A day after the first World junior ranking tournament “Yonex Latvia Junior 2022” was successfully held in Sigulda, long-time tournament director of “Yonex Latvia International” Kristians Rozenvalds announced that he no longer plans to organize any of the World or European ranking badminton tournaments in Latvia next year.
In 2022, the Latvian Badminton Federation, headed by Kristians Rozenvalds at that time, had undertaken to organize three “Yonex Latvia International” badminton tournaments, including the European U17 ranking tournament “Yonex Latvia U17” in Liepaja, the World ranking tournament “Yonex Latvia International” in Jelgava, and for the first time in Latvia also the World Junior Ranking Tournament “Yonex Latvia Junior” in Sigulda.
“All World and European badminton tournaments planned this year have been successfully held. It is a pleasure that Latvia now hosts a full set of world and European badminton tournaments – U17, U19 and Elite tournaments. The intention has been fulfilled. And this is the most appropriate moment for me to hand over the baton to someone else,” Kristians Rozenvalds announced on Facebook.
“I announced that I will not continue next year immediately after the last tournament scheduled this year. I did not want it to affect the World Junior Ranking tournament taking place in Sigulda, but this decision could not be postponed any longer, because the Latvian Badminton Federation could choose other organizers by the end of the year, apply for tournaments in the World and European badminton calendars, prepare budget requests from the national and local government,” explains Kristians Rozenvalds.
Whether and which international tournaments to hold next year will be decided by the Latvian Badminton Federation in cooperation with the European Badminton Confederation. Each country can host no more than two European U17 ranking tournaments, no more than two junior ranking tournaments, as well as no more than three World ranking tournaments. World junior and World ranking tournaments must be announced no later than 9 months, while European U17 ranking tournaments no later than 6 months before the tournament.
The first World ranking tournament “Yonex Latvia International” was organized by Kristians Rozenvalds in 2016 in Jelgava, where the tournament was continuously held until 2022. Everything starts with one world ranking tournament in Jelgava, but ends with the fact that since 2019 the European U17 ranking tournament has also been held in Latvia, and since 2022 also the World Junior Ranking tournament.
Kristians Rozenvalds reminds that Latvia is one of the few places in the world where international badminton tournaments were held continuously even in the conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the Latvian tournament in 2020 was particularly public, as it was the first after the first 6-month period at home.
“The year 2018 was also significant, when the Latvian tournament with 335 participants from 40 countries was the largest tournament in Europe. Since 2016, when “Yonex Latvia International” was held in Jelgava, participants from 62 countries have participated in the tournament,” Kristians Rozenvalds is proud.
In 2019, the tournament also had a social aspect for the first time – one of the tournament courts was named in honor of the symbol of Europe that suffered a fire – Notre Dame. In 2022, all three Latvian international tournaments were notable for the fact that players from Ukraine participated free of charge, paid and fed, as well as the courts at the Jelgava tournament were named after Ukrainian cities.
“In Latvia, seminars for Umpires and coaches, a “Trick shot” competition and many other activities have been held during tournaments. “Yonex Latvia International” is a record not only in Latvian, but also in World badminton history. I am proud of the opportunity to be an accomplice in this process. Thanks to the players, umpires, referees, coaches, sponsors, volunteers, municipalities and the media, who helped make it all happen!” writes Kristians Rozenvalds in his statement on Facebook.
“This decision will not affect my everyday life, because organizing badminton tournaments was also an additional job, more like a hobby. In the future, I will focus even more on the basic work in public relations,” clarifies Kristians Rozenvalds.
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