For a couple of years, Juliane Schenk belongs to the few Europeans who can take up the fight against the strong Asians, mainly the Chinese players. We spoke to the German about her preparation for the 2012 London Olympics and her secrets against the dominant Chinese women.
BADMINTON EUROPE: Juliane, how is your preparation for London going?
Juliane Schenk: After two intensive tournaments in Indonesia and Singapore, I will practice the last two weeks at the German National training centre in Mülheim before heading to London.
It makes sense for me to get the used training environment now. I can minimize the stimuli from outside and work calmly on special training content. I will have a specific and individual training programme for on-court and also off-court sessions. This gives me the necessary power and confidence before going to London.
BADMINTON EUROPE: How would you describe your current form?
Schenk: The daily form is crucial. At the moment, I feel quite good. I am physically and mentally ready. My training performance shows that everything fits. Now it is up to keep the form and increase the motivation step by step up to the highest possible level.
BADMINTON EUROPE: What would you like to achieve at the 2012 Olympics?
Schenk: My attempt is to present the best possible performance - and that with absolute joy and commitment. That means I am not expecting any kind of medal, title or trophy. It’s not because I don’t want it, its because I am not allowing myself to feel that pressure. I am convinced, if I can perform on my highest possible level, a medal is the consequence and that’s my goal.
BADMINTON EUROPE: Who are your main contenders at the Olympics?
Schenk: First of all I have respect for all my opponents. I guess the women’s singles category is really balanced and tough. There are a lot of world class players. Everybody among the top 20 in the world rankings is cabable of winning against each other.
BADMINTON EUROPE: You have already beaten the best Chinese players. Please tell us your secret.
Schenk: At lot of patience, high speed, variations and I need to control the match. And I have to be mentally well prepared. You have to have the ultimate desire to win. A Chinese has to feel on the other side of the court that you are stronger and willing to beat her. Then you get chances!
BADMINTON EUROPE: You won a bronze medal at last year's World Championships in the London Wembley arena. A good omen?
Schenk: For me it is indeed a good omen. I could get valubale experiences and memories which I am using for the preparation for the Olympics. But of course it’s a complete different tournament. But I am looking forward and let’s see what will happen.
BADMINTON EUROPE: For how long will play at international level?
Schenk: Actually that is a very interesting question for me at the moment. And I don’t have an answer yet. At the moment I don’t feel I have to think about the future. Because my today’s world is really exciting and fullfiling. Maybe in our next interview, I will have an answer.
BADMINTON EUROPE: Tine Baun has already announced that she probably would retire soon. Do you see any other fellow campaigner from Europe to take up the fight against the Chinese?
Schenk: Tine Baun is an outstanding player. After the succesful decade of Camilla Martin, she has shown how to challenge and beat the Asians. I am looking forward to see new talents from Europe, who can reach world class level and can represent Europe on a high international level. There is of course one player who has shown great potential: Carolina Marin of Spain. If she stays injury-free she will have a great future.
Thanks for the interview!
Click here for a players profile of Juliane Schenk
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