Saturday, September 14, 2019
TEXT BY GAYLE ALLEYNE | BADMINTON PHOTO
Their brilliance ignited the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2019 and, amid their on-court fireworks and battles in Basel, badminton’s star players shared their happiness, their disappointments, their candid views about success, failure, pressure, their ambitions and what comes next in their continued pursuit of excellence and more medals.
Here are some parting thoughts from those who captured the headlines:
Chou Tien Chen (Quarterfinalist)
“My style has been to play three games and long matches. I need to try and play two games and save my power.
“This was a good chance for me (to win a medal) but I didn’t. I think I have more chances. I have to try again.
“I have improved but I need to improve more and maybe get more skills and (faster) smash speed. It’s easy to talk about changing (style) but it takes time – maybe a year, not a few weeks. Next year is the Olympics and I will focus on that now.”
Anders Antonsen (Silver Medallist)
On Pressure: “I felt no pressure at all. The thing with pressure is you can choose to let it take over and affect the game in a negative way or you can try to face it, face the thoughts you’re going through. That process of mental work is something that I really enjoy.”
Kantaphon Wangcharoen (Bronze Medallist)
“I’m really proud of my achievement at my first World Championships; to be Thailand’s first men’s singles medallist in World Championship history. I have surprised myself. I will go back home and improve further. I have learnt a lot from this experience.”
Pusarla V Sindhu (World Champion)
On Getting Gold at Tokyo 2020: “Definitely, yes, I’m hoping for that too!”
“For some time, it was bronze. For some time, it was silver. Now, I think it’s time for gold for me!
“Getting more gold medals motivates me. This victory will motivate me to keep winning. I feel that I can win more tournaments.”
Nozomi Okuhara – (Silver Medallist)
“Sindhu was very fast and I couldn’t defend her attack. She is in great form right now.
“There have been many tournaments that I couldn’t win, just like this one. It’s tough to play five or six matches and win all of them. I need to review my mental and physical condition and strategy. I must think about these things and improve them for upcoming tournaments.”
Zheng Si Wei (World Champion)
“We have been a lot steadier and more consistent this year. I think last year was about growth and this year is about stability.”
Mia Blichfeldt (Quarterfinalist)
“I’m disappointed right now but I think I’m getting closer to the best (players) and I have to enjoy those small steps because that’s what keeps me motivated. I just have to keep working harder. This is my third World Championships and I’m satisfied with some things. Of course, I want to go further so I have to keep working and not make so many easy mistakes.”
Yeo Jia Min (Quarterfinalist)
“I was slow against Ratchanok and my shot quality was not good enough to pressure her, so she was able to control the match.
“Playing in my first World Championship quarterfinal was a good experience but I must improve many things to be able to match the top players when I compete against them. I think people will expect me to play better after this. I will try to focus on what I can do and try not to put pressure on myself.
“I really enjoyed the fact that I could challenge my opponents and I treasured every chance I got to play.
“I hope my achievement is the start of Singaporean players doing well in big competitions.”