(Photo: Badminton Europe)
EJC20: What to expect?
Date: 10/27/2020 4:26 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
At the southern end of lake Vesijärvi about 100 kilometres north-east of the Finnish capital Helsinki, lies Lahti, the host city for the 2020 European Junior Championships. This year there is a different feeling.

Europe’s top talents from 25 different countries have now experienced a couple of days quarantine in Lahti under strict guidelines in preparation for the commencement of the tournament on Thursday. This is a reality that players, coaches, and staff have to live in order for one of the biggest tournaments of the year to safely take place. 

To name a few of the precautions in place, all players had to be tested prior to their arrival, different national teams are not able to interact with each other, there are strict training and meal times for each team, and there will be an additional COVID-19 test tomorrow for all individuals involved with the event to ensure the badminton bubble is in good health before the first ties of the team event can begin.  

Although this has created certainly a different vibe to the event compared with previous editions, through great teamwork, it is a proud moment to be organising a badminton event of this scale during these times, as Laura Kittelä, Event Coordinator at the Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training Center states. 

-We are very happy that we were able to host this event during the pandemic. Special thanks go to the Finnish authorities and healthcare, with whom we were able to arrange safe conditions for all competitors. 

-It is great that we can offer a safe badminton bubble to everyone and now Europe’s best junior players are able to compete for the championship, she adds. 

The badminton family
It is the first international badminton event at the Pajulahti Olympic and Paralympic Training Center so there is naturally a lot of excitement around it in the region. For this event to be successfully held in special circumstances, it has required a lot of work, but in the end, seeing the young players able to express themselves on court will be worth it. Laura Kittelä ends by saying. 

-We hope we will see a high level of competition with tough games, and hopefully, we will see the badminton family again here in Pajulahti in the near future.

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