(Photo: Polish Badminton Association)
Toft and Graversen strike second IC title
Date: 5/22/2023 2:38 PM
Published by : Sara Gonzalez Martinez (BEC)
The European pairs steal the show in the mixed doubles with Jesper Toft and Clara Graversen securing their second International Challenge title while Neslihan Yigit claims the women’s singles silver.

The I FEEL SLOVENIA YONEX Open 2023 served up a fitting finale with a closing day of both semifinals and finals. Taking place from 17 until 21 May, the International Challenge tournament concluded with a successful edition that saw many European athletes rising up to the occasion by putting up formidable fights against the strong Asian players.

Among those delivering impressive performances, we find the Danish pair of Jesper Toft and Clara Graversen. Half a year ago, the duo claimed their first International Challenge title after several great showdowns in the European Circuit — and they were close to winning their second at the Polish Open but the Danes eventually finished as runner-ups.

The number three seeds set the stage for a remarkable run in Maribor from the get-go. Toft and Graversen won all their matches in straight games against European and Asian opponents, with their longest match lasting a little over half an hour. “This win means a lot to us. It’s always nice to prove that you’re able to do something twice, and that it wasn’t just luck the first time. I’m happy with our level last week,” Graversen stated.

“We have been in a good period of hard training, so it’s always a good feeling when it pays off with a title. We don’t have much time to celebrate because we have the Denmark Masters and the Nantes International Challenge in the coming weeks where we also want to show our high level on court,” Toft concluded.

The mixed doubles event was a remarkable one for the Europeans. While the silver went to India’s Rohan Kapoor/ Reddy Sikki, Toft and Graversen’s final opponents, Germany’s Patrick Scheiel and Franziska Volkmann as well as Denmark’s Mads Vestergaard and Christine Busch have taken bronze medals home from what was a good tournament for the pairs.

Yigit secures the silver medal
Türkiye’s Neslihan Yigit has so far secured a place in the podiums’ top two spots of the European Circuit tournaments she has competed in this year — finishing as runner-up in the Polish Open and winning the Portugal International. Yigit has added another medal by finishing as runner-up in Slovenia.

The Turkish player was unseeded but worked her way through three tough first matches in the tournament. Yigit took out fifth seeded Clara Azurmendi, Spain, in the Round of 16 and triumphed in straight games against Chinese Taipei’s Huang Ching Ping in the semifinal, the champion of two International Series in 2023. 

Finland’s Kalle Koljonen adds a third European Circuit medal to his 2023 list with a bronze in Slovenia and Danes Daniel Lundgaard/ Mads Vestergaard continue their successful start to their new partnership with another great result, finishing in the third/fourth spot. You can check here the full list of winners. 

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