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4 exciting days – 1 final day awaits

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While the organising team of SG EBT Berlin (organiser) is rebuilding the hall, cleaning up and preparing for the big final day on Sunday, tournament director Manfred Kehrberg is already thinking about the intense but also wonderful last 4 days of the tournament. 5 disciplines – 312 players* from 28 nations – record number of entries; it reads like a fairytale. “After two difficult years without the biggest and most important European youth tournament, you start to wonder. Is this still the right thing for us? Can we still manage the workload? But with our team, anything is possible. The individual stations, it’s hard to list them all, have done an incredible job. Shuttle service, cafeteria, tournament office, tournament management, ball service, admission and the many volunteers have made this tournament what it is. I am incredibly proud of that,” said Manfred Kehrberg in his first summary. And he continues: “This year, too, all nations felt very comfortable with us. This is the result of the last 14 years, in which we have always managed to adapt and improve our tournament in Berlin.

In sporting terms, today, Saturday, was the most spectacular day of the week so far. In the quarter- and semi-finals, China, Japan and Korea in particular showed what the rest of the world should look up to. With power, speed and endurance, the athletes virtually flew across the court. The men’s singles between Wang Zi Jun (CHN) and Eogene Ewe (MAS) was particularly impressive, as they did not give each other a point in three sets. Eogene Ewe was often one ball better than his opponent in the deciding set and deservedly entered the final with 21:13. Yudai Okimoto from Japan, who showed the limits of the tall Indian Ayush Shetty in the parallel match, will be waiting there tomorrow.

In the women’s doubles, there was an injury in the all-Chinese 1st semi-final, so that the second semi-final was the only one to be played. Here the rallies became longer and longer. Neither Sudo/Yamakita (JPN) nor Kwai/Park (KOR) seemed to want to make a mistake in the 50 minutes of play. Again and again they saved the rallies from almost unbelievable situations. But the Koreans were visibly battered in the end and lost in two sets.

Tomorrow’s final in the women’s singles will be a duel between Xu Wen Jing (CHN), who clearly beat Mei Sudo (JPN), and Mihane Endo (JPN), who needed three sets against Park Seul (KOR) to deservedly win. She still has a score to settle with the Chinese, who gave her compatriot Sudo no chance.

The Chinese are in a class of their own in the mixed. There were already three Chinese pairs in the semi-finals, two of which will fight for the YONEX German Junior crown in the final. Zhu Yi Jun / Liao Li Xi (CHN) and Gao Jia Xuan / Huang Ke Xin (CHN) will do their utmost to offer the spectators spectacular rallies tomorrow.

In the last two matches of the day, the finalists were determined in the men’s doubles, for many the fastest discipline in badminton. Here the motto was: Whoever plays the ball high loses. The spectators could not turn their heads that fast to really see every ball. Especially the doubles match between the number 1 seeded Chinese Xu/Zhu and the Koreans Lee/Park was extremely exciting in the second set. After trailing 15-19, the two small and agile Koreans turned the match around and won 21-19 after losing the first set. They took this momentum into the deciding set and deservedly secured their place in tomorrow’s final.

The finals will start at 10:00 am at the Sportforum Berlin and will be played on one court. We are looking forward to numerous spectators.

Your GJ Team