France and Croatia big winners in Lubin
Date: 1/20/2015 12:03 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

After four days of intense rivalry Li-Ning Polish Junior International badminton 2015 is in the books. Lubin was a host of another well planned and even better organized tournament, as the city is preparing for European Junior Championship, which is to be held in march. Nearly 232 players from 23 countries participated in January's event.

Man singles rivalry was totally dominated by team France. Vincent Medina, Toma Junior Popov and Alexandre Hammer were clearly better than the competition and all advanced to the semis. Especially Popov's game attracted an audience attention. He played three of the longest and yet most entertaining matches with; Andy Tsai from Sweden, Sean Wendy from England, and of course a longer than one hour final battle with Medina. Popov finally lost the last game and Vincent Medina who defeated earlier the number one seeded Luis Enrique Penalver from Spain, could celebrate winning the gold medal.

In women singles we had one big surprise as number one seeded Clara Azurmendi from Spain was defeated in quarterfinal by Lole Courtois from Spain. Brilliant form was shown by Croatian player, Maja Pavlinić. She got easily thru the final without losing even one set. Her rival, Courtois was able to steal one in the most important game, yet it wasn't enough to win the gold medal. Joanna Stanisz, representing the host was the lone bright spot in singles competition. Still, she was defeated in the fourth round by Julie MacPherson from Scottland, who was able to fight her way into the quarterfinal stage in three different competitions (WS, XD, WD).

Team England wasn't lucky in both, man and women doubles. Due to personal issues Ben Lane couldn't show up in Lubin and top seeded duo (with Sean Vendy) had to withdraw from the competition. The second pair, Matthew Clare/ David King was defeated in semifinal by Germans, Bjarne Geiss/Daniel Seifert. Gold in man doubles went to Adam Hall and Alexander Dunn. Scottish team was very tough from the beginning. In every game they were able to build a commanding lead and didn't lose their focus for the whole event as they won without losing a single set. Gold medalist in women doubles, Croatians Maja Pavlinić and Katarina Galencić had very similar path to the top of the podium. None of their games lasted more than half an hour and even in final, they crushed the Swedish opponent (Nistad/Sjoo) by winning to 16 and to 10. Top seeded English pair, Jessica Hopton and Lydia Jane Powell wasn't that dominant as they struggled in long games with team Poland (Goszczyńska, Dąbczyńska), team France (Heriau, Lambert) and finally lost in semis to Swedes.

Thomas Vallez and Delfine Delrue were able to give the French team their second gold medal as they defeated Adam Hall and Julie MacPherson from Scotland in very entertaining final. Scottish team easily won the first set (to 9) but then French couple woke up, gained a momentum a was able to turn the outcome of the game in their favor. Winners didn't have an easy path to the victory as they had to battle strong teams from Sweden (Lidman/Sjoo), France (Medina/Hoyaux), and finally England (Clare/Hopton), which makes the final win even more impressive.

Team Poland didn't play very well during the tournament. There were a couple of bright spots like: Goszczyńska/Dąbczyńska in women doubles, Joanna Stanisz in women singles and Szydłowski/Stanisz in mixed couples, still only one mens double Jabłoński/Śmiłowski were alble to make it to the semis. It was difficult not to be disappointed with that performance, however, on the other hand it shows the real actual strenght (or lack of it) of Polish badminton at the European level.

#PJ2015 was a success both from sport and preparation standpoint. Jimmy Andersen, the delegate representing Badminton Europe was very pleased with the effort made by Lubin badminton team, Sport Art Association. #PJ2015, which was sort of a general rehearsal went more than well and now Lubin is waiting for the next  top event – the European Junior Championships.

Author: Dawid Biały

Final results of Li-Ning Polish Junior International 2015 Lubin

1. Vincent Medina (FRA)
2. Toma Junior Popov (FRA)
3. Alexandre Hammer (FRA)
3. Luis Enrique Penalver (SPA)

1. Maja Pavlinić (CRO)
2. Lole Courtios (FRA)
3. Julie MacPherson (SCO)
3. Vladyslava Lesnaya (UKR)

1. Katarina Galencić, Maja Pavlinić (CRO)
2. Clara Nistad, Moa Sjoo (SWE)
3. Annika Schreiber, Miranda Wilson (GER)
3. Jessica Hopton, Lydia Jane Powell (ENG)

1. Alexander Dunn, Adam Hall (SCO)
2. Bjarne Geiss, Daniel Seifert (GER)
3. Matthew Clarke, Daniel King (ENG)
3. Aleksander Jabłoński, Paweł Śmiłowski (POL)

1. Thomas Vallez, Delfine Delrue (FRA)
2. Adam Hall, Julie MacPherson (SCO)
3. Matthew Clare, Jessica Hopton (ENG)
3. Alexandre Hammer, Anne Tran (FRA)

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