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The YONEX German Junior – a review

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.

Marcus Köster

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Sportsman of the Year

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.

Congratulations!

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YONEX German Junior – Day 4

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.

Marcus Köster

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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High jump in the Sportforum

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!

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Matthias Kicklitz / Thuc Phuong Nguyen unstoppable

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.

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YONEX German Junior 2020 – Day 3

The longest day at Sportforum Berlin was a festival of badminton sports! This is the short but apt conclusion of this third tournament day of the YONEX German Junior 2020. 121 games full of fight and passion, thousands of rallies full of feeling and energy. This third day showed once more what the sport of badminton has in store for players and spectators.

As announced, today we slowly but surely entered the hot phase of the tournament. The quarter-finalists of the singles and doubles competitions and the eighth-finalists in mixed were determined. And now there were the first surprises: the number 1 in the men’s singles and the men’s doubles, which were seeded to 2, lost already in round 3. Surprising but very pleasing from a German point of view is the progress of two mixed pairs who want to make it into the last eight tomorrow.

And there was another insight on this third day, the ladies from Asia are simply better! In the singles as well as in the doubles there are no European players in the tournament anymore. In the men’s singles it looks a bit more balanced.

In any case, we can be curious how things will continue tomorrow, because one thing is for sure, the fastest setback sport in the world is showing its very best side these days in Berlin.

Marcus Köster

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Where there is light, there is also shadow – Kian-Yu Oei (GER)

Kian-Yu Oei unfortunately could not win his singles match this morning. His opponent from Nepal overtook Kian in the third set and won 21:5, but he did much better in the doubles and won surprisingly easily at the side of his partner Malik Bourakkadi against Bennet Peters/Aaron Sonnenschein, who also come from Germany. Now the cracker is waiting at 20:45 against an Indonesian pairing. Maybe we will see this high class match on Livecourt 3.

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YONEX German Junior 2020 – Day 2

Again it was 9:00 am when the first shuttlecocks flew through the Sportforum Berlin, the first round in mixed was on the schedule.  A colourful mixed as well as high class field of participants, the biggest next to women and men singles. Exactly with these competitions it went on in the further course. The second day of the tournament was concluded with the games in the doubles competitions, so that all disciplines could be marvelled at on this day in the sports forum.

As on the previous day, there were no big surprises, and many Germans were able to score a success for themselves. However, there were already signs of Asian dominance in the women’s event, which from a European point of view should be contained or at least not be left behind.

This or something similar could also be the motto for tomorrow, when things slowly get going. On the presumably longest day of the tournament, beginning at 9:00 am and ending at around 10:00 pm, the wheat is separated from the chaff and the quarter-finalists, except for Mixed, will be determined in two further rounds of matches.

Those who should not make it into the halls can now enjoy the YONEX German Junior 2020 on Youtube, because as of today the livestream is not only on Sportdeutshland.tv but also on the popular video service.

Marcus Köster

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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Korea Special

Korea has been the best nation for YONEX German Junior for years. Not only the other players are happy about the regular participation, but also the spectators in the sports forum get their money’s worth. Physis, exciting and spectacular rallies and a lot of atmosphere in the hall are guaranteed when the Koreans serve. Let’s see how far they get this year.