(Photo: Badminton Europe)
Elena Diordiev: I would like to see myself in the race for Paris 2024
Date: 10/1/2020 3:18 PM
Published by : Yash Sharma
Badminton has been a crazy adventure for the 19-year-old Elena-Alexandra Diordiev, with some unforgettable life experiences. 

The young Moldovan first held a racket at the age of nine and swiftly progressed to the national team within two years. She later moved to Odense due to a lack of proper training and coaching facilities in the home country. Joining the BEC Centre of Excellence in June 2018 has helped Diordiev evolve into a better player.

- I was willing to step into a professional training environment. The international exposure was attractive as each player has a different approach that would benefit me as well. 

- I believe that the training at the COE has improved my technical and tactical skills, structured my game concept, and made my basic game more consistent.

Transition from junior level
Diordiev agrees that the transition to senior level is hard.

- I played a couple of senior tournaments before the lockdown. However, it is difficult to get used to it as no international tournaments are going on. Avoiding injuries is another challenge. For the past two years, I have been struggling with several injuries that have not allowed me to keep my level steady.

- I aim to improve physically as well as mentally. I am also implementing some new elements in my game. In the long run, I would like to see myself in the race for Paris 2024. 

Balancing badminton and studies
With plans to become a full-time badminton player and a part-time student, education has always been important for the 19-year-old.

- Luckily, I could combine my training at the COE with the IB diploma programme at the Stenhus Gymnasium. The schools in Denmark are more flexible, relaxed, and supportive of athletes. 

- Even though the student-athlete life involves a lot of running around, doing homework at the airport on the way to a tournament, it is worth it. I am pretty good at managing my time and planning my week in advance.

The motivated youngster manages to pursue her hobbies, despite the busy schedule. 

- I enjoy baking healthy desserts and trying out new vegetarian recipes in my spare time. I also like to explore new places and go on adventures.

- I motivate myself to do better by holding on to the bigger picture. I do not usually experience a lack of motivation because I am disciplined.

Favourite athlete
Diordiev takes inspiration from the youngest-ever world champion in women’s singles.

- Ratchanok Intanon is amongst my favourite women’s singles players. I had the pleasure of meeting her at the Banthongyord Badminton School in Bangkok.

Watch Diordiev play at the 2019 Norwegian International: 

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