The International German Youth Championships took place in the Berlin Sports Forum from 4 to 8 March. For the first time, the tournament took place on five, instead of four, tournament days. After an initial registration record of almost 330 players from 30 nations, the starting field of various founders was reduced to 310 participants.
With a tight schedule the tournament started punctually on Wednesday, 9:00 am. The first three days of the tournament revealed hardly any surprises with first-class matches and big fights from the first serve on. And if there were no surprises, this means that the Asian and often seeded starters were consistently dominant and successful in their first rounds. Especially in the women’s competition the Asians dominated. In the women’s singles no European starter could qualify for the quarter finals, in the women’s doubles it was only a Russian pairing that made it into the last eight. The men’s singles did a little better, at least from France and Denmark. Two doubles and three singles teams reached the quarter finals. Magnus Johannesen from Denmark even made it to the singles semi-finals. In the mixed competition there were also two European pairings who fought their way to the quarter finals. With Matthias Kicklitz and Thuc Phuong Nguyen there was even a German pairing, which lost to the later tournament winners.
And what did the other German starters do at the YONEX German Junior? Unfortunately, not much, because, as with many Europeans, the first or second round was usually the last stop. But there are also some German rays of hope, three to be precise. First and foremost the German hope Matthias Kicklitz, who, as already mentioned, reached the mixed quarter finals with Thuc Phuong Ngyuen and also delivered a very convincing performance in the men’s singles. Leona Michalski also played big in Berlin. She reached the quarter finals in the mixed with Aaron Sonnenschein and the doubles with Thuc Phuong Ngyuen and, like Thuc Phuong Ngyuen, sold very well.
After three very interesting and high-class preliminary round days, things got serious on Saturday in the Sportforum Berlin, the quarter finals of all disciplines were on the agenda. Whoever shone with victories here was only one victory away from the final. For a long time a German Junior tournament was not as balanced as this year. With a high degree of playfulness and fighting spirit, rally after rally was played. The enthusiastic audience was once again enchanted by speed, acrobatics, elegance and aesthetics. In the end, players from six nations were represented in the final round, although Indonesia was slightly overweight. This overweight was to become even clearer later in the day, as the finalists in the singles and men’s doubles competitions were determined on the same day. Here the Indonesians made it into three of the four finals. On Sunday the mixed semi-finals were played, where an Indonesian pairing also made it to the following finals. But in the end it was only one title that went to Indonesia, this very mix. The remaining titles were split between Japan and Malaysia. Manami Suizu won the women’s singles, Kok Jing Hong the men’s singles, Rui Hirokami/Yuna Kato won the women’s doubles title and Junaidi Arif/Muhammad Haikal won the men’s doubles title.
These were exciting days with many emotions, bitter defeats as well as glorious victories and above all high-class badminton sport. Under the aegis of tournament manager Manfred Kehrberg, another successful chapter has been added to the YONEX German Junior history. “Once again we had world-class badminton here in Berlin, it was in my eyes even the most high-class German Junior tournament of all times. I think I can also say that we were very good hosts again”. Well then: See you next year, at the YONEX German Junior 2021 in Berlin.
Kian-Yu Oei (GER) received a special honour during the award ceremonies on the final day. Already at the end of February, Kian-Yu was elected Sportsman of the Year in the Youth. During the YONEX German Junior 2020, Thomas Lohwieser, the Tournament Director, presented him with the award on behalf of the German Badminton Association.
Sweat and effort, success and defeat, bliss and disappointment…and so the list could go on forever if you want to describe day 4. But one word hits the spot – BADMINTON.
The penultimate day of the YONEX German Junior 2020 already heralded the final phase of the tournament, as the finalists in the doubles and singles competitions and the semi-finalists in the mixed were played. “For a long time, the German Juniors were not as balanced as they used to be,” was the news from the ranks. And indeed, it’s hard to pinpoint favourites for the title win. Not least because there is no dominant nation, but 5 countries will be represented in the 5 finals. Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong China and Indonesia. Quite right, unfortunately no European participation, even though representatives from Denmark and Germany were close.
But at the end of the day is the sport and tomorrow there will be exactly 7 more games of this sport, which will certainly be high-class, exciting and simply great.
Thanks to the representatives of the German Badminton Federation and Badminton Europe and especially to the complete team of helpers of the organizer SG EBT Berlin.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Badminton is one of the more complex sports in terms of the demands placed on the players. However, at the YONEX German Junior 2020 some athletes confused the sport and took part in the unofficial high jump championships. See for yourself!
The German Mixed with Matthias Kicklitz and Thuc Phuong Nguyen can’t be stopped on Saturday either. With a win in three sets (16-21 21-16 21-14) they secured their place in the quarter finals. In exciting rallies they left the two Malays Ong Ken Yon /Tan Zhing Yi hardly any chance to win. The next opponent from Indonesia is already waiting and as the number 2 team they are another tough opponent on their way to the semi-finals.