14 countries participated in Český Krumlov
From 22nd to 24th September the town of Český Krumlov, Czech Badminton Federation hosted a BEC U17 Circuit tournament for the very first time.
The tournament was held with financial support from the South Bohemian Region, the town of Český Krumlov and the brand FZ Forza that provided high quality FZ Forza VIP shuttles for the tournament.
The entry lists with 131 players from a total of 14 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and even the remote Uzbekistan) included names such as Sergej Lukic of Serbia, current leader of the men´s singles BEC European U17 Ranking, or the European U17 number 2 Anastasiia Pustinskaia of Russia. The Czechs have put their medal hopes into their best U17 national team players.
A big upset brought the men´s singles event. In semifinals, Luka Ban from Croatia defeated Austria´s biggest medal hope, Nicolas Rudolf, in a 3-set battle (17-21, 21-15, 21-14). After winning his semifinals against a 13-year-old! Jan Janoštík (CZE), Sergej Lukic was looking to take home the tournament title, but Ban ended the Serbian‘s smooth ride through the tournament when he beat the top seed in yet another 3-set battle 19-21, 21-18, 21-15 claiming his first U17 tournament victory.
Defeating their Czech semifinal opponents Iva Foukalová and Kateřina Zuzáková respectively, Russia´s Anastasiia Pustinskaia and Hungary´s Kitti Szotak confirmed their seedings in women´s singles. In the finals, the only Russian representative and number 1 seed in Český Krumlov Pustinskaia won quite convincingly 21-8, 21-10.
In men´s doubles, the local hopes Jan Janoštík and Tomáš Švejda were aspiring to win the title in front of their home crowd. They did really well, as they beat Szymon Stokfisz/Wiktor Trecki from Poland in semifinals 21-11 21-17. In the finals Švejda/Janoštík were up against their other well-known Polish opponents Bartosz Galazka/Maciej Matusz. Despite of home boys‘ efforts Galazka and Matusz managed to win against their Czech rivals for the 3rd time in a row, after winning in Novi Sad and Glubczyce.
Eventually, the Czech flag was also lifted to the top of the podium. And not just once, but twice, as Kateřina Zuzáková dominated both the mixed and women´s doubles events. Together with the local club´s favourite Tomáš Švejda they beat the Polish duo Lukasz Cimosz and Karolina Szubert (21-15, 21-6) in mixed, and with Lucie Krpatová they won against the Russian/German pair Anastasiia Pustinskaia/Christina Weigert 21-19 21-12 in women´s doubles.
Every day, 25 volunteers responsible for different tasks were helping with tournament organization. Under control of the tournament referee Mr. Jan Kolář, the tournament ran smoothly and was conducted in a professional and friendly manner.
The tournament was promoted in many ways, on posters around the town and surroundings, in radio and press reports, on websites as well as social media. Live streaming from two courts on YouTube and Facebook was also arranged.
“I am very pleased that in cooperation with Badminton Europe and the Czech Badminton Federation we managed to organize this tournament in Český Krumlov for the first time. The organizing team did a great job and I believe that we took good care of approximately 180 participants from 14 countries. From my point of view the tournament went superb and I hope the people enjoyed their time here. Our reward were valuable performances of many players from a multifarious entry list. A true highlight for us, apart from other Czech players’ performances, was Tomáš Švejda’s victory in mixed doubles. It is for the first time he has won a gold medal at a BEC tournament and winning it on home soil makes it even more special for us and for him. I do appreciate the visit of Martin Osička, the president of the Czech Badminton Federation, and the visit of the head of FZ Forza Czech Republic, Mr. Jan Mikulka. I would like to thank all the partners of the event, our club´s sponsors, the organizing team, and the tournament referee Mr. Kolář for a perfect job, their help and dedication. I would like to congratulate all the winners and I would also like to thank all the other participants for coming to our beautiful town. Hopefully we´ll see you in Český Krumlov next year again!“ says club chairman and director of the tournament, Mr. Radek Votava.
Visit the website of the Czech Badminton Federation