(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Entries are in for the European Junior Championships
Date: 10/7/2020 4:18 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Badminton Europe last week was delighted to announce that the 2020 European Junior Championships in Lahti, Finland will go on as planned. Let’s check out who are the ones to watch. 

One of the most anticipated tournaments on the European calendar, the 2020 European Junior Championships, will take place from 29 October – 7 November. This is where Europe’s top talents will be aiming to make a big impression and kickstart their future careers. 

The entry list has been released today with a total number 235 entries from 27 Members. Looking through, there will be much to look forward to in Finland. Summarising the key talking points in each category, here are the players to keep an eye on. 

Men’s singles
It is strange to think that the phenomenon that is Christo Popov is not the European Junior Champion. He, of course, was runner up to his compatriot Arnaud Merkle in 2018 Tallinn. However, he has a chance to put that right this year in Lahti. Popov comes in this time with much more experience, after winning a silver at the World Junior Championship and a senior singles title at the Italian International. 

Although it may not be all plain sailing for the Frenchman, as two Danes may have a big say in how the podium looks. A double gold medallist from the U17 European Championships, Mads Møller is in great form coming to Finland. The tall Dane took part in two recent tournaments, the Slovenia Junior International and Bulgarian Junior Open, winning both. 

In addition, the man who defeated Anders Antonsen will be wanting to live up to his lofty expectations. The resilient left-hander, Magnus Johannesen, has been training with the Danish national team in recent weeks and already had the experience of playing Christo Popov at the Dutch Junior International in February. It was a tight three-game match going Popov’s way, so it will be interesting to see if they face off again. 

There is also home interest in Finnish player Joachim Oldorff, currently ranked number two in Europe, after wins at the Lithuanian and Swedish Junior. 

Women’s singles
There is an opportunity for a clean sweep for Russia’s Mariia Golubeva, as she won the U15 and U17 European titles back to back, and now will be gunning for the European Junior title. 

Dane Simona Pilgaard and Pole Joanna Podedworny both took home the bronze from the U17 European Championships in Gniezno, Poland. This time they will be vying to reach the final to challenge for the gold. 

A player to certainly watch in Finland is the young local star who will still be flying high from her U15 gold earlier this year in Lievin, France. Nella Nyqvist achieved the first medal for her country at that level, and now the 14-year-old will be hoping to make history once again. 

Men’s doubles
As soon as we lose one Boe, we may already have another one, his nephew, William Boe. He will team up with Mads Vestergaard, who brings his experience of having won two bronze medals in men’s and mixed doubles at the 2018 European Championships. 

Another player who is gearing up for a potential clean sweep of titles is Christian Kjaer, who won the U15 gold with Jakob Houe and then U17 gold with Mads Møller last year. This time he plays with Marcus Rindshøj. 

Russia’s Georgii Lebedev and Egor Kholkin, winners of the Swedish and Polish Junior Opens, will be tough opponents for the Danish contingent. Also, the U17 European silver and bronze medallists in singles, Sacha Leveque and Alex Lanier are partnering up with Aymeric Tores and Lucas Renoir respectively, posing an interesting challenge for the title. 

Mixed doubles
Mette Werge, the U17 European Champion, teams up this time with Marcus Rindshøj and will be hoping for another strong performance. Although, fellow Danes, William Boe and Emilia Nesic are a tried and tested partnership aiming to build on their U17 European bronze. 

Runners-up from the U17 European Championship, Russia’s Lev Barinov and Anastasiia Boiarun, also stay together and will be aiming for another shot at the title. French pair Lucas Renoir and Tea Margueritte, U15 bronze medallists will be hoping for a good run, along with Christo Popov, who enters the mixed doubles with Flavie Vallet.  

For the full entry list, click here.  

The draw for the team event will be conducted on Tuesday 20 October 2020 at 14.00 CEST. It will be streamed live on all BEC communication channels.

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