Danish youngster Julie Dawall Jakobsen (pictured) lifted her first senior international title this afternoon in Reykjavik winning the women’s singles of the International Series rated Iceland International. The European junior silver medallist from 2015 has been knocking on the door of senior success and today, less than 12 months later, announced her arrival onto the senior circuit with a gutsy win.
Jakobsen is one of the very rare breed of players than can mix top level singles with doubles and while a silver medallist at the 2015 European junior singles the fiery red head walked away with doubles gold for Denmark the same week in Lubin 10 months ago.
Today in Reykjavik Jakobsen came through a tough three set match against Finland’s Airi Mikkela, the Finn herself enjoying a decent run of form after an impressive tournament in Sweden last week. Mikkela took the opening set 21-19 but the young Dane bounced back to take the title in three games with a 21-16 win in the deciding set.
There was double the reason for Jakobsen to celebrate in Reykjavik after receiving the news that she had been called into the senior Danish national team for the European women’s team championship in Kazan next month and all two months before her 18th birthday.
“I'm feeling so good! I didn't expect to win this week, but I knew if I played well I had a good chance. I felt I played very well and controlled the games. It is such a great feeling to win my first Badminton Europe senior international. I also received the news that I have been picked for the national team to play the European women’s team championship in Kazan so I'm so happy”
Kim Bruun made it two from two in the singles events for Denmark beating Portugal’s Pedro Martins in the final in another hour long three set match. Like the women’s singles Martins got off to the best start taking the opening match but the Dane came back to take the game in three sets to get his new year off to a dream start.
Martins will be relatively happy as his runners up spot sets him up nicely to attack the automatic qualification spots for the Rio Olympics. The Portuguese number 1 currently languishes outside the qualification cut off but the points gained this week will push him closer to his Olympic dream as well as giving him an added confidence boost.
First senior win for Scotland’s Adam Hall
Very much like it was only a matter of time before Julie Dawall Jakobsen got her senior career off to winning ways the same could be said of Scotland’s rising doubles star Adam Hall. The Scot, who will be 20 next week, has struck up a promising partnership with England’s Chris Coles and the pair came through a tough two set battle against another emerging junior pair from England Sean Vendy and Ben Lane. 2-19 21-19 was the winning margin for Hall and Coles who celebrated the only way possible when in Iceland, go for a dip in the blue lagoon.
Sarah Walker made a welcomed return to the podium lifting the women’s doubles title alongside Jessica Pugh while Anton Kaisti partnered Cheryl Seinen to the mixed doubles title. The Finnish/Dutch combination had a decent 2015 with a pair of semifinals and quarter final to their name and this win in Iceland is victory number 6 for the Finn on the circuit in mixed doubles.
For all results from the 2016 Iceland International click HERE
Article and archive images by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe, podium photo Thorhallur Einisson.