Andrey Antropov: “Test badminton tournament in Minsk will help the organizers of the European Games prepare for the main start”

The Chairman of the Council of the National Badminton Federation of Russia and Vice-President of the European Badminton Confederation told about his trip to Minsk where he inspected the   II European Games badminton facilities and received consultations of the host party on the organization of the competition, which will be held in the capital of Belarus from 21 to 30 June, 2019.

— Representatives of the European Badminton Confederation were among the first to visit the future capital of the II European Games,  said Andrey Antropov. – Our Commission held a number of meetings with the organizing Committee of the 2019 Games, inspected the Falcon sports complex, where badminton competitions will be held, and also discussed the holding of a test tournament in Minsk in September, this year within the framework of the European Grand Prix series.

— The first European Games held in Baku in 2015 were held at a very high level. This is a serious challenge for the Minsk-2019 Organizing Committee?

– Our colleagues from Azerbaijan really raised the bar very high, and the refusal of the Netherlands, which planned to hold the II European Games, may have been dictated by fears that the organization of the competition this time will be below the set standards. In General, the Belarusian organizing Committee faces a difficult task.  Therefore, we came in advance to help our colleagues in solving issues related to the proper level of badminton competitions.

In this regard, an important role should be played by a test tournament, where it will be possible to rehearse all organizational aspects. It will be held in September under the auspices of the European Grand Prix series, although not only representatives of the Old world, but also athletes from other continents will be able to take part in it.

– Is the Falcon sports complex ready to host the best European badminton players?

– The problem is, that this hall is private property and used for commercial projects. However, we had the opportunity to meet with the Falcon owners   and discuss all important issues, including technical issues such as the lights in the hall and locker rooms, place for courts and spectators, the equipment and etc. The trip to Minsk was rich and, in my opinion, very useful for the host party.

– Many experts after the European Games in Baku expressed the opinion that to improve the status and prestige of these competitions it is necessary to make them qualifying for the Olympic Games, perhaps  not in all sports, at least in the majority. Will the badminton Olympic licenses be played at the II European Games?

– In our sport, the participants of the Olympic Games are determined by the results of performances at different tournaments during the year. The European Games in Minsk are included in the list of competitions for which athletes will be awarded points that affect their Olympic rating.

– Does it mean that in Minsk the Russian Badminton team will play with its strongest composition?

– It depends on the individual plans of athletes’ preparation and their health. But, of course, the European Games are among the priority starts in the pre-Olympic season for our team. Three years ago, in Baku, Russian Badminton team played in the finals of the men’s and women’s doubles. In Minsk we will try to perform at least as well we did that time. Especially now, that we can count on good results in women’s singles and in the mix.