Students from Vytautas Magnus University won all six possible gold medals of the SELL Student Games badminton competition. Lithuanian students from city of Kaunas won the Badminton 100 relay team tournament and also all five individual gold medals. Povilas Bartušis and Samanta Golubickaite became the absolute champions, together winning in a mixed doubles tournament as well as singles and doubles tournaments of the same sex.
The SELL Student Games badminton competition took place from May 20 to 22, in Pepsi Center, Riga. Students from Latvia, Lithuania, India and Sri Lanka, representing 7 universities, participated in the competition.
XXXVII SELL Student Games were attended by more than 1,200 students, not only from traditional SELL countries Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, but also from Israel and Slovakia.
The first SELL Student Gamestook place in 1923 in Tartu, Estonia. Next year SELL Student Games mark its centenary. In 2023, SELL Student Games will take place in the Estonian city of Tartu, just like 100 years ago.
XXXVII SELL Student Games were supposed to take place in Riga already in 2021, but they were canceled due to Covid-19 restrictions. In 2022, Covid-19 continued to influence the competition process due to uncertainty, but the situation in the Ukraine affected the situation even more, so students from Russia and Belarus, who had previously participated in the SELL student competition in large numbers, could no longer participate in the competition. This year, for obvious reasons, universities from Ukraine did not participate either. Delegations in many countries were afraid to send their student teams so close to the Russian border, and in many places student sports have not yet recovered from Covid-19.
XXXVII SELL Student Games program un Rīga included 14 sports – basketball, 3 × 3 basketball, athletics, swimming, chess, judo, powerlifting, floorball, football 7 × 7, table tennis, volleyball, beach volleyball, badminton and orienteering.
For the first time in the SELL student game program, there was also a badminton team tournament in the Badminton 100 relay format. Teams playing up to 100 points to win, with players changing after the winning team has reached 20, 40, 60 and 80 points. In the relay format, women’s and men’s singles are played in sequence, women’s and men’s doubles, and the relay is concluded with mixed doubles.
The first place in the team tournament was convincingly won by the team of Vytautas Magnus University from the Lithuanian city of Kaunas, while the winner of the 2nd place was determined by fighting fiercely between the teams of Riga Technical University and the University of Latvia. The game was very intense, because until the last relay stage of mixed doubles, the leadership changed every set, but in the end, the team of Riga Technical University won 100 – 91.
Kristians Rozenvalds, referre of the SELL Student Games Badmithon Tournament in Rīga, believes that the Badminton 100 relay format is very suitable for such forums, because a tournament with many teams can be organized in one day.
Kristians Rozenvalds is convinced that international student badminton tournaments is a very important step in the development of badminton, because universities see motivation to organize teams, organize trainings, hire coaches, attract the best students.