GERMAN JUNIOR 2012 – The usual suspects

Badminton’s most dominant forces rarely disappoint, even if they are sending out their future stars to be.  While they were heavily tested by their coevals from all over the world, […]

Badminton’s most dominant forces rarely disappoint, even if they are sending out their future stars to be.  While they were heavily tested by their coevals from all over the world, including Filipina hopeful Malvinne Alcala, the German Open trophies were still handed over to badminton giants such as Denmark, Indonesia and Korea, last week-end.

By Elm Vandevorst. Photo: Badmintonphoto (archives)

To determine the draw, and deciding the top seeds, is always a tricky thing to do with players of such a young age. There’s only a limited amount of tournaments were these youngsters can gain points. In addition, a part of these shuttlers only leave their training rooms for the “big” tournaments such as the German . Only three seeded players or pairs made it in to the final, two of them were opposed to each other in the mixed doubles final.

In a dream final, Dutch top seeds Jim Middelburg and Soraya De Visch Eijbergen had to defeat second seeded pair Lee Chun Hei and Cheung Ngan Yi from Hong Kong in order to fulfill the expectations. But in a very one-sided match the latter easily overcame the Dutch duo 21-8, 21-13 in just over twenty minutes. Middelburg and De Visch Eijbergen are the current national champions of the Netherlands but simply had to accept the supremacy of their adversaries. Lee Chun Hei already played against the Dutchmen at the World Junior Championships in 2010, then in partnership with Tsang Wing Chiu, where he also defeated them. For Cheung Ngan Yi, it was a second German title as she already won the girls’ singles last year. This year, she didn’t even survive the third round in that discipline, where she was stopped by Korean Han So Yeon.

It was Han’s compatriot Lee Jang Mi who made it to the final of the girls’ singles event, which has featured a Korean all but once in the last ten years. Her opponent from the Philippines, Malvine Ann Alcala (photo) had already survived a few encounters against Lee’s fellow citizens in a draw fully packed with some of Korea’s most promising youngsters. Already her third opponent from “the land of the Morning calm” and just one too many. After losing the first game 21-17, the lone Filipina in this event decided to retire at match point 20-15. Alcala, the reigning back-to-back Singapore Junior Champion will now head to the East for the Hungarian Junior International.

An all-Indonesian final was scheduled in the boys’ singles between Kho Henrikho Wibowo and Thomi Azizan Mahbub. Both young men defeated Korean challengers in their semi’s, which they both ended with success. Mahbub was the slight favourite as het ousted Soong Joo Ven, winner of the Dutch Junior on his way to the final. The talented teen is also ranked a bit higher on the Indonesian U19-list. Nevertheless Wibowo needed only thirty minutes, and two sets, to triumph 21-13 21-10.

In the sole three-game match of the day, Europe’s only remaining participants Denmark were all square after two sets against their Indonesian rivals in the boys’ doubles. Kasper Antonsen and Fredrik Colberg, the current U19 junior champions of their country, were victorious in game one whereas Arya Maulana Aldiartama and Edi Subaktiar prevailed in the highly contested second game. The Danish twosome stepped up their game and eventually came out as winner of the final game, match and tournament 21-15, 21-23, 21-16.

Finally Indonesia and Korea had to settle who would head back to their home land with two instead of one title. Indonesia’s girls’ doubles pair Melati Daeva Oktaviani and Rosyita Ela Putri Sari overwhelmed Koreans Jeon Joo I and Yang Soo Yeon in the opening game 21-9. Also game two went to the Indonesians, this time with 21-13.  Korea still managed to keep alive its streak of 10 consecutive years with at least one title at the German Junior.

With both Dutch and German Junior finished, the stars for the future will now immediately head to Hungary, for the Hungarian Junior International. Korea and Denmark are sending out a delegation and are the top favourites to clinch the titles on finals day this Sunday.

Results HERE


About Elm Vandevorst