At the beginning of November, for the second year in a row, the Baltic Open Youth Teams and Individual Championships in the three age groups U14, U16 and U18 took place. This year the Baltic Open Youth Championship was held in Lithuania’s capital city of Vilnius. 122 players participated not only from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, but also from Finland, Belarus and Poland.
The Estonian juniors triumphed in the individual tournament, winning 10 championship titles out of 15. Three titles went to Lithuania and one for Belarus and Finland. The Polish juniors only participated in the team tournament as they held the status of special guests, due the Polish team consisting of one older player.
In the U18 individual tournament all first places were fought for by players from Estonia. Taurus Kilk and Catlyn Kruus became the absolute champions, both winning the singles and doubles and together winning the mixed doubles.
Estonia’s players also dominated in the U16 tournament, winning 4 of the 5 champion titles. Only Perla Murνnaitė succeeded in winning the girl’s singles (GS) at her home tournament. The other titles for Estonia: BS – Mario Kirisma, BD – Mario Kirisma & Robin Schmalz, GD – Lisa Berik & Emili Parsim, XD – Robin Schmalz & Marta Emili Teller.
In the U14 group, the most champions trophies went to Lithuania: Viltė Paulauskaitė winning the girls’ singles (GS) and XD pair Domas Pakšys & Jogailė Kelečiūtė exhilarated their viewers at home in the sports hall. The BS tournament was won by Rene Leeman from Estonia, GD won by a pair from Belarus – Sophie Yanovskaya & Aryna Nikalayeva, and BD won by a pair from Finland – Tommi Kaikkonen & Oliver Oldorff.
Baltic Youth Championship – New Tradition
The agreement on the renewal of the Baltic Youth Championships was reached in 2018 by Estonian badminton coach Mart Siliksaar, Lithuanian badminton coach Ramunas Kavalauskas and Secretary general of Latvian Badminton federation Kristians Rozenvalds. The first renewed Baltic Youth Championship was held in November 2018 in Estonia, Tartu. It was then decided to continue the Baltic Youth Championship at the beginning of November. Next year the Baltic Youth Championship will take place in Latvia. This year, there was also interest from Ukraine, Denmark, Russia. More Member States are expected next year.
This year there was a special interest from Member States in the U14 group, as the Baltic Youth Championship for these young players is in preparation for the European U15 Championship, which will take place in France in February 2020. Similarly, the Baltic Youth Championship is also the preparation of U18 players for next year’s European U19 and World U19 championships.
Team Tournament uses the challenging Badminton 100 format
The Baltic Youth Team Championship in U14 age group for the second year in a row was won by the Lithuanian team, while U16 and U18 age groups were won by the Polish youth who, unlike Finland and Belarus, participated in the Baltic championship for the first time.
Both Polish teams each had one player older than allowed, so the Polish team played in a special guest status this year. The tournament referee Kristians Rozenvalds made such a decision not to lose the Polish team’s involvement, providing all teams with interesting sparring games and a sense of a badminton festival.
The team tournament used the Badminton 100 format, which is very suitable for such team tournaments. Every point here is very important and every player is very important as a result.
The Badminton 100 scoring system is the accumulation of points with the winning team shall be the first to reach 100 points. The 1st match (GS) will finish when one of the players reaches 20 points. The 2nd match (BS) starts with the result of the 1st match till one of the players reaches 40 points. Similarly, up to 60 and 80 points are the double games of girls and boys take place. The 5th match (XD) starts with the result of the 4th match till one of the pairs reaches 100 points. If the result is 99:99 then point 100 is the winning point