17 nations badminton celebration in Israel
The Israel Junior International 2014 took place for the 5th consecutive year in the City of Rishon Le Zion. For the first time, Israel had the honor to host a Badminton Europe Junior Circuit tournament. Players from 17 countries took part in the tournament including: Russia, England, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, India, Peru and of course Israel.
Top seeded Dutch player Cheryl Seinen took two gold medals at the tournament along with her team mates, one in the Mixed Doubles with Alex Vlaar (who also took the 3rd place in singles) and the second with Imke Van Der Aar in the Women’s Doubles.
Other top seeded players were the Solvenians Martin Cerkovnik and Andraž Krapež who took the Men’s Doubles title after meeting the unseeded locals Daniel Chislov and Yoni Shilon. The Israelies enjoyed the local support pushing them through the first set, winning 22-20. The Slovenian couple bounced back taking the second set 12-21 and then the third 13-21.
Top seeded singles upsets
The two top seeded men players, Bulgarian Vladimir Shishkov (1) and the Dutch Alex Vlaar (2) made it only to the semi finals where they were defeated by Ruslan Sarsekenov (Ukraine) and Dragolslav Pertrovic (Serbia), who provided a spectacular 3-sets final match. Petrovic won the first set 21-14 with a lot of confidence and control, but Sarsekenov came back winning the second set 16-21, bringing the game to a deciding third set. With the crowd pushing them, both of the players gave all they had but at the end, it was the Ukrainian who came on top winning 20-22.
In the Women’s Singles final, the top seeded Bulgarian Maria Mitsova, was defeated by number three seed, Russian Anastasia Ronzhina. The Russian who kept a clean record throughout the whole tournament without dropping a single game, won convincingly 21-13, 21-16.
"Getting better every year"
While the tournament had already made a name for itself throughout the years, hosting a European Junior Circuit event wasn’t taken lightly. "We knew that the standards were high, but we wanted to give the players a world class event" said Nir Yusim, the tournament’s director, "We always seek new ways to improve and I believe that we are getting better every year".
See the full results by clicking here.
Visit the tournament’s official Facebook page for more pictures and videos.
Article and photos by Israel Badminton Federation.