The Carolina Marín Pavilion showed its best clothes to host the finals of the ElPozo World Senior Badminton Championships, with fair play very much present throughout the day. One of the main protagonists was Telma Santos (W35), Recreativo Badminton La Orden player, who was crowned as World Champion at home before the attentive eyes of the fans who came to the Carolina Marín Pavilion.
Saturday opened with mixed doubles finals. Thompsen and Hardardottir (XD40) overcame Marritt/Pantaney (1) in two sets. Their teammates, Emptage/Bartlett, did make good on their number one status and left Huelva 2021 with gold in XD65. In XD45 and XD6 categories there were two surprises. Aruup/Andersen (1) lost to an immeasurable Bruijstens and Van Soerland-Trouerbach. On centre court, the match between Ericsson/Kristofferson and Travers/Black (1) focused the crowd’s attention in the first round and ended with a narrow Swedish victory in the third set.
In women’s singles draw, two number one players like Svetlana Zilberman (WS60) and Zhou Xin (WS55) won their finals in the fast lane and once again proved their superiority throughout the championship. Morning session was rounded off by Barlett (1) and Black (2) with a British duel in WS65. Barlett (1) beat the Scottish player in three sets (21-14/18-21/22-20) to take gold.
At the end of the first set of matches, the awards ceremony was held. It began with a brief speech by the vice president in Europe of the World Badminton Federation, Joao Martos, and was followed by Andoni Azurmendi, president of the Spanish Badminton Federation, who expressed his gratitude to all those who had made the event possible and who had competed in it. Before the medal ceremony, the referees of the championship were recognised in an emotional tribute.
In the second half, Telma Santos and Maya Dobreva (1) played out a top-level duel for the gold in WS35. The Portuguese player from Recreativo Badminton La Orden competed from start to finish, and won against the number two in the draw. After the match, Telma explained her preparation for the championship and what the gold medal means to her: “It has been very important for me, because after the Rio Olympics I have stopped, I have not played internationally, and it has been IES La Orden, the people (from players, coaches…everyone), who have given me a hand. That’s why I feel at home. It is very important for me this title, because I can show Portugal that I am still here. And that’s for my club and for all those who support me”. In the same round as Telma, Danielsen (MS75) and Jenner (WS75) comfortably beat the number ones Gasz and Richter respectively.
In the women’s doubles, Chung/Chung (WD50), Van der Woerdt/Van Soerland-Trouerbach (WD45) and Black/Ridder (WD65), the latter in a thrilling three-set match, won their respective categories to take the title.
The day ended with three great finals in the men’s doubles +35, +40, +70 and +75, which went to Ponsana/Thanathiratham, Sorensen/Thomsen, Croukamp/Nybergh and Brothers/Sharp, respectively. In turn, Chang-Jung Wu (1) clearly defeated Stefan Grahn to end the men’s singles competition (+50).
Final ceremony, which could be followed on the official streaming of the competition, included the awarding of medals to the winners of the second round of matches, and the speeches of the top leaders of Spanish and world Badminton to close the event.
ELPozo World Senior Badminton Championship Huelva 2021 ends after a wonderful day of badminton. Competition will resume with TotalEnergies BWF World Championships on 12th December and will continue until 19th December, finals’ day.