General

(Photo: Latvian Badminton Federation)
A new tradition - Latvia vs Estonia
Date: 8/3/2020 9:35 AM
Published by : Press release from Latvian Badminton Federation
On 31 July, a new tradition was started in the Estonian city of Tartu – an annual tournament for Latvian and Estonian badminton youth and adult teams. Estonian players won 28 of 36 matches. The Estonians won 56 games and the Latvians, 21. Also, the Estonian youth and juniors won both team games, which were played in the ‘Badminton 100’ format.

-It was very important to have such a competition right now when the international tournaments still do not take place because of COVID-19. Such an initiative is motivating for players, parents, coaches, and clubs. It also creates an interest about badminton for sponsors, fans and the media. Let us move forward! said Kristians Rozenvalds, Secretary General of the Latvian Badminton Federation.

This year, there were eight games in the U13, U15, U17 and U19 age groups, including two men’s and women’s singles, one men’s and women’s doubles, and two mixed doubles. There was also one boys’ singles in the U11 age group, one men’s singles for 35+ seniors, as well as one elite men’s singles and one men’s doubles games.

At the end of the competition day, two team games in ‘Badminton 100’ format took place in parallel, as one team playing U13 and U15 youth and the other playing U17 and U19 youth, so each national team game consisted of ten shifts. These shifts were made by the winning team winning points 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90. The team that was the first to reach 100 points celebrated the victory. The Estonian U13/U15 youth team defeated the Latvian youth with the result 100:84, and the Estonian U17/U19 team won with the result 100:80.

This year, in the Latvian-Estonian friendship competition, the emphasis was on youth and junior competitions. The Latvian U13, U15, U17 and U19 teams went to Tartu, but next year it is planned to supplement U9 and U11, adult and senior competitions.

The initiative to organise such a Latvian-Estonian friendship competition was publicly announced on 22 June, when the battles of Cēsis are commemorated together in Latvia and Estonia. Next year, it is planned that such a competition will take place in Cēsis on Tuesday, 22 June.

The agreement between Latvia and Estonia stipulates that the list of games is offered by the visiting country, taking into account how many and which players have agreed to travel, while the host country provides the appropriate level of opponents for the registered guests.

-It’s not just a friendly game of badminton, it’s also a format for maintaining friendly relations with people in a neighbouring country because after the games there is a joint dinner where federation officials, badminton coaches, players and badminton club leaders can share their experience, explains Kristians Rozenvalds.

-The sports section of the competition is also important because in many places such competitions are very popular with fans and the media in various sports. As an example, I can mention the Ryder Cup in golf, when the US and Europe play against each other. As far as I know, squash, tennis, golf and many other sports also meet every year.

-Sparring games with Estonians are very important for Latvian badminton players and coaches, objectively acknowledging that Estonian badminton is more developed. Estonian players have experience in the Olympic Games and world championships. Estonians also won ‘Yonex Latvia International’, adds Kristians Rozenvalds.

Viesturs Bajārs, a member of the board of the Latvian Badminton Federation and the head of the Athletes’ Commission, who also played in Tartu, winning one of the eight Latvian victories in the of 35+ men’s singles comments.

-The result of the first friendly competition is not satisfactory, but it corresponds to our current strength. We also predicted such a result, but at the same time, it is also a reference point. We will meet again next year, then look at trends. Every year I would like to see more and more Latvians win matches and games. 

A similar tradition has already been started between the Latvian and Lithuanian badminton state units, choosing 22 September as the most appropriate date, as Latvia and Lithuania officially celebrate the ‘Day of Baltic Unity’. Previously, the Latvian and Lithuanian national team games took place in the Lithuanian border town of Biržai, but this year the best Latvian and Lithuanian players plan to meet in the largest mall of Riga ‘Akropole’ during the European Sports Week 2020 events.

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