Photo: Badmintonphoto
Team Europe walks on court
Date: 1/11/2021 7:45 PM
Published by : Rasmus Bech(BEC)

The lead up to the YONEX Thailand Open has in many ways been different. On court, many of the European players practice together.

The COVID-19 situation, of course, has changed a lot for the athletes, entourage, technical officials and everybody else involved in the upcoming tournaments in Thailand.

In the training hall the setup has been different too, and as fans can see on different social media multiple European players are practising together.

Good to meet some new faces
The practising is not due to COVID-19 but due to the World Class Project, in which more of the European top nations are committed.

French coach Baptiste Careme is in Thailand, and he is pleased that the players and coaches have been able to work together.

- The practice has been great. We played some matches and did some exercises, and it is very good for all of our players to face other opponents as usual. Especially, since it was impossible to organise the training camp we wanted to do since August. Players were all excited to face each other and coaches are happy too, of course, Careme said.

Team Europe
On how the practices have Baptiste Careme explains:

- Badminton Europe, on behalf of Germany, England, Scotland, Netherlands and France, made a request to BWF and the organisation as Team Europe so we are considered as one team. Therefore, Team Europe has as many players as the Indonesian team for example and can request for a whole session of training on all 6 six courts and even a bit more. It also gives us the opportunity to all use the same transport, and also allows us to share the fitness rooms if necessary.

- As Sabrina Jaquet was the only Swiss player, she also joined the group and can play with Qi Xuefei and Yvonne Li.

Better than training alone
One of the players participating in the training is reigning European Games champion Selena Piek, and the Dutch star is happy to see the European countries supporting each other.

- I think it is really good as we can help each other towards a higher level. Playing against other people helps to stay motivated and eager to do your absolute best, Piek said.

- This also helps our game to develop as you can get used to a routine back at home. Playing and training with others puts you out of your comfort zone and that is always a good thing for  self-development. This is definitely better than training alone, she added.

YONEX Thailand Open kicks off tomorrow, Tuesday. Find the schedule of the opening day here 

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