EYOF Banská Bystrica 2022
EYOF Banská Bystrica: big dreams on badminton’s comeback
Date: 7/25/2022 2:07 PM
Published by : Sara Gonzalez Martinez (BEC)
Badminton is back at the top European multi-sport event with a great atmosphere and tough fights from the singles categories’ young athletes to top their groups.

The last time that badminton was part of the European Youth Olympic Games was in 1999. 23 years later, the sport is back in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. Over 2300 young athletes representing 48 different teams waved their flags on the big stage of the opening ceremony, kickstarting what will be a week to celebrate the Olympic principles and sports — an exclusive list in which badminton can be proud to be featured.

From today 25 July until Thursday 28 July, players will be competing for medals in the boy’s singles and girl’s singles categories – with the third category to take place, mixed doubles, to take place from 28 until 30 July.

The pride of representing your country
The opening day of the competition saw the young athletes playing for the important first points of the group stage, which will continue tomorrow. This special event will be the first of its kind for them, not only representing their country in badminton but also being part of a bigger, multi-sport team.

- It feels very good to represent Great Britain, it is a very big dream. It is great to be part of a big team because we normally travel alone and sometimes you don’t have as many people supporting, but here we have a huge group, Great Britain’s Harper Leigh said.

- I am very proud to be able to represent my country. I would like to thank everyone who supported me. This is a great experience, I’m able to see how much I’ve improved and what level I’m at, Ireland’s Michelle Shochan stated.

Representing such a team is a major experience and it can be even more so when you are taking part in such an event at home. Matus Polacek, who represents Slovakia, talked about how special his first win was.

- It feels amazing to win my first match here at home and to get a win for the home fans. The atmosphere is great and I’m happy about the fans, Polacek said.

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