The Badminton World Cup in late August and winning the quota for the Paris 2024 Olympics are the following targets ahead of three-time European champions and two-time European Games champions Stephanie Stoeva and Gabriela Stoeva (Stoeva Sisters).
A month ago, Gabriela and Stephanie won gold medals at the European Games in Krakow (Poland) and a second career title since Baku 2015.
The competitors were awarded unique plaques at a press conference today at Pressclub Bulgaria by the Chairman of BF Badminton, Dr Volodya Zlatev.
“They did what they could and had to do – to win gold medals and put their names in golden letters in the history of European badminton. They already have five Old Continent titles, which puts them at the top of the eternal ranking with other legends of the sport. I expect them to be inducted into the Continental Badminton Hall of Fame one day. Now they will participate in the World Cup in Denmark,” said Dr Zlatev”.
The competitors said they were happy with the medals they won in Krakow but must participate in the World Cup in Copenhagen (Denmark) from August 21 to 27.
“We went for the Games with great expectations; we wanted to fight for the gold medal. Anything but the gold will be a failure for us. It was a tough tournament for us; every match was tough, but the semi-finals were the toughest. It was like a final that a couple won and became a champion, and we are delighted that we succeeded,” said Gabriela Stoeva.
It was a tough preparation, but we fought every match. Now comes the World Cup, where the competition will be much different. We will fight and hopefully manage to get into the medals,” added Stephanie Stoeva.
Senior coach of the national team Petya Nedelcheva-Hranova is pleased with the performance of the Bulgarians at the European Games.
“The Bulgarian national team has again shown that Bulgaria can achieve profound results. Gabriella and Stephanie are the best couples in Europe and have been proving it for years. The next goal is a World Cup medal missing from their careers and qualification for the Paris Olympics.
“At the Games, we won a gold medal and have three ninth places. Dimitar Yanakiev played very strongly and showed that he could fight for an Olympic quota. The most realistic thing is to have three quotas for Paris 2024, and hopefully, we succeed. It’s about the sisters, Dimitar Yanakiev, and among the women, two girls will fight for a place in Paris – Kaloyana Nalbantova and Hristomira Popovska, who only ten places divide them in the ranking,” she added.
Ivan Rusev said he was pleased with his performance in Krakow in pairs of men together with Iliyan Stoynov.
“We all performed very well. Yanakiev played great and has a chance for an Olympic quota. The men’s couple has been playing relatively recently, about a year, and for us, it was important to qualify for the European Games first. We managed, and we were close to getting out of the group. We now have a camp in France, where our preparation for the World Cup will go completely. This will be the first championship for our couple; we have no expectations; we will play match by match,” Rusev commented.
Dr Volodya Zlatev added that there is understanding on the part of the new leadership of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the presence of the Minister Assoc. Dimitar Iliev and Prof. Daniela Dasheva, and we are confident that the work in synchrony will continue.
Racers and coaches get their rewards on time; that matters. All contracts with the ministry have been signed. Racers run camps like Kaloyana Nalbantova is currently preparing for a month in 🇲🇾 Kuala Lumpur; we try to provide everything the competitors need, we are already a leading sport in the country, and we have to do our best,” he added.