From Sudirman to Down Under


20150515_215426Yesterday a great organized Sudirman Cup ended with an anticipated title for superpower China. Japan was beaten 3 to 0 and who else than badminton legend Lin Dan scored the winning point. Every time again I am amazed how he can make our sport look so easy. His footwork, his movements on court and his unbelievably effective way of playing are unique. A pleasure to watch and secretly to be very jealous of!

It was a pleasure to play in the arena specially built for the Sudirman Cup. Dongguan is a city where badminton is played just a bit more than in other Chinese cities, at least that was what one of our interpreters and assistants told me. In any case the matches were well attended. Moreover, there were 1.100 volunteers in and around the arena of which 600 residents and 500 students from Dongguan. For them this was a fantastic experience since they were chosen from many candidates to be part of this tournament. At any time of the day they were enthusiastic and incredibly friendly.

Our own competition in the 2nd group went well. In the group matches we consecutively defeated Canada, Spain and Singapore. After a false start in the mix against Canada we could take our revenge against Singapore. Samantha and I played against the former top 10 pair and current number 16 of the world Chrisnanta and Neo. We controlled the match well and despite a troubled start in the second game we could pursue our strategy well. As a result we won in two games and concluded this last group match with a 4-1 win. The game was broadcasted and if you like you may watch it here

Our first place in group 2 meant we had to play Hong Kong for the 13Th place in the tournament. When you are in group 2 it means that the 13th place is the highest position you can get. In fact it is a strange idea because you always want to play to win a tournament. As a country we will have to work hard during the coming years to improve our ranking in all areas and may be after some four years we’ll be able than to compete in the Champions group. If countries like Russia, England and Germany can do it, why not us? Moreover, the competition against Hong Kong was lost 1 by 3 and Samantha and I didn’t have to play the last match.

The next morning we were picked up very early to catch our flight to Melbourne and that’s where I write this report. How cool is that! I did not ever expect to get there because of the enormous distance to be bridged. Even from southern China it is still a 9.5 hours flight. However, Australia now has a Super Series tournament as well which will be held next week in Sydney. Before we go there next Sunday, we first join the trainings this week of the Australian National Team. Australia is a sporting nation at heart and their training center is beautiful and fully equipped. A great location to spend an interim week! The training sessions are mostly early in the morning so we can also enjoy some free time which we will obviously spent well. It’s autumn, almost winter here, but the weather is still very nice and
Melbourne is a great city! In short, it’s a great trip so far and I fully enjoy it!

Next week we have a tough draw. In the first round we have to play the Chinese Kai Lu and Huang Yaqiong who are in the top eight of the world ranking. At the World Championships we were beaten in two games but we will again analyze them and find a good strategy for that match. I’m very much looking forward to it! But now I’ll first enjoy Australia’s coffee capital, Melbourne!

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