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SZTE students finished in the TOP 8 in singles and doubles at the European badminton championship

SZTE students finished in the TOP 8 in singles and doubles at the European badminton championship

2023. August 01.
5 perc

Bálint Pápai reached the quarter-finals of the European Universities Badminton and Water Polo Championships in Miskolc, both in singles and doubles with his brother Balázs. The seven-day competition saw results announced in six categories, with hundreds of matches played between the teams. The SZTE was represented by the two Pápai brothers from TTIK, Janka Bozsó from ÁJTK and Gyöngyvér Bordás from JGYPK.

Badminton is a racquet sport played by two players facing each other (singles) or two to two players (doubles). The opponents take their places on two halves of a rectangular court separated by a net. The ball used in the game has special aerodynamic properties: for example, its feathering causes it to lose speed much more quickly than other balls. As its flight is strongly influenced by the wind, the competitions are always held indoors. There is also a hobby version, which can be played outdoors in gardens and on beaches. Badminton has been an official Olympic sport since the 1992 Summer Olympics and currently has five events: men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed doubles. The role of body culture in universities is also growing in Hungary. One sign of this is that the indicators of the universities maintained by foundations also include the support and development of sport and health promotion and the fact that in 2024 Miskolc and Debrecen will host the European University Championships in several sports. One of the "main rehearsals" of this was the European University Badminton Championships, in which SZTE participated with a team of 4 players, between 12 and 19 July, in six categories. Besides the two TTIK students Bálint Pápai and Balázs Pápai, SZTE was represented by Gyöngyvér Bordás, who is studying visual representation at the SZTE JGYPK Department of Drawing, and Janka Bozsó, who is completing her bachelor's degree in International Studies at the ÁJTK this year. All four of them played a role in the team competitions, where they competed not only for themselves but for the whole SZTE and did well in a strong and populous field.


Bálint Pápai, who is studying mathematics at the Faculty of Science and Informatics of the University of Szeged, and his brother, Balázs Pápai have performed a great feat. The students of the University of Szeged made it to the top eight in the badminton singles and doubles event at the European Universities Badminton and Water Polo Championships in Miskolc in a very strong field, in the second half of a very close programme.


In the first and the longest round of the team competition, Bálint Pápai played the men's singles and then the men's doubles with his brother. In mixed doubles, Balázs Pápai teamed up with Janka Bozsó, followed by Gyöngyvér Bordás in the women's singles and Janka Bozsó and Gyöngyvér Bordás in the doubles. With a tight competition schedule on the first few days, this meant up to two team matches - or up to 4 matches per individual - so it was important to see where the best could rest. In the case of SZTE, there was no possibility to change tactics, so they played four matches on the first two days.


In total, the students played hundreds of matches in 6 events: after the team event, there were 5 individual events: men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles.

Sport is increasingly promoted at elite universities, with sports scholarships, infrastructure improvements, and the recruitment of top coaches and trainers to lure foreign students including Oxford or Beijing. As a result, the European badminton championship also featured Asian, American, and Jamaican players among the opponents of Szeged. The latter was the top seed in the men's singles event and competed within the top eight with Bálint Pápai, born in Szeged and competing in the men's singles event. In the DVTK Arena, the badminton players started early in the morning of the eight-finals with two sets to be won. There was Hungarian interest in all five categories, but unfortunately, none of our teams qualified for the afternoon semi-finals, which was also due to the fact that they had to battle with the team finalists (Nottingham University, Warwick University). In the men's singles, Bálint Pápai (University of Szeged) was up against Samuel Ricketts (University of Warwick), who took the first set relatively easily (11-21). In the second set, with a 6-2 and then 10-7 Hungarian lead, there was some hope to level the sets, but in the final set, it was gone (16-21). "With a luckier draw, a medal would have been within reach, as during the team event the Ukrainian who eventually won the silver medal in the individual event was beaten. In the last eight, I met a top-seeded Jamaican student from a British university.

In doubles, we also met an Asian athlete from an English university and so far the Easterners are still far outclassing the Europeans. The elite universities in Western Europe also select their applicants and offer them a perspective that makes it worthwhile for them to play sports at the university level in every respect. Nevertheless, I think we can be proud that the representatives of the strongest universities, which are also outstanding in sports, have taken notice of SZTE" - said Bálint Pápai, a mathematics student of SZTE TTIK.


SZTE supported the preparation of the students and their participation in the European Championship through the Sports Centre.


Ferenc Lévai

Photo by MEFS, Bálint Pápai