Competition was held across two venues: U17/U19 at the Innogy Sporthalle and U13/U15 in the nearby Deutsches Badminton Zentrum. Tournament director Sven Anstoetz proved an excellent host and a warm welcome was provided to the players in both venues throughout the competition.
Scotland’s sole U13 representative, Iona Muir, had a tournament to remember. Faced with the number one seed in her group, Iona eased her way past French and German opposition without dropping a set. After facing another German girl in the quarter finals, Iona marched on to face unseeded French opponent Lily Gautier in the semi final, excelling 21-5, 21-11.
Iona had saved her best play of the tournament for the final against second seeded Fae Boonen from Belgium, racing into a 17-0 lead before taking the first set 21-3. Another strong display in the second set, winning 21-8, gave Iona the victory and her first international title!
In the U15 events, Iona, Eva Tremble and Callan Short were flying the flag for Scotland. Eva progressed from her group with a convincing win against a Swiss opponent but injury prevented her from facing her French opponent in the knockout stages.
Eva and Iona then teamed up in the U15 girls doubles where they battled through a tough first round match against German opposition before eventually losing in three ends to number two seeds and eventual runners up Clemence Gaudreau and Sarah Berger from France in what was an entertaining and encouraging match.
Callan Short’s campaign in the U15 boys singles got off to a rocky start with a tough loss to eventual runner-up Baptiste Rolin from Belgium. He quickly regrouped to score an impressive come from behind win against Welsh opposition before comfortably dispatching local favourite Tim Bonnemann.
Next up was the knock-out stages where Callan faced his level doubles partner, Nathan Bouillot, from France. In an entertaining match Callan once again came from behind, winning 17-21, 21-13, 21-14. The quarter final was a step too far, however, coming up against the excellent French player and eventual winner, Marco Marie. A tough draw but a chance to play against top quality opposition.
In the U17 tournament staged in the impressive Innogy Sporthalle, Abbie Brooks (15) had a tremendous international debut. A nail-biting first-round match against Katharina Rudert from Germany saw Abbie prevail 22-24, 21-12, 21-18 in a contest of similar styles and excellent defence.
Her second-round match against German Cara Siebrecht was more comfortable (21-13, 21-14) and was followed by an equally assured win in the third round against Dutch 14th seed Iris van Leijsen (21-15, 21-14). Abbie’s fourth-round opponent proved a step too far, however; the number three seed from Switzerland, Lucie Amiguet, proved more experienced in a tightly fought contest where consistency was the key to victory.
All four competitors thoroughly enjoyed what was a well-organised tournament in excellent venues, with each of them vowing to return next year and improve on this year’s performance!