in the men’s singles event of the Youth Olympic Games (Buenos Aires in Argentina will host the event from 6-18 October of 2018).

- Qualifying for the Youth Olympic Games is one of my goals for the 2018 season, Popov says.

But in order to qualify for the Olympic Games, the competition between all the French men’s singles might be a really tough one as Christo’s competition will most likely consist of current French top men’s singles such as Lucas Claerbout, Lucas Corvée and Thomas Rouxel but also some promising players such as Arnaud Merkle, Leo Rossi, or even his own brother. For Christo, the dream would be to qualify alongside his brother but in order to do so they will have to be ranked in the world’s top 16 of the men’s singles when the qualification period ends. The family fairy tale could also be completed if both of them will have their father as coach during the 2024 Olympic Games.

Even though he is only 16 years old and therefore allowed to play on the U17 Circuit, Christo has been competing on the Junior Circuit since last year with players up to four years older than him.

Finally, when asked if he would rather win a bronze medal at the 2024 Olympic Games or a gold medal at the BWF World Championships, he answered without having to think twice:

- I have been playing on junior level since last year because I wanted to face better opponents in order to improve. In the beginning it was hard, and the results were not so good but since this year it is getting better.

- World Champion! Because at this moment and until the next edition you are considered as the best of the world whereas a bronze medal at the Olympic Games doesn’t make you a champion.

In men’s singles in 2017, Christo managed to win the Italian Junior, made it to the quarter finals of the BWF World Junior Championships and also won the prestigious Danish Junior Cup which kept the trophy in the family as the 2016 edition was won by …his brother Toma Junior. At the start of the 2018 season, he also won the Hungarian Junior and made it to the final of the Spanish Junior.

CHRISTO POPOV

The last few months were indeed successful for the young Frenchman but there is still a lot to come, and his long-term goal is clear: - Paris 2024 is my long-term goal. This is why I train every day, this is every athlete’s dream to win the Olympic Games, and even more on home soil’’. And when talking about the Olympic Games, Christo’s goal is not only to qualify: - I think that qualifying just to be there and to say that you qualified is useless. I will be 22, so close to my top level and because it will be in France, I want to perform there, I want a medal.

• Born: in Sofia (Bulgaria) 8th March 2002 • World ranking: o BEC European U17 ranking: #1 in men’s singles (12 March 2018) o BWF Junior ranking: #11 in men’s singles (8 March 2018) • Club: Badminton Club Fos (BCF) • Social media: o Instagram: @popovchristo o Twitter: ChristoBad13 Titles: - Hungarian Junior 2018 Winner in MS - Danish Junior Cup 2017 Winner in MS - European U17 Championships 2017 Gold medal in MD (w. Kenji Lovang) - BWF World Junior Championships 2017 Quarterfinal in MS - European U15 Championships 2016 Gold medal in MD (w. Kenji Lovang) Silver medal in MS

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7-16 SEPTEMBER 2018


VIKTOR AXELSEN DENMARK

World Champion 2017 Olympic Bronze Medallist 2016 European Champion 2016


CAROLINA MARIN SPAIN

Olympic Champion 2016 World Champion 2014 & 2015 European Champion 2014, 2016 & 2017


CHRIS & GABBY ADCOCK ENGLAND

World Championship Bronze Medallist 2017 European Champion 2017


TOURNAMET RESULTS YONEX ALL ENGLAND MS: SHI YUQI(CHN)(7) – LIN DAN(CHN)(6) 21-19 16-21 21-9 WS: TAI TZU YING(TPE)(1) – AKANE YAMAGUCHI(JPN)(2) 22-20 21-13 MD: MARCUS GIDEON/KEVIN SUKAMULJO(INA)(1) – MATHIAS BOE/CARSTEN MOGENSEN(DEN)(2) 21-18 21-17 WD: KAMILLA RYTTER JUHL/CHRISTINNA PEDERSEN(DEN)(3) – YUKI FUKUSHIMA/SAYAKA HIROTA(JPN)(4) 21-19 21-18 XD: YUTA WATANABE/ARISA HIGASHINO(JPN) – ZHENG SIWEI/HUANG YAQIONG(CHN)(5) 15-21 22-20 21-16 53 PORTUGUESE INTERNAIONAL CHAMPOINSHIPS MS: RASMUS MESSERSCHMIDT(DEN) – FELIX BURESTEDT(SWE) 21-18 21-15 WS: QI XUEFEI(CHN)(6) – ANNA THEA MADSEN(DEN) 21-15 21-17 MD: LU CHEN/YE HONG WEI(TPE) – MATHIAS BAY-SCHMIDT/FREDERIK SØGAARD(DEN)(3) 23-21 21-18 WD: LI ZI QING/TENG CHUN HSUN(TPE) – JULIE MACPHERSON/ELEANOR O’DONNELL(SCO)(1) 21-15 21-13 XD: PETER KÄSBAUER/OLGA KONON(GER) – LU CHEN/LI ZI QING(TPE) 21-8 21-12 YONEX GERMAN OPEN MS: CHOU TIEN CHEN(TPE)(4) – NG KA LONG ANGUS(HKG)(6) 21-19 18-21 21-18 WS: AKANE YAMAGUCHI(JPN)(1) – CHEN YUFEI(CHN)(4) 21-19 6-21 21-12 MD: TAKUTO INOUE/YUKI KANEKO(JPN)(6) – FAJAR ALFIAN/MUHAMMAD RIAN ARDIANTO(INA)(7) -21-16 21-18 WD: YUKI FUKUSHIMA/SAYAKA HIROTA(JPN)(3) – HUANG DONGPING/YU ZHENG(CHN) 18-21 21-14 21-6 XD: GOH SOON HUAT/SHEVON JEMIE LAI(MAS)(3) – SARA THYGESEN/NIKLAS NØHR(DEN) 21-14 22-20 YONEX SLOVAK OPEN MS: ANDRE MARTEEN(INA)(5) – ADRIAN DZIOLKO(POL)(8) 21-12 21-14 WS: DENG JOU XUAN(HKG) – LIN HSIANG TI(TPE)(7) 21-11 21-13 MD: LU CHEN/YE HONG WEI(TPE)(8) – PAKIN KUNA-ANUVIT/NATTHAPAT TRINKAJEE(THA) 21-18 22-20 WD: LI ZI QING/TENG CHUN HSUN(TPE)(4) – RUETHAICHANOK LAISUAN/SUPAMART MINGCHUA(THA)(1) 22-20 19-21 21-5 XD: YE HONG WEI/TENG CHIN HSUN(TPE)(4) – PAKIN KUNA-ANUVIT/SIPISSARA PAEWSAMPRAN(THA) 21-16 21-16 YONEX SWISS OPEN MS: SAMEER VERMA(IND)(2) – JAN Ø. JØRGENSEN(DEN) 21-15 21-13 WS: SAYAKA TAKAHASHI(JPN)(1) – NATSUKI NIDAIRA(JPN) 21-12 21-18 MD: MATHIAS BOE/CARSTEN MOGENSEN(DEN)(1) – TINN ISRIYANET/KITTISAK NAMDASH(THA) 21-15 21-11 WD: AYAKO SAKURAMOTO/YUKIKO TAKAHATA(JPN) – GABRIELA STOEVA/STEFANI STOEVA(BUL)(1) 19-21 21-15 21-18 XD: MARK LAMSFUSS/ISABEL HERTTRICH(GER)(1) – MARCUS ELLIS/LAUREN SMITH(ENG)(7) 22-20 21-19 AUSTRIAN OPEN MS: KASKYAP PARUPALLI(IND)(2) – JUNE WEI CHEAM(MAS) 23-21 21-14 WS: ANNA THEA MADSEN(DEN) – PATTARASUDA CHAIWAN(THA) 23-21 21-17 MD: LU CHEN/YE HONG WEI(TPE) – OLIVER LEYDON-DAVIS/LASSE MØLHEDE(NZL/DEN)(3) 25-23 21-17 WD: CHISATO HOSHI/KIE NAKANISHI(JPN) – SAYAKA HOBARA/NATSUKI SONE(JPN) 21-15 21-18 XD: EVGENIJ DREMIN/EVGENIA DIMOVA(RUS)(1) – LASSE MØLHEDE/SARA LUNDGAARD(DEN) 21-15 21-13 ICELAND INTERNATIONAL MS: SAM PARSONS(ENG)(2) – BODHIT JOSHI(IND) 21-14 21-17 WS: SAILI RANE(IND)(5) – VAISHNAVI REDDY JAKKA(IND)(4) 22-20 21-12 MD: ALEXANDER DUNN/ADAM HALL(SCO)(1) – NICKLAS MATHIASEN/MIKKEL STOFFERSEN(DEN) 21-16 21-18 WD: JULIE MACPHERSON/ELEANOR O’DONNELL(SCO)(2) – EMILIE FURBO/TRINE VILLADSEN(DEN) 17-21 21-13 21-17 XD: ROHAN KAPOOR/KUHOO GARG(IND)(3) – KRISTOFFER KNUDSEN/ISABELLA NIELSEN(DEN)(1) 16-21 21-19 21-18 SWEDISH OPEN MS: SIDDHARTH PRATAP SINGH(IND) – MADS CHRISTOPHERSEN(DEN) 21-15 21-11 WS: MICHELLE SKØDSTRUP(DEN) – JULIE DAWALL JAKOBSEN(DEN)(1) 21-13 12-21 21-19 MD: OLIVER LEYDON-DAVIS/LASSE MØLHEDE(NZL/DEN)(2) – MARTIN CAMPBELL/PATRICK MACHUGH(SCO) 21-17 21-12 WD: EMMA KARLSSON/JOHANNA MAGNUSSON(SWE)(3) – DEBORA JILLE/IMKE VAN DER AAR(NED) 18-21 21-11 21-19 XD: THOM GICQUEL/DELPHINE DELRUE(FRA)(1) – KRISTOFFER KNUDSEN/ISABELLA NIELSEN(DEN)(2) 21-16 21-10 YONEX ESTONIAN INTERNATIONAL MS: LUCAS CLAERBOUT(FRA)(4) – JACOB NILSSON(SWE) 21-16 21-6 WS: KSENIA POLIKARPOVA(ISR)(1) – MICHELLE SKØDSTRUP(DEN) 21-13 21-17 MD: ANDREY PARAKHODIN/NIKOLAI UKK(RUS) – PETER KÄSBAUER/JOHANNES PISTORIUS(GER) 14-21 21-18 21-19 WD: EKATERINA BOLOTOVA/ALINA DAVLETOVA(RUS)(1) – JESSICA HOPTON/JENNY MOORE(ENG) 21-10 21-10 XD: PETER KÄSBAUER/OLGA KONON(GER) – GERGORY MAIRS/JENNY MOORE(ENG)(2) 21-14 21-12

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ALEXANDRA BØJE

The young Dane was runner-up in women’s doubles at the 2017 European Junior Championships and current European Junior Champion is looking forward to her new partnership with the experienced badminton player in mixed doubles, Joachim Fischer. - Our expectations are low, because we have not played so much together. But I think it is going to be a lot of fun. I am looking forward to it and it is going to be exciting to play against some of the biggest pairs in the world. Joachim Fischer is also looking forward to his new partnership with Alexandra Bøje, and he thinks that it is a good thing that she also has a temperament.

Now playing with Olympic medallist Joachim Fischer Alexandra Bøje is one of the new upcoming Danish stars in mixed doubles. She is only 18 years old, but she has already showed her big talent. Now, she is partnering up with the Olympic Medallist, Joachim Fischer. Article by Niels Nedergaard

- I have big expectations. It is very nice to try to play with a younger force. It is not random that I am playing with her and I am looking forward to it, says Joachim Fischer. - It is never a bad thing to have a temper in badminton, but you have to be able to control it. We have to interpret it, and we have to get to know each other, Fischer ends. Alexandra Bøje is very happy about the fact that Badminton Denmark has showed her a lot of confidence by choosing her as their new bet in mixed doubles. - It is very nice to be a selected, and now I have a chance to come to Brøndby and be a part of the training, It has launched my badminton career with a bang, and it means a lot to me.


It began in a small Danish city

Share the know-how

It all began in Horsens, the city where Alexandra was born. She played in the local badminton club there when she was a child.

Alexandra Bøje is now part of a partnerships alongside former Olympic and world championship medallist, Joachim Fischer. And Badminton Denmark is happy that the ‘old’ and the ‘young’ player are playing together.

But playing in the local badminton club was not enough for Alexandra, and she moved to Aarhus AB, which is a bigger badminton club in Denmark. There, the club had old traditions and was known for its’ history and talented players. This was when Alexandra’s career took a step in the right direction. She got a lot of support from her family and, especially, her parents who drove her 50 kilometres from Horsens to Aarhus for her daily training. The turning point came for Alexandra Bøje when she was 15 years old and she moved out from her childhood home. - I left home when I was 15 years old. It gave me the feeling that I had to take care of myself. I had to take responsibility. And it is the same for my training, I have to take repsonsibility if I really want this. I can decide by myself what this will result in.

- The idea is to give experience and know-how from the older player to the younger. In this case, Joachim Fischer can give Alexandra a lot of ‘badminton know-how’.We believe and hope that Alexandra will improve while playing alongside Joachim Fischer, Sports Director at Badminton Denmark Jens Meibom says. - In general, we belive that Alexandra can become a player to watch. We think she has a big potential, but I cannot predict how far she can take it, Meibom says. In both cases they lost in the first round to Selena Piek and Jacco Arends of the Netherlands. But Bøje and Fischer were recently offered a wild card for the 2018 European Championships in Huelva, and will therefore get a chance to compete amongst the best on the continent from 24-29 April, in Huleva Spain.

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FAROE ISLANDS A small Member Association with big dreams Article by Emma Lollike

In the northern part of the Atlantic, between Iceland, Scotland and Norway, a small island nation with a population of 50,000 people is placed. 5 percent of the population practices the sport of badminton. Badminton Europe met with some young players and the President of the Faroese Badminton Association in Prague for the European U17 Championships in November, last year, to a talk about what kind of dreams and aspirations a member association, like the Faroe Islands, have, and, what they gain form joining major events like the European Championships.

The 2017 European U17 Championships was the first championships for the young players; Árant Á. Mýrini, Jonas Djurhuus, Ari M. Jacobsen, Lena Maria Joensen, Alma Kentsdóttir Mohr Pedersen and Sissal Thomsen made of the Faroe Islandic team and they left Tórshavn for their first championships. With them was the team manager Erik Engelbrecht, who is also the President of the association, ‘Badmintonsamband Føroya’ as it is called in their mother tongue. - For a small association in a small country isolated in the Atlantic Ocean, it is extra important to send our players to championships like the European U17 Championships to meet other players that have a higher level, because at home on the Faroe Islands they would meet the same players over and over again, says Erik Engelbrecht Thomsen. The team was drawn into subgroup 8A with Russia as the seeded team. In their group, the Faroese team managed to reach their goal in the last tie of the group as men’s singles Jonas Djurhuus won his match; 21-19, 12-21, 21-18. - I have played a lot of close matches and I think it went well for us in this tournament. I won against Romania which was great, the young player said about his victory. The goal for the team was to try to get one victory, which was a great way to set the bar for a young team that has never taken part in an event like this before. - In the competition with other big branches of sports, it is also important for badminton on Faroe Islands to make sure for the best athletes, that we can offer them to take part in big professional championships as e.g. at the U17 Europeans. This will evidently make badminton more interesting. The sport of badminton is considered as a part of the popular branches of sport on the Faroe Islands, and, what is even more positive is, that over the past many years there has been a steady increase of players and clubs.


WHAT IT MEANS TO THE PLAYERS

THE SETUP IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN

The President explained that their trip to Prague has been very positive for the players. And even the players’ personal opinions reveal that this trip truly has been inspirational for them;

Currently, the national squad of the Faroe Islands consists of 24 players from U15 to Senior level, whereas seven of them live and train in Denmark. The homebound players train in their respective clubs and every Sunday they gather in the capital of Tórshavn for one big training session.

- It has been very different than any other tournaments that I have ever been to. It is all very professional, just like what we have seen on TV which has been pretty cool, Sissal Thomsen says about playing at the European U17 Championships for the first time. - You feel kind of like, I don’t know, like we are on TV and that’s not usually the feeling we get when we play on the Faroe Islands. - I also think it has been fun to see how good they are in the foreign countries and how small we are on Faroe Islands, Jonas Djurhuus added. This has added up to the association being very interested in continuing to travel abroad with their players. And the President revealed that they have a lot to consider in terms of future trips: - Short term we are hoping to send our 17 national players in U15, U17, U19 and U22 to YONEX Junior Cup 2018 in Berlin during Easter. - After the summer, we are considering participation at the European Juniors in September in Tallinn and/ or the World Junior Championships in November in Toronto. It all depends on the support we get in 2018 from the Faroe Islandic autonomy and Danske Spil A/S (a Danish betting & lottery company). Futhermore they plan to have a team ready for the first stage of the 2019 European Mixed Team Championships, this December.

In 2018 and 2019, the Faroe Islands will have a powerful team of coaches which consists of Aritra Nandy from India and the newly hired Sune Gavnholt from Denmark. - In the fall of 2017, we spent a lot of time searching for and hiring an additional national coach, President Thomsen stated. - With this new team of coaches, we will be able to turn up on the development of our elite players. When the players were asked if they would like to go to European Championships again some time, they answered without hesitation; Yes, definitely! - It is funny that the other teams are so many, and we are not, Sissal pointed out. - Yes, we have been to training camps with some of the other players in the past, so it is really fun to see them again, Jonas added.

BADMINTONSAMBAND FØROYA FACTS: 1,100 PLAYERS 6 CLUBS FOUNDED IN 1981 BECAME A MEMBER OF BEC IN 1982


THE BIG VICTORY! The Danish women’s doubles, Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen became the first European women’s doubles to win the YONEX All England since 1981. After being the runner-up at the Olympics, the World Championships and All England the four times European Champions are finally on top.


Shuttle Time course in Moldova

Article by: Hugo Mussou Like every year since 2012, Badminton Europe organized a Shuttle Time course in 2018. With the great success of the Shuttle Time-programme since its creation in 2012, it is still not difficult to find participants for Trainer/Tutor courses. With a total of 15 682 Shuttle Time teachers (figures from the end of 2017), 811 Tutors and 87 Trainers, Badminton Europe is the leading Continental Confederation in terms of certificated coaches. A great asset that our Confederation would like to keep growing. Shuttle Time is indeed a great tool to develop badminton through the schools all around our continent. With very wellstructured resources, school teachers are able to deliver efficient badminton sessions to their classes. This year’s Trainer/Tutor course was delivered in Chisinau, Moldova. As usual, the course lasted two days and a half and this year gathered 17 participants from 10 different countries: Albania, Belgium, Cyprus, Georgia, Lithuania, Moldova, Portugal, Spain, Wales and England. Once again, the course has been a great experience for every participant with a very dense schedule well managed by the Experts (Tom Causer and Helen Earnshaw) and the organizers from the Moldavian Badminton Federation. The first day of the course was mainly dedicated to getting a good understanding of the Shuttle Time resources and the role of Shuttle Time teachers and tutors. After a quick introduction and an “ice breaking” session, allowing all the participants to get to know each other better, the practical sessions started on court. Each candidate was delivering Shuttle Time sessions as Teachers and then as Tutors, while they were observed and assessed by the two experts.

A part of the second day was also dedicated to the development of a Shuttle Time teacher’s course planning (an 8 hours course where teachers would learn all the badminton basics and mainly how to use the Shuttle Time resources). Participants then ended the course with a “self-reflection” task, where they had to write down what they had valued from the course. - It was a very important event for our federation as it was the very first time we hosted a Badminton Europe course. We are very happy that everything went well and that everyone seemed to be having a good time here in Moldova, says Maria Bubucea from the Badminton Federation of Moldova. The staff coach Kestutis Navickas from the BEC Centre of Excellence in Holbaek took part in this course in Moldova. A good way for him to discover the Shuttle Time Programme. - Moldova showed great hospitality and the course helped for my teaching skills, my personal development and my ability to work in a group; I’m now more confident in presenting badminton to people who would like to introduce the sport in schools, relates Kestutis Navickas. Badminton Europe would like to thank the Badminton Federation of Moldova, its President Marian Stan and course coordinator Maria Bubucea, for their great work in hosting the course and organizing all the logistics perfectly. Badminton Europe would also like to thank all the candidates for their participation and involvement, and of course the two Shuttle Time experts, Tom Causer and Helen Earnshaw, for their great delivery. Badminton Europe will again be delivering Shuttle Time on the first day of the 2018 BEC Summer School (Podcetrtek, Slovenia from 7-14 July 2018). This will only be a Shuttle Time Teachers course but always represents a good opportunity to present the programme to coaches from all over Europe.

The second day, gave the opportunity for the participants to be in the role of Trainers, meaning assessing other candidates playing the role of Tutors. A great way to test different type of skills as “tutoring” skills, questioning skills and feedback skills.

37


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BEC tournament in pictures A lot of talents were on court at Swedish Open and the home crowd favourites, Emma Karlsson and Johanna Magnusson claimed the title in women’s double. Not a bad day to be Swedish in Sweden.


1. When and where did you first play badminton?

TRAVELLING THROUGH TIME WITH SORAYA DE VISCH EIJBERGEN Text: Mireille Van Daal

Soraya de Visch Eijbergen has made quite a comeback and is ready for even more progress! Which important events made her reach the level that she has today? And what are her plans for the future? Soraya took Badminton Europe on a time journey of her badminton life.

When I was only four years old I played with a small racket in the living room. To my joy, but to lesser joy of my parents. Now and then some things got broken. I properly started playing badminton as a young girl at the age of 6. My mother was a badminton player and introduced me to the sport. 2. Who was your idol when you were a kid and why? In my junior years I didn’t really have an idol. For me my mum was someone I looked up to. When I got a bit older I spend more time watching other players. I thought Judith Meulendijks was a fascinating player to watch. She made badminton seem so easy. I always wished I could have a backhand like her. 3. How did you celebrate your very first tournament win? My first tournament win was at the age of ten where I played a junior tournament in Holland. And honestly, it’s too long ago to remember, but for sure I was a very happy girl!


4. How did you do in your first international tournament? My first international tournament was the Danish Junior Cup U15. I was only a U13 player when the Dutch Federation selected me for this tournament to gain experience. I lost in the first round against the number one player from Germany. I remember how overwhelmed I was. I really looked up to everyone. 5. Who was your favourite partner in your junior years? Without any doubt my old mixed partner Jim Middleburg. He was not only my mixed partner but was also and still is a very close friend. I will always remember us winning the bronze medal at the European Juniors (Finland, 2011). (Fun fact: Soraya and Jim were born on the exact same day!) 6. What was your first international senior tournament? My first senior tournament was in our neighbouring country Belgium, the Belgian International. At 15 years old I was the youngest player of the tournament at that time. I still have a poster on which was written about my young age in the report of the day.

7. How did you feel when you found out you were a top 100 player?

10. Which tournament are you most looking forward to in the next three months?

It felt like a reward for all the hard work. It was a milestone that inspired me to continue to work even harder.

I have most good memories from the Orleans International tournament in France, reaching the finals in 2015. I really look forward to play in Orleans again because of this result but mainly because of the nice people and good organization.

8. What is the nicest tournament you have ever played? The World Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2015. There isn’t a country in the world where badminton more popular. It was an incredible experience to play against the number one player from Indonesia - Lindaweni Fanetri - in the notorious Istora Arena with so many passionate people. Of course, mainly supporting Lindaweni. 9. What is your most memorable match of last year? There are actually a lot of matches which were memorable for me last year. But playing against my teammate of Club Chambly Bad, Kirsty Gilmour, in the semi final of the Scottish Open was for sure a memorable one.

11. Which opponent are you most eager to beat? There is no special player I want to beat. I just really want to beat everyone. 12. What goal do you want to accomplish in one year? I feel it’s time to win a tournament again. I got too many semi finals and second places! My goal is to come back into top 50/60 so I can play higher ranked tournaments. 13. What is the greatest dream you have for your badminton career? It has always been a dream of mine to win a European medal in singles. 14. What would you most likely do when you retire from badminton? First, I would take a long holiday and explore the world. And I definitely want to spend more time with my friends and family. Since a couple of months, I became more interested in becoming a trainer for young kids. But honestly everything is open!

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MY JOURNEY By: Bobby Griffin

N

ovember 2010, the UK 4 Nations, just four months after my amputation and I’m in Dublin at my first para-badminton competition. I came home with an aching jaw having spent three days with an open mouth... gaping in awe at what I was looking at. A guy with no legs having a 30-shot rally against a Cerebral Palsy sufferer? Surely not. A WH2 player diving out of the wheelchair to keep the rally alive? Did I just imagine that? A jump-smashingdwarf-match that included four dives in a single rally!?! I must be dreaming.

Having spent two years in surgeries, I never expected to walk again, besides compete on a badminton court. Ever! I was hooked, there and then. A gold medal in the singles helped the experience (the field was not strong at that event). I could not wait to compete again. I scoured the UK for a partner, doubles was my game I was fortunate that Scotsman Steven Moodie was keen to give it a go. We spent the next couple years travelling, playing hard, partying hard, playing practical jokes, wearing fancy dress or obscene clothes on court as fun was the priority. We weren’t serious competitors. And yet we medalled at every event we entered, whether it was the UK or World Championships, somehow the ‘lads on tour’ managed to bring home silverware as well as hangovers. I could hear my old school-teacher’s reports in my head “plenty of potential, but he needs to focus!”. Steve became one of my closest friends. How times have changed so very much in the last five years.


Steve retired though injury a few years back and to turn his focus towards family. For me, a burning desire to turn a childish, competitive, badminton-geekiness into something serious pulled me away from the SouthWest of England to train full time with one of the best coaches I’ve ever met (Richard Morris) and a team of friends that also shared the attitude that with no funding at all, we can still make this para-sport a success. The ultimate goal? Paralympics. Life today consists of 20 hours on court each week. Hours in the gym on top. Physiotherapy. Sports Psychology. Stretching. Nutrition planning. Foam Rolling. I live with two other players now turning professional and the focus is Tokyo 2020. We have advice and rules on our social media, even have our names and sponsors logos on our luggage. Life is clean and dedicated. The standard has increased across the board. We have seen para-players in the world good enough to enter their able-bodied national tournaments. Para-players compete in the Malaysian Purple League. Yet the Para-Badminton community is still a humble, friendly and very good-natured environment. Filled with mutual respect, knowing that every player on the circuit at some point in their life has gone through hell, in one way or another, just to be where they are today and be there, fighting to win. Full court SL4 Men’s Singles is difficult for an amputee in his mid 30’s. The occasional quarter-final is a good week at any international for me these days! Fortunately for me, England have produced one of the best SL3 players in the world in Dan Bethell and we have become one of the best SL3-4 men’s doubles pairs in the game, as well as close friends. We lived in the same city of Bath for a few years and trained together for hours each week. We are now full-time and aiming for top-spot in the world by the end of the year and a European gold medal. SL3-4 Men’s Doubles is not featured in this coming Paralympics, I am still coming to terms with that IPC decision. And though it will take a miracle for me to make an appearance at the Paralympics in two years in Singles, my role will soon turn from doubles-partner to sparrer and badminton coach. And with some experience in BWF Commentary and ad hoc badminton journalism, I’m committed to this sport that I love and enjoy so much. Parabadminton for me has become even more exciting than the able-bodied game. I urge any readers to get themselves to a para-badminton event and share that jaw-dropping moment that I had back in 2010. It is about time that the IPC recognise this incredible sport as part of the Paralympic programme and I am deeply privileged to say that I have been a part of the movement. Article by Bobby Griffin SL4 category

43


COUNTING DOWN FOR

HUELVA

These are the players, who will attend the 2018 European Championships in Huelva, Spain.

Dominik Stipsits/Antonia Meinke - AUT Uladzimir Varantsou/Krestina Silich - BLR Dimitar Yanakiev/Mariya Mitsova - BUL Jakub Bitman/Alzbeta Basova - CZE Mathias Christiansen/Christinna Pedersen - DEN Niclas Nøhr/Sara Thygesen – DEN Joachim Fischer Nielsen/Alexandra Bøje - DEN Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock - ENG Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith - ENG Ben Lane/Jessica Pugh - ENG Alberto Zapico/Lorena Usle - ESP Sander Merits/Kati-Kreet Marran - EST Anton Kaisti/Jenny Nyström - FIN Thom Gicquel/Delphine Delrue - FRA Bastian Kersaudy/Lea Palermo - FRA Ronan Labar/Audrey Fontaine - FRA Mark Lamsfuss/Isabel Herttrich - GER Marvin Emil Seidel/Linda Efler - GER Sam Magee/Chloe Magee - IRL Misha Zilberman/Svetlana Zilberman - ISR Kevin Strobl/Silvia Garino - ITA Jacco Arends/Selena Piek - NED Jelle Maas/Imke Van Der Aar - NED Robin Tabeling/Cheryl Seinen - NED Fredrik Kristensen/Solvår Flåten Jørgensen - NOR Pawel Smilowski/Magdalena Swierczynska - POL Rodion Alimov/Alina Davletova - RUS Evgenij Dremin/Evgenia Dimova - RUS Oliver Schaller/Celine Burkart - SUI Milan Dratva/Martina Repiska - SVK Richard Eidestedt/Clara Nistad - SWE Artem Pochtarov/Natalya Voytsekh – UKR

MIXED DOUBLES


Lianne Tan - BEL Alesia Zaitsava - BLR Mariya Mitsova - BUL Linda Zetchiri - BUL Maja Pavlinic - CRO Eleni Christodoulou - CYP Zuzana Pavelkova - CZE Katerina Tomalova - CZE Mia Blichfeldt - DEN Line Højmark Kjærsfeldt - DEN Mette Poulsen - DEN Natalia Koch Rohde - DEN Chloe Birch - ENG Clara Azurmendi - ESP Beatriz Corrales - ESP Carolina Marin – ESP Sara Penalver - ESP Kristin Kuuba - EST Getter Saar - EST Airi Mikkela - FIN Marie Batomene - FRA Delphine Lansac - FRA Fabienne Deprez - GER Luise Heim - GER Yvonne Li - GER Grammatoula Sotiriou - GRE Agnes Korosi - HUN Rachael Darragh - IRL Dana Danilenko - ISR Ieva Pope - LAT Vytaute Fomkinaite - LTU

Soraya de Visch Eijbergen - NED Gayle Mahulette - NED Elisa Wiborg - NOR Sonia Goncalves - POR Evgeniya Kosetskaya - RUS Natalia Perminova - RUS Kirsty Gilmour - SCO Lia Salehar - SLO Ayla Huser - SUI Sabrina Jaquet - SUI Martina Repiska - SVK Johanna Magnusson - SWE Aliye Demirbag - TUR Neslihan Yigit - TUR Maria Ulitina - UKR Natalya Voytsekh - UKR Jordan Hart - WAL

2018 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

WOMEN’S SINGLES

Remember to read the previews, reactions and reviews from the 2018 European Championships at www.badmintoneurope.com

45


Lise Jaques/Flore Vandenhoucke - BEL Anastasiya Cherniavskaya/Alesia Zaitsava - BLR Gabriela Stoeva/Stefani Stoeva - BUL Alzbeta Basova/Michaela Fuchsova - CZE Julie Finne-Ipsen/Rikke Søby - DEN Maiken Fruergaard/Sara Thygesen - DEN Kamilla Rytter Juhl/Christinna Pedersen - DEN Chloe Birch/Jessica Pugh - ENG Lauren Smith/Sarah Walker - ENG Elena Fernandez/Lorena Usle - ESP

2018 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

WOMEN’S DOUBLES

Kristin Kuuba/Helina Rüütel - EST Jenny Nyström/Sonja Pekkola - FIN Delphine Delrue/Lea Palermo - FRA Emilie Lefel/Anne Tran - FRA Johanna Goliszewski/Lara Kaepplein - GER Isabel Herttrich/Carla Nelte – GER Olga Konon/Linda Efler - GER Nikoletta Bukoviczki/Daniella Gonda - HUN Sara Boyle/Rachael Darragh - IRL Silvia Garino/Lisa Iversen - ITA Ieva Pope/Monika Radovska - LAT Vytaute Fomkinaite/Gerda Voitechovskaja - LTU Debora Jille/Imke Van Der Aar - NED Selena Piek/Cheryl Seinen - NED Solvår Flåten Jørgensen/Natalie Syvertsen - NOR Ekaterina Bolotova/Alina Davletova - RUS Iza Salehar/Lia Salehar - SLO Amanda Högström/Clara Nistad - SWE Emma Karlsson/Johanna Magnusson - SWE Bengisu Ercetin/Nazlıcan Inci - TUR Busra Unlu/Ebru Yazgan - TUR Maryna Ilyinskaya/Yelyzaveta Zharka - UKR

Remember to read the previews, reactions and reviews from the 2018 European Championships at www.badmintoneurope.com


2018 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

MEN’S DOUBLES

Dominik Stipsits/Roman Zirnwald - AUT Matijs Dierickx/Freek Golinski - BEL Peyo Boichinov/Ivan Panev - BUL Daniel Nikolov/Ivan Rusev - BUL Kim Astrup/Anders Skaarup Rasmussen - DEN Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen - DEN Mathias Christiansen/David Daugaard - DEN Mads Conrad-Petersen/Mads Pieler Kolding - DEN Peter Briggs/Tom Wolfenden - ENG Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge - ENG Ben Lane/Sean Vendy - ENG Javier Suarez/Alberto Zapico - ESP Kristjan Kaljurand/Raul Käsner - EST Eloi Adam/Samy Corvee - FRA Bastian Kersaudy/Julien Maio - FRA Daniel Benz/Andreas Heinz - GER Jones Ralfy Jansen/Josche Zurwonne - GER Mark Lamsfuss/Marvin Emil Seidel - GER Nhat Nguyen/Paul Reynolds - IRL Alexander Bass/Shai Geffen - ISR Giovanni Greco/Rosario Maddaloni - ITA Lukas Osele/Kevin Strobl - ITA Jacco Arends/Ruben Jille - NED Jelle Maas/Robin Tabeling - NED Magnus Christensen/Fredrik Kristensen - NOR Milosz Bochat/Adam Cwalina - POL Pawel Pradzinski/Jan Rudzinski - POL Konstantin Abramov/Alexandr Zinchenko - RUS Evgenij Dremin/Denis Grachev - RUS Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov - RUS Alexander Dunn/Adam Hall - SCO Milan Dratva/Matej Hlinican - SVK

47


Luka Wraber - AUT Orkhan Galandarov - AZE Maxime Moreels - BEL Ivan Rusev - BUL Zvonimir Durkinjak - CRO Elias Nicolaou - CYP Milan Ludik - CZE Adam Mendrek - CZE Anders Antonsen - DEN Viktor Axelsen - DEN Rasmus Gemke – DEN Jan Ø. Jørgensen - DEN Rajiv Ouseph - ENG Sam Parsons - ENG Toby Penty - ENG Pablo Abian - ESP Luís Enrique Peñalver - ESP Raul Must - EST Eetu Heino - FIN Kalle Koljonen - FIN Lucas Claerbout - FRA Lucas Corvee - FRA Brice Leverdez - FRA Fabian Roth - GER Kai Schaefer - GER Ilias Xanthou - GRE Gergely Krausz - HUN Nhat Nguyen - IRL Kari Gunnarsson - ISL Misha Zilberman - ISR

Rosario Maddaloni - ITA Robert Mann - LUX Cristian Savin - MDA Matthew Abela - MLT Mark Caljouw - NED Nick Fransman - NED Marius Myhre - NOR Michal Rogalski - POL Duarte Nuno Anjo - POR Collins Valentine Filimon - ROU Vladimir Malkov - RUS Sergey Sirant - RUS Miha Ivanic - SLO Christian Kirchmayr - SUI Milan Dratva - SVK Jacob Nilsson - SWE Emre Lale - TUR Artem Pochtarov - UKR

2018 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

MEN’S SINGLES

Remember to read the previews, reactions and reviews from the 2018 European Championships at www.badmintoneurope.com


MY LIFE AS A CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE PLAYER Article by Lilit Poghosyan

I had never thought I would be a part of something great in badminton. Not that I didn’t believe in myself or didn’t like badminton… it’s just that I come from a very small badminton country where if people see you walking with your badminton bag they would ask you if it’s a guitar or a violin. I would go to training every day, unsure if it would bring me somewhere. But still, there was something deep inside me making me believe that I had to keep going. I worked hard, sometimes all alone on court. The trainings were boring. That was when I felt I needed something new, something crazy different from what I used to have… I was selected as a member of the Centre of Excellence and I started the challenge of facing and destroying my fears. That was the first time in my life I won against my poor self-confidence and all my fears and moved to Denmark. For the first time in my life I was traveling alone and for the first time in my life I was going to live alone.

The first days were very hard. The house was not fully ready, we still didn’t know each other well. However, my first impressions and my expectations where far away from the reality. Frankly, I didn’t expect everyone to be so friendly here. After a week or two I felt I am a part of a great international family. That was especially due to the time that we all spent in the common room talking and discussing, sharing experience and trying to get to know each other.


MY LIFE AT COE

Usually whenever we are not training, we are trying to take a nap, recover and get ready for the next training session. We wake up at 6:30 as our first training session starts at 7:30. In the beginning it was hard to start the day that early, but we gradually got used to it. Now whenever I wake up after 8 in the morning, the day feels so short. And there is this unique feeling of pride, like you are waking up earlier and accomplishing goals while everyone else is sleeping. I know it’s funny to think like that but how else can I make my aching body get up from my beloved bed before the sun and hit shuttles in the hall? We have our cleaning teams, each of them responsible for a certain part of the house. Wednesday is our cleaning day. It‘s also the day we are doing multifeeding in the morning session – the hardest of all. Oh, yes, it‘s also the day when we – the girls are matching the colours of our clothes or wearing the same t-shirts. Most importantly, on Wednesdays we have a recovery session to get ready for the next half of the week. Just like Wednesdays, every other day of the week is unique itself. One day it may be a perfect training session for me, for another player the same session may be a very bad one because of a certain problem in his/her life. It‘s impossible not to think about badminton in the Centre of Excellence. We have all the necessary facilities to live the life of a professional badminton player. And what is it if not a dream come true for a player like me? Of course it‘s all about badminton, however, it‘s mostly about life AND badminton. Some of us are living alone for the first time in our lives, some don‘t know how to cook, some don‘t know how to string a racket, some don‘t know how to clean the floor. But it‘s not about knowledge. It‘s about helping each other gain knowledge not only oncourt but also off-court.

We have all sacrificed so many things to be here. I miss my family a lot, sometimes I really want to be home. But I know, being far away from home will not last forever, it‘s just a part of the journey that everyone has. We just write our own stories every day. I know I have worked really hard to be here, my family has contributed a lot for my stay in Denmark, I love what I am doing and that‘s the most important point. I never get bored in the Centre of Excellence. There is always something going on here – new skills on court, new exercises, new films, new ideas on how to spend a weekend, new people coming etc. The most important thing is that we all feel a part of a big family, a family that has members from different countries, each of us having a different culture, a different language and a different personality. But there is one thing that unites us – it’s our goal in badminton. We have all sacrificed things to move to Denmark and chase our dreams. We spend most of our days in the hall and gym, doing the hardest trainings and we know that we have the responsibility to push each other to go far, to inspire and motivate each other. It’s just keeping these responsibilities in mind that keeps us going. It’s that simple…we keep on going.

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TOURNAMENT JANUARY 2018

APRIL 2018

Week Date

Title

City

Category

Week Date

Title

City

Category

2

9 - 14

Thailand Masters

Bangkok

BWF Super 300

14

5 - 8

Finnish Open

Vantaa

Int. Challenge

2

11 - 14 Estonian International Tallinn

Int. Series

15

10 - 15

China International

Ling Shui

BWF Super 100

3

16 - 21

Malaysia Masters

Kuala Lumpur BWF Super 500

15 12 - 15

19th Dutch International

Wateringen

Int. Series

3

18 - 21

Swedish Open

Lund

Int. Series

16

Hellas International

Sidirokastro

Fut. Series

4

23 - 28

Indonesia Masters

Jakarta

BWF Super 300

Huelva

BEC Event

4

25 - 28

Iceland International

Reykjavik

Int. Series

2018 European Championships

5

30 - 4

India Open

New Delhi

BWF Super 300

Week Date

Title

City

Category

18

1 - 6

New Zealand Open

Auckland

BWF Super 300

19

8 - 13

Australia Open

Melbourne

BWF Super 300

19

10 - 13

Slovenia International Medvode

Int. Series

20 20 - 27

Thomas & Uber Cup Finals

Bangkok

BWF Event

22

Latvia International

Jelgava

Fut. Series

Week Date

Title

City

Category

23 7 - 10

Lithuanian International

Kaunas

Fut. Series

24

12 - 17

USA Open

BWF Super 300

24

14 - 17

Spanish International Madrid

Int. Challenge

FEBRUARY 2018 Week Date

Title

City

Category

7 13 - 18

2018 European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships

Kazan

BEC Event

7 16 – 18 2018 European U15 Kazan Championships

BEC Event

8

20 - 25

Basel

BWF Super 300

8

21 - 24 Austrian Open

Vienna

Int. Challenge

9

28 - 3

Trencin

Fut. Series

Swiss Open

Slovak Open

MARCH 2018 Week Date

City

Category

10 6 - 11 German Open

Mulheim an der Ruhr

BWF Super 300

10 8 - 11

53. Portuguese International

Caldas da Rainha

Int. Series

11

All England Open

Birmingham

BWF Super 1000

11 15 - 18 KaBaL International Karviná

Karviná

Int. Series

13

Orleans

BWF Super 100

13

14 - 18

27 - 1 29 - 1

Title

Orleans Masters

Croatian International Zagreb

19 - 22

17 24 - 29

MAY 2018

31 - 3

JUNE 2018

25 19 - 23 European Club Championships

Bialystok

BEC Event

25

19 - 24

Canada Open

Calgary

BWF Super 100

26

26 - 1

Malaysia Open

Kuala Lumpur BWF Super 750

JULY 2018 Week Date

Title

City

Category

27

3 - 8

Indonesia Open

Jakarta

BWF Super 1000

27

4 - 8

White Nights

Gatchina

Int. Challenge

28

10 - 15

Thailand Open

Bangkok

BWF Super 500

29

17 - 22

Singapore Open

Singapore

BWF Super 500

Fut. Series


TOURNAMENT

CALENDAR 2018 OCTOBER 2018

JULY 2018

Week Date

Title

City

Category

Vladivostok BWF Super 100

43

French Open

Paris

BWF Super 750

Nanjing

43 24 - 27 Hatzor International

Kibbutz Hatzor

Fut. Series

44

30 - 4

Macau Open

Macau City

BWF Super 300

44

30 - 4

Bitburger Masters

Saarbrucken BWF Super 100

Week Date

Title

City

30

Russian Open World Championships

24 - 29

31 30 - 5

Category

BWF Event

AUGUST 2018 Week Date

Title

City

Category

32 7 - 12

Vietnam Open Minh City

Ho Chi

BWF Super 100

33 13 - 16

Eurasia Bulgaria Open

Sofia

Int Series

35

28 - 2

Spanish Open

Granada

BWF Super 300

35

29 - 2

Kharkiv International

Kharkiv

Int. Challenge

SEPTEMBER 2018 Week Date

Title

City

Category

36

Belarus International

Minsk

Fut. Series

36 7 - 16

2018 European Junior Tallinn Championships

BEC Event

37

11 - 16

Japan Open

Tokyo

BWF Super 750

37

12-15

Belgian International

Leuven

Int. Challenge

38

18 - 23

China Open

Changzhou

BWF Super 1000

6 - 9

38 18 - 23

Indonesia International

BWF Super 100

38

Polish International

Int. Series

20 - 23

Bierun

39 24-30

2018 European Senior Guadalajara BEC Event Championships

39

Korea Open

25 - 30

39 27 - 30 Czech Open

Seoul

BWF Super 500

Brno

Int. Challenge

Week Date

Title

City

Category

40

Chinese Taipei Open

Taipei City

BWF Super 300

40 4 - 7 41 9 - 14

NOVEMBER 2018 Week Date

Title

City

44 1 - 4

43th Hungarian International

Budaรถrs

45 5 - 10

World Junior Mixed Team Championships

Toronto

BWF Event

45

China Masters

Fuzhou

BWF Super 750

45 8 - 11

Norwegian International

Sandefjord

46 12 - 18

World Junior Championships

Toronto

BWF Event

46

13 - 18

Hong Kong Open

Hong Kong

BWF Super 500

46

14 - 17

Irish Open

Dublin

Int. Series

47

20 - 25

Scotland Open

Glasgow

BWF Super 100

47 20 - 25

Syed Modi International Badminton Championships

Lucknow

BWF Super 300

47 22 - 25

Slovenia Future Series

Brezice

Fut. Series

48

Korea Masters

Kwangju

BWF Super 300

Welsh Interntional 2018

Cardiff

Int. Series

City

Category

6 - 11

27 - 2

48 28 - 1

Category

Int. Challenge

Int. Series

DECEMBER 2018

OCTOBER 2018 2 - 7

23 - 28

Bulgarian International Sofia

Fut. Series

Dutch Open

Almere

BWF Super 100

42

16 - 21 Denmark Open

Odense

BWF Super 750

42

18 - 21 Hellas Open

Chania

Int. Series

Week Date

Title

49

EMTC Qualification

7 - 9

50 12 - 16

BWF World Tour Guangzhou BWF World Finals Tour Finals

50 13 - 16

Italian International Milan 2018

51 20 - 23 Turkey International 2018

Ankara

Int. Challenge.

Int. Series

53


New European U15 Champions were crowned Five times gold were clinched by some of the biggest European U15 talents in Kazan. The hosting nation claimed three of the golden medals.

Men’s singles European U15 Champion: Alex Lanier – France

Women’s singles European U15 Champion: Mariia Golubeva - Russia


Men’s doubles European U15 Champions: Jakob Houe Andersen / Christian Faust Kjær - Denmark

Women’s doubles European U15 Champions: Elizaveta Barananova / Sofiia Bychkova – Russia

Mixed doubles European U15 Champions: Mariia Golubeva / Egor Borisov - Russia

55


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Badminton Europe Magazine issue 27 / April 2018  

Read the latest Badminton Europe (BEC) magazine. Issue 27 / April, 2018. Do you want to read other BEC Magazines? Here they are: https://is...

Badminton Europe Magazine issue 27 / April 2018  

Read the latest Badminton Europe (BEC) magazine. Issue 27 / April, 2018. Do you want to read other BEC Magazines? Here they are: https://is...

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