(Photo: Spanish Badminton Federation)

“Winning was our aim since the beginning”

3/21/2023 4:08 PM |  BadmintonEurope.com |  Sara Gonzalez Martinez (BEC)
After two weeks in a row of International Grand Prix tournaments, U19 players took on the next challenge on the calendar, the IBERDROLA Spanish Junior Open 2023. 

The Junior International Series tournament took place from 17 until 19 March in Oviedo, the same place where the upcoming 2023 European Club Championships will be taking place.

European-dominated podiums
With 126 players from 16 different countries, the level was high but our European young talents delivered remarkable results. 

Denmark took half of the medals in the men’s doubles, with Mikkel Klinggaard Andersen/ Martin Harbo and Thomas Valther Pedersen/ Philip Oliver Rasmussen winning silver and bronze respectively, and Belgium’s Amber Boonen/ Tammi Van Wonterghem winning the bronze in women’s doubles. However, when looking at the winners list, the host country clearly stands out. 

Tough international opponents equals plenty of chances to improve
Nikol Carulla, one of the reigning European Junior women’s doubles champions, won three medals — a bronze in the women’s singles, another one in women’s doubles with Cristina Teruel, and a silver mixed doubles with Rodrigo Sanjurjo, who had just as much success in the Spanish Junior Open.

Sanjurjo was the champion of two of the events in the last edition of this same tournament. Despite reaching two semifinals and one final this time, the player highlights the tough competition he had to face this year: “My level was quite high last year, but we did not have as many international opponents as we did this year.”

Having faced players from three different continents in the last week, the young Spaniard sees this as a great opportunity to grow as an athlete. “We have the privilege of competing against players from around the world often, but it’s even more motivating when there are Asian opponents. This also helps us improve our level.”

A clear aim
The men’s doubles final was one of the longest matches Sanjurjo played in the tournament. When asked about a highlight from the last week, his partner Daniel Franco names the match as a memorable moment. 

“A highlight from the tournament has been our win in the men’s doubles final, a hard-fought match against the Danes,” says Franco. “It’s so difficult to explain the feeling of fulfillment one experiences after winning a tournament.” 

Franco also reached the semifinals in the men’s singles, winning a bronze medal just like his men’s doubles partner Sanjurjo. When playing on home soil, it’s easy to be extra motivated, but going for the win was never out of question for the young player: “It was our aim since the beginning,” adds Franco.

Click here to see all the results.

©badmintoneurope.com. All rights reserved.

Delete item?