The José Ángel de Jesús Encinas Sports Center Pavilion in Talavera de la Reina (Toledo) hosted the 2022/23 School Age Badminton Championship of Spain for Autonomous Teams (CESA). The Castilla-La Mancha team managed to proclaim itself champion of Spain in the Inclusive Championship, it was eleventh in the sub 17 category and twelfth in the sub 15 category.
The competition brought together more than 330 athletes from 16 autonomous communities during four intense days of competition, in which a total of 563 games have been played. Each day there has been a great atmosphere of camaraderie both inside and outside the pavilion courts, since the athletes have not stopped encouraging their teammates and have shown an exemplary attitude in terms of fair play.
Four have been Morales (Club Badminton Moral) who participated in the Spanish Championship: Ismael Bacete López and Ángel Flores Sancho in the under 17 category, Diana Dulya in the under 15 category, and Ángel Flores Sánchez as coach of the regional team.
Castilla-La Mancha, Spanish champion of inclusive badminton – Photo: LT
Each match would be played in 7 games, 4 singles, 1 mixed doubles, 1 women’s doubles and 1 men’s doubles. During the first day, the children’s team began by losing their match against Madrid (5-2), as well as the cadets who lost to Asturias 7-0, despite playing several very close 3-set matches. Next, the infantiles achieved a victory in their match against La Rioja (6-1), while the cadets won an exciting match against the Catalonian team by a narrow score of (4-3).
On the second day, our children’s and cadet teams lost in their matches against Andalucía 6-1 and against the Balearic Islands 0-7.
Champions in a great experience
In the afternoon, the Inclusive Championship took place, where Castilla-La Mancha won gold, beating the teams from Asturias, Andalusia, La Rioja and Melilla. All the teams met in a single group, playing three matches per match, two doubles and one individual.
A beautiful experience in which young conventional badminton athletes mix with the champions of adapted sport. After ten games, Castilla-La Mancha was the one that finally took the win, winning in all the matches. The silver was obtained by Asturias, who only lost to the La Mancha side in a close match. Andalucía, with two victories, was chosen to climb to the last step of the podium.
On the third day, the children’s team competed in the playoffs for positions from 9th to 12th. Unfortunately, it was not possible to win any of the direct confrontations against Asturias (2-4) and Canarias (1-4), remaining in 12th place in the championship. On the other hand, the cadet teams also competed for positions from 9th to 12th. Firstly, the confrontation against the Region of Murcia was not won by a tight result (3-4).
On the fourth day, the cadet team won 4-1 against the community of the Canary Islands. A very disputed match despite the result. This result established that the cadet selection would remain in eleventh position.
After the team from Castilla La Mancha won and revalidated the inclusive title, the teams from Castilla y León and Andalucía prevailed in the children’s and cadet categories, respectively, by beating the Balearic and Galician teams in the finals. The Galicians got even by beating the Andalusians in the fight for the children’s bronze (4-3), in the same way that the Balearic Islands got the cadet bronze by defeating the Valencian Community (1-4).
Once the match was over, the top three classified for sub 15, sub 17 and the Inclusive Championship were delivered. The Federation of Castilla-La Mancha also delivered ceramic trays to each of the participating autonomous communities.
This CESA has been organized by the Castilla-La Mancha Badminton Federation and the Spanish Badminton Federation and has had the invaluable support of the Higher Sports Council, the Community Board, the Toledo Provincial Council and the Talavera de the Queen.
An event that year after year is surpassed, being able to attract more young athletes who can compete at the highest level of this sport. Despite being an individual sport, badminton maintains a team spirit with this type of competition, where coexistence and values are very present and undoubtedly mark experiences that are difficult to forget for the kids.
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