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First day after two long years

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When the first shuttlecock crossed the net at 0:0 in the Berlin Sportforum, an obvious smile flitted across his face. So many days of tension, preparation, organisation and uncertainty as to whether all the “cogs” were still meshing after two years of abstinence. But tournament manager ┬áManfred Kehrberg from SG EBT Berlin, who has been pulling the strings of the YONEX German Junior in Berlin since 2009, quickly realised: It works! The procedures are still internalised, the team of helpers has kept its supporting heads and also the technology – even if it is a bit outdated – still does what it is supposed to do. The 13th edition of the biggest international youth tournament on European soil will be a success. In addition to the organisational masterstroke, the field of participants was also able to “deliver” this year. With a record number of 330 participants from 28 nations, everything is set for a top-class event.

On the first day of the tournament, which in the meantime has been brought forward to Wednesday due to the ever-increasing number of participants, the preliminary round of the mixed doubles traditionally started. The favourites have not yet entered the fray, so the first real “bangers” are not to be expected until Thursday. Whether the top seeded duo Jan Razl / Katerina Osladilova from the Czech Republic will actually be rewarded with the gold medal in the end remains to be seen in view of the strong Asian field.

In the men’s singles, the winner of last week’s Dutch Junior 2023, Yudai Okimoto (JPN), left little to be desired against Lasse Linderoth Pedersen from Denmark and showed himself in excellent form. In the further course of the tournament – to the delight of the 150 spectators on this day – some German players were able to show their sporting skills and stay in the tournament. Mark Obermeier, Kevin Baum, Rafe Kenji Braach and Kjell Wagener made it to the next round.

In the women’s singles, only a few preliminary round matches were played, without German participation except for Aurelia Wulandoko. Unfortunately, she could not prevail against Park Seul.

The first day of the tournament, which this year took place on International Women’s Day – a public holiday – and thus attracted many badminton enthusiasts to the Sportforum, ended with the first matches in the men’s and women’s doubles. The speed increased, the feathered playing equipment was whipped around the hall. Here, the Asian dominance in these disciplines became apparent for the first time. In all the duels between Europe and Asia, the Europeans lost out. Even the traditionally strong Danes in the men’s doubles were quickly shown their limits. The Danish women Amando Aarrebo Petersen and Anne Mouritsen did better, defeating the Indonesian women’s doubles in a breathtaking final.

The action continues today at the Sportforum. The matches start at 9:00 and are currently scheduled until 21:15. Come and see us!

Your GJ Team