Archive for March, 2013

Fresh Faced Yigit in 2011

Fresh Faced Yigit in 2011

Time and time again I am asked what my favourite tournament to attend is and the reasons why. My answer is always the same, I love team events and if I were to pick just one team event that is pencilled in bold letters on my calendar it would be the European Junior Championships which take place every two years.

The European Junior Championships are unique is so far as the competition is the longest on the circuit at 10 days as it incorporates the individual event as well as the team event. As a result there are a lot of demands on the bodies of the young players competing and mentally this long trip away can be very challenging.

Why do I love the European juniors so much? Well it was the first tournament I worked on as part of the Badminton Europe TV crew back in Finland in 2011 plus there is a festival type atmosphere, especially for the team event, which for the most part is generated by the teams and players themselves.

It is always uplifting to watch team mates support their on court team mates and of course the pre match dance routines are always worth waiting for. The juniors certainly put a lot of thought into their routines and when it comes to supporting their team mates well they don’t hold back.

This year we go to Ankara in Turkey which is a first for me and without question and once again Denmark will be favourites to lift the team title. The Danes will have learned a lot from their loss in Finland two years ago where complacency was probably the root cause of their unexpected loss. But watch out for the French as I feel they have the quality players to push the Danes as well as that touch of

Line Kjaersfeldt already a proven winner on senior tour

Line Kjaersfeldt already a proven winner on senior tour

French flair for some added spice.

The Individual event is interesting is so far as the men’s singles will take a back seat to the women’s singles. Without doubt the women’s singles is top heavy with talent and Neslihan Yigit will look to lift the title on her home court. If the Turk lifts the title she will have done it the hard way as also in the event are seasoned senior tour competitors such as Line Kjaersfeldt, Delphine Lansac, Anna Thea Madsen and Sefani Stoeva. The women’s singles will be a hard fought battle and a lot will depend on how these players come through the previous tough schedule of the team event.

The action kicks off in Ankara on 22nd March with the team event and the individual event straights straight after the team event concludes. I look forward to 10 days in Turkey working on behalf of Badminton Europe as photographer, journalist, interviewer and TV analyst and you can watch all the LIVE action on BE.tv’s YouTube channel by clicking HERE.

To read my Badminton Europe event preview click HERE and HERE

Mark