(Photo: Badminton Photo)

One week to go: EJC20

10/22/2020 11:08 AM |  BadmintonEurope.com |  Alan Raftery
The 27th edition of the European Junior Championships is just one week away. As the excitement builds for Europe’s top talents and fans alike, we take a look at how things are shaping up. 

Everything is in place for one of the biggest and most exciting tournaments on the European calendar, with the first shuttles being hit this time next week. Just the finishing arrangements are being worked on this week, before all people involved in the tournament arrive at the Pajulahti Sports Center four days before the tournament start date of 29 October. 

A COVID-19 test will be done one day before and everyone will stay at the site in Lahti, Finland to create a safe ‘badminton bubble’. Last week, we saw the successful return of badminton at the Denmark Open. Players commented that if this is what it takes to get badminton back, then they are happy to adapt to these precautions. 

Badminton Europe Events Manager, Tamara Geeraerts, echoes these sentiments when she states. 

- This was the sport’s first implementation of such a bubble system, and it worked well. It showed us that, given careful and thoughtful preparation, an event of this level could be possible, without compromising on any of the main elements that make the event so special. This is what we plan to achieve in Finland. 

We deserve it
The build-up to the European Juniors received an additional dose of anticipation for Europe’s top prospects, as we have learnt that due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainty, BWF and Badminton New Zealand had no choice but to cancel the World Junior Championships.

This adds to the significance of this year's continental championships in Europe, as it will be their biggest opportunity to showcase their abilities on such a stage. 

In recent years, winners of the European Junior Championships have gone on to great things. To name a few, Anders Antonsen, winner of the Denmark Open 2020, won in 2015. Another winner that year, Joel Eipe, featured in the men’s doubles semifinal last week. Stefani and Gabriela Stoeva are reigning European Champions, but won the junior version in 2013, with Stefani winning the women’s singles too. And of course, that 2011 European Junior Championships year with both Viktor Axelsen and Carolina Marin winning gold. Since then they have collected many titles, World Championships and an Olympic bronze and gold between them. Who will be our future superstars from this year? 

In mid-August, Badminton Europe conducted a site visit in Lahti, Finland, and noted the perfect conditions in an isolated, clean, safe and optimal sports environment. Finland has great experience with the event as they have hosted the event twice before. Once in Helsinki in 1983, and in Vantaa, just nine years ago in 2011. 

- We very much look forward to welcoming everyone to what will be a great spectacle. We have been working hard with the local organisers and Finnish authorities to make sure that we can organise a successful and safe event for all our European junior players. Fans will also be able to follow along and watch the matches in full HD. For players and fans, we deserve this event, Tamara Geeraerts affirms. 



 
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