New and old European Champions in Speed Badminton crowned in Warsaw

Jasmina Keber and Per Hjalmarson defended their titles claimed 2 years ago in Porec, Croatia. The Swede, Hjalmarson, won the Championships for the fourth time an a row and will definitely hold the record for many years to come.

The 4th ISBO Speedminton® European Championships took place on 24 - 26th July in Warsaw at the clay courts of the Warszawianka Tennis Club that used to host J&S Cup, one of the biggest tennis tournaments on WTA Tour a few years ago, won by players like Venus Williams or Justine Henin. The event attracted 320 players from 20 European nations. Speed badmintonists competed for medals and trophies in 16 categories.

Some of the matches were played on indoor clay courts due to heavy rain on Friday. The sun was back in the Polish capital on the final day though and the last encounters took place on Saturday in the evening in perfect conditions – beautiful sunset and no wind. It only added magic to the wonderful ambience in the stands and outstanding performance on the court presented by the finalists.

In the women’s final Jasmina Keber, current number 1 in the ISBO rankings, defeated Jennifer Greune, the German champion, in straight sets 16:10 16:9. The match was intense and full of exciting rallies but the Slovenian never really looked threatened by Greune. She seemed to be in control of the game from the first to the last point.

"I’m very happy I defended the title. I played Jennifer many times and I knew how to play her. However I had to give up my usual game and prepare really well tactically for this match. I’m glad it worked out well and I take this trophy home"
 said Keber, who currently holds two European Champion and a World Champion titles.

In the men’s final Per Hjalmarson faced Mladen Stancovic from Serbia, who currently trains in Spain. The Serbian was definitely considered as a surprise finalist. The beginning of the match was nervous but the Swedish favourite quickly got into the rhythm and played his game to capture the victory 17-15 16-6.

"I’m extremely happy to win today. It was a tough match at the beginning, a bit shaky. I’m defenitely relieved and happy. Especially that it’s already my fourth European Champion title"
 commented Hjalmarson before the award ceremony.

On Thursday the home crowds could enjoy the win of the Polish Men’s doubles – Ociepa/Kaczmarek. Poles defeated current world champions, Hjalmarson/Aronsson, in the final. Also in Women’s doubles Poland was very close to a gold medal. The Polish double Soltys/Karasek faced Hungarians Darnyik/Bognar and were a point from the Championship when the referee called a foot fault on Soltys‘ serve which turned the whole match around. Hungarians got back in the match, grabbed the second set and won in the third.

"It was the first time Poland hosted such a big speed badminton event and I’m happy so many players from around Europe decided to participate. I’m glad the weather cleared up on the final day and matches could be played in good, sunny conditions. I’m particularly glad there was so much media interest in the event as we consider it an enormous opportunity for development of the sport in our country" said Lidia Bomirska, the president of the Polish Speed Badminton Association.

The newly crowned European Champions will now meet in Gotheborg, Sweden at the Speedminton Swedish Open in August.

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