(Photo: Badminton Europe)
They call me ‘The Gorilla’
Date: 10/31/2020 8:30 AM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The European Junior Team Championships always brings a vibrant and loud atmosphere, with team battle cries before every match inspiring the team to fight together as one against their opponents. Germany was certainly ready with a battle cry that captured the attention of fans. 

Huddling together as a team, the Germans then belted out their motivational chant with Kilian Ming-Zhe Maurer awaiting his moment in the middle. At the climax of the cry, Maurer emerges beating his chest and roaring their final call to action. 

-It was a little joke. Some of my teammates called me ‘The Gorilla’ and one day before the match we were brainstorming and they said that I have to come up and do the gorilla style, he said demonstrating the beating of the chest once more.

Germany added a 5-0 victory over the Faroe Islands to their 4-1 win over hosts Finland. This means that today two old foes in badminton team events, Germany and Denmark, will have a showdown to decide who takes the number one spot in Group 1. The German team is feeling very comfortable at this event when Maurer states. 

-Conditions are quite good in the hall. I do not think the shuttle is too fast, it was easy to control, but on one side it is harder to see the shuttle than the other. But overall it is great. 

His partner in the men’s doubles, Matthias Schnabel, believes Germany have every chance against the first seeds. 

- We have a good team and have a chance to win against Denmark, but they for sure have many great players. We will give it our all.

A brief scare for Denmark
Denmark, strong favourites for the team event, had to fight until the end to fend off hosts Finland who put on a great single's performance to make the Danes sweat. 

Finland after losing the opener in the mixed doubles went on a two-match winning streak with both singles. Joakim Oldorff, despite losing 21-10 in the opening game to Christopher Vittoriani, managed to find his rhythm just in time to clinch the second game 21-19. A visibly frustrated Vittoriani eventually succumbed to Oldorff’s tidy playing style and the Finn managed to reverse the opening game score of 21-10 in the decider. 

-I saw that he was frustrated a little bit, but I just had to remain calm and keep focused on my game to not make errors, Oldorff noted after the match.
Next, it was the turn of the Finnish sensation, 14-year-old Nella Nyqvist, who caused all sorts of problems for Simona Pilgaard. She did not have an answer to her sharp attack and the match ended 21-19, 21-18, with Finland in the driver's seat. 

This called for the Danish doubles to bail out their team. Christian Kjaer/ Marcus Rindshøj scored a two-game victory over Safina Emran/ Juuso Kuoppala, and Mette Werge/ Clara Løber followed suit against Jannica Monnberg/ Julia Salonen to seal the 3-2 win.

Werge and Løber after the match were honest in describing their tension around this moment. 

-We knew that they have good singles players and that we have to step up, but we did not think it would be quite so close. So, we were a little nervous playing out the deciding match, as the pressure was on us, but we are really relieved that in the end, we were able to handle it quite well. 

Looking ahead to their exciting clash with Germany today at 14:00 (local time), they agreed.

-We have to be good all-round when facing Germany and if we step up again then I think we can win.

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