'My goal is to compete in the 2016 Olympics'
Date: 6/10/2014 1:39 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

With the retirement of Pi Hongyan after the London Olympics Sashina has assumed the mantle of top French singles player and has shouldered that responsibility admirably with a handful of win on the European circuit. Sashina is known for her gutsy never say die attitude on court and came full circle in the summer of 2013 when finally, after a long fight, got French citizenship which will allow her bring her talent to team competition for France which is without doubt a huge bonus for her adopted country. We spoke to the Malaysian-born in our 'Women in the Spotlight' interview.

BADMINTON EUROPE: Sashina, can you tell us a little about how you and your sister ended up being in France and playing for France?

Sashina Vignes: My coach, Julien Fuchs came for a training camp at the club where I was training in Malaysia with a couple of friends in 2002. At this time, my dad was also having thoughts about sending us to Europe to continue our badminton careers as well as to further our studies. Julien spoke to his club Asptt Strasbourg (the club I have played for since I moved to France) and he also found out that there is a school in Strasbourg where we could learn French. In October 2004, aged sixteen and fifteen Teshana and myself moved to Strasbourg.

BADMINTON EUROPE: What inspired you to keep training and competing when you were unable to compete for France?

Vignes: Badminton is my passion. Even though, at that time, I wasn’t able to compete for France, my club funded my tournaments and my coach was always there to guide and train me so that motivated me and kept me going.

BADMINTON EUROPE: Do you have a female role model in badminton or in wider sport?

Vignes: Well, I do admire Serena Williams as she’s got that fighting spirit in her as well as her strong mental strength.

BADMINTON EUROPE: What is your ultimate goal in badminton?

Vignes: My ultimate goal is to go to the Olympics.

BADMINTON EUROPE: What is your best badminton memory to date?

Vignes: I’ve got two wonderful memories: the 1st one is when our team Asptt won the French Team Nationals last year (as this was the first time the team had won gold) and the 2nd one is when I won the French Nationals in February this year. It was such a long journey to get my French Nationality and this moment was very special to me because I even drew a picture of me winning this when I was just 13 years old and to know that I made it come true was just amazing.

BADMINTON EUROPE: What do you like doing in your free time away from badminton?

Vignes: I enjoy spending time at home as I’m often away, I like going for walks and being close to nature.

BADMINTON EUROPE: Do you have any recommendations to young female players as to how they can achieve your success?

Vignes: To achieve any goal you want in life, you have to work hard as somehow it will pay off someday. I think perseverance is important too as it helps you to look ahead and to continue to try no matter what setbacks you encounter along the way.

BADMINTON EUROPE: If you hadn't become a badminton player what would you have done as a profession?

Vignes: I would have been a journalist as I love writing and discovering places and people.

Thanks for the interview!

You can follow Sashina Vignes on her official facebook page.

Article by Jean-Marc Serfaty. Photo by BadmintonPhoto.

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