(Photo: Austrian Badminton Association)
Dickert: Next year we will be even bigger
Date: 1/22/2020 3:19 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
On Sunday 1 December 2019, in the historic city of Vienna, Austria, the second 3 Nations Para badminton tournament took place. The venue was Tennis Point Vienna, the same venue that hosted the 2018 BEC Para badminton event, organised by Badminton Europe with the Austrian Badminton Association and European Paralympic Committee, which had almost 30 participants from all over Europe.

For the 3 Nations tournament, the Austrian Badminton Association acted as organiser. Despite a few short-term injuries and health-related cancellations, including Austria's top player Henriett Koósz, the tournament started with 23 players, seven more than last year, from Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic.

There was some terrific talent on show with Merlin Hirner, the national champion in para table tennis, Daniel Kontsch, the former wheelchair basketball team player and current para climber, and Angelino Zeller, a world champion in para-climbing, all present at the tournament. 

How it played out
Poland’s Jakub Sikorski was able to defend his title from the previous year in elite singles. He prevailed against his Czech doubles partner Lukas Sembera in the final. Third place went to Alexander Postl-Znidarcic, who only narrowly missed out on the final after match points against Sembera in the semifinal.
In the youth/ entry-level individual competition, the talents from Poland impressed. The 16-year-old Natalia Grzyb reached the top of the podium along with the only 13-year-old Ania Wolny and Julia Bolibrzuch. 

In the elite doubles, the Polish-Czech duo Sikorski and Sembera won against Alexander Hanisch and Alexander Postl-Znidarcic. Third place went to Poles Zbynek Sykora and Ania Wolny.

Julia Bolibrzuch and Natalia Grzyb of Poland triumphed in the youth/ entry-level doubles ahead of Christine Jakl and Bettina Repkofsky and Alexander Zeitlhofer and Silva Chladkova.

Lastly, an exhibition match in class SL3 was played by Gerald Steininger and Tomek Szwedo, which the latter won in two games.

Organiser Michael Dickert, after a successful event, is already looking forward to next year.

- We were happy about the fact we had 23 participants and that many new players participated. We have a weekly training session for amateur Para badminton players in Vienna and all of them played in this tournament, either in the beginner’s event with youth players or in the elite event, Dickert stated.

- Thank you very much to all players, helping hands, umpires, players' parents and coaches and of course to our sponsors. Next year we will be even bigger, organizing one tournament each in Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic. A two-day event is also planned, with our own national team event. Para badminton should become more known in the respective countries leading to more players being excited, Dickert added. 

For the full results, click here

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