— A lot of medals and a lot of effort on court
Over the weekend, we had a flurry of tournaments held, allowing players to return to competitive play. One of which was the Cyprus Junior 2020. How did they do it and what does it mean for badminton?
As various sports across the globe return with varying degrees of restrictions, dependent on the situations in the host countries, it is promising to see badminton is taking cautious steps in that direction too.
The Cyprus Junior was successfully held in Engomi, a municipality of the capital Nicosia, without spectators. The importance of the event taking place was boiled down into three clear reasons by the President of the Technical Committee of the Cyprus Badminton Federation, Stefanos Hailis, who also served as Deputy Referee when he stated.
— To convey the message that badminton can safely continue despite the pandemic, with, of course, the addition of some safety and distancing measures.
— To provide opportunities to athletes to compete against players from other countries and evaluate their progress after returning to practice post-lockdown.
— To remind everyone in our community how fun and exciting badminton is with some competitive international matches!
Read: The 2020 European Junior Championships goes on
Difficult and unprecedented circumstances
There was a COVID-19 Officer, Dr. Yiannos Hadjiprokopis, on site who ensured that all the necessary protocols were being consistently taken throughout the tournament. This included such things as available disinfection during and after games, a temperature check for anyone entering the hall, having separate zones for the umpires, players from each country, first aiders and volunteers.
In addition, everyone had their own chair tagged with their name, ensuring social distancing can be maintained. It was also mandatory to wear face masks at all times, except for players and umpires during warmup and matches.
During matches, boxes were available on each side of the court for players to dispose old shuttles. No handshakes were allowed after matches, but instead a touch of rackets was used. During the winner’s ceremony, trophies were put on table for athletes to pick up and take a photo on the podium individually.
This is a glimpse of all the hard work and water-tight procedures that were put in place for the safe running of this tournament. As Dr. Yiannos Hadjiprokopis commented.
— I think that under difficult and unprecedented circumstances, we gave our best for a safe and competitive tournament.
Read: Stoevas storm to title
Comments from players and coaches
Eva Kattirtzi (Treble gold winner in WS, WD & XD)
— I was really looking forward getting back on court and compete at my country’s international U19 tournament. I am very pleased with my achievements, three first places and the competition as a whole.
Gloria Pirvanescu (Head Coach of Cyprus National Team)
— I’m very happy with the performance of my players. A lot of medals and a lot of effort on court. We are working hard day by day and I can see progress in every training.
Christoph Almer (Coach of the Austrian National Team)
— We very much enjoyed the tournament and our time in Cyprus!
For the full results, click here.