Badminton makes its debut
Date: 6/21/2013 9:49 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

The 20th June marks the official start of the Mediterranean Games. This is a multi-sport event held every four years; it is intended for countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, the meeting point of three separate continents: Europe, Africa and Asia.

First held in 1951, the Games have now reached their 17th edition; they are being held mainly in the host city of Mersin, Turkey. The overall event comprises 24 participating countries and 32 different sports disciplines, among which badminton is making its very first appearance at these Games.

The presence of badminton at this international event is the result of the determined effort put in by the Confederation of Mediterranean Badminton (COMEBA) during these last years.

Formally reconstituted in July 2006 by the Italian Badminton Federation and its president Alberto Miglietta (Vice President of Badminton Europe) after a number of inactive years, COMEBA set itself two main objectives from the outset:

The introduction and integration of badminton in the Mediterranean Games.

- The promotion and development of badminton within the countries of the Mediterranean basin through the organisation of training camps – particularly for junior upcoming players and their coaches – as well as through healthy competition in a spirit of friendship and fairness, free from performance-enhancing substances.

The first objective was a clear challenge which COMEBA successfully achieved through hard work and sheer determination spread over a number of years, together with the valid support of the Turkish Badminton Federation.

The badminton event at the Mediterranean Games will start on the 25th June and end on the 30th June. It will be played at the Mersin University Sports Hall no. 1 and it will comprise four separate categories: Men’s and Women’s Singles as well as Men’s and Women’s Doubles.

The Mixed Doubles category was unexpectedly omitted by the Organising Committee of the Mediterranean Games. This somewhat surprising decision actually replicates the debut of badminton in the 1992 Olympic Games held in Barcelona (Spain) where four categories were similarly contested.

The Mixed Doubles category was then added in the 1996 Olympic Games edition, held in Atlanta (USA). It is therefore actively hoped that the next edition of the Mediterranean Games – already awarded to Tarragona (Spain) – will similarly follow in the same footsteps.

The badminton event in Mersin will see the participation of several players coming from eleven Mediterranean countries as Croatia, Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, France, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.

Isabelle Jobard is the Referee of the tournament; she will be ably assisted by Ivanka Pokorni as her deputy. COMEBA Secretary General John Attard is the BWF Technical Delegate for the competition.

Badminton Europe wishes the best of luck to all the participants and looks forward to the further development of Badminton within the Mediterranean and its Games.

Article by John Attard. Photo by BadmintonPhoto.

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