From left: Igor Ponomarev (RUS) and Peter Emptage (ENG)
All sails set for biggest European Senior Championships
Date: 9/6/2016 3:50 PM
Published by : Emma Lollike
The European Senior Championships has been organized twelve times prior, but this year will be the biggest BEC event in history, in figures. September 18-24th the 2016 European Senior Championships(ESC) will be organized in Podčetrtek, Slovenia. The final preparations have commenced, the draw is published, and in 12 days the tournament will begin.

The first ESC was organized in 1995 in Denmark, which makes 2016’s event the 13th event in 21 years.

Someone who can look back on all of the events with a great enthusiasm is Igor Ponomarev (RUS) and Peter Emptage (ENG). They have competed ever since the first European Senior Championships in 1995 and the BWF World Senior Championships in 2003, which makes a total of 12 European- and 7 World championships. This year therefore also mark their 20-year anniversary in a 21 year-period of international senior championships. An impressive achievement which, additionally, it is accompanied by remarkable results as team managers for respectively Russia and England.

Ponomarev, 63, and Emptage, 66, stand as great examples for what players can achieve as senior players. 20 years is a lifetime for some, but for these guys it is the amount of years they have been competing in international senior tournaments. Put into that perspective, a 20-year senior career is truly an inspiration to present and future senior players; there is still tournaments and championships to be won even after 35.

2016 European Senior Championships is set at the venue of Terme Olimia, that has hosted other previous BEC events, such as BEC Summer Schools the last two years and the recent ADM + BEC Gala.

A big multi-arena such as Terme Olimia, is perfect for an event like the Senior Championships, where no less than 1.373 matches are to be conducted on nine courts during only seven days. 

Besides celebrating more than 20 years of European Senior Championships, another mile stone was reached when Badminton Europe last month announced that the tournament has a total of 1.014 participants - the highest amount ever at any BEC event. 

More than half of our Member Associations are attending; 36 out of 52 to be exact.

Players are competing in eight different age groups from +35 to +70, which makes it by far the biggest European event in figures. 

Amongst the participants, we find triple World Champions Gitte Sommer (DEN) and Heidi Bender (GER) among the favorites. They brought home three gold medals each at the 2015 BWF World Senior Championships in Helsingborg, Sommer in +45, and Bender in +55.

Stay up to date on the official Facebook page here: 2016 European Senior Championships

Or on the BEC Events page here

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