Thanks to an amazing week at last week's European Championships in Sweden, Marc Zwiebler is the first German in 40 years to become European Men’s Singles Badminton Champion. We spoke to the 28-year-old about the surprising success in Karlskrona.
BADMINTON EUROPE: Marc, one week ago you sensationally won the European title. Have you already realized what happened?
Marc Zwiebler: Not really. I haven’t been to the practicing after the tournament in Sweden because I went straight to holidays. So have not seen my teammates yet, but I received a lot of congratulations. But I guess I will start to realize what happened in Karlskrona in a couple of months.
BADMINTON EUROPE: How did you estimate your title chances before start of the tournament?
Zwiebler: I knew I would have kind of a chance to win the tournament, but to really grab the European crown is absolutely amazing. Before the start of the event I would have estimated my chances to win it at 20 %.
BADMINTON EUROPE: On your way to the title, which was the toughest match?
Zwiebler: It was the match against Rajiv Ouseph. He is my clubmate and a good friend. So we know each other quite well and I felt the pressure for the first time in this tournament. The final was difficult to play as well. Mainly because I was the favourite and I haven’t lost to Hurskainen yet. So people expected me to win. I have to say that Henri Hurskainen played really well and he achieved outstanding results during the week.
BADMINTON EUROPE: What does it mean for Germany to break the Danish dominance in the men’s singles?
Zwiebler: It is a nice feeling that Germany have established as Europeans number two nation and can challenge the best Danes in most of the categories. A big goal is to beat the Danes now in a team final. But in total, the development of German badminton in the last six years has increased a lot and we are coming closer to Denmark.
BADMINTON EUROPE: How was the response at home and in the media?
Zwiebler: I’ve got around 400 messages. And you could read about the European Championships in most of the German newspapers. We have to see how this success can boost the popularity of badminton on a long-term base. I have got some media requests, but I have to decide in the next days what I will do and what I am not going to do.
BADMINTON EUROPE: Last question. What are your next tournaments?
Zwiebler: The next tournament is the Thomas/Uber Cup in China. Afterwards I will take part at the Indonesia Open and Singapore Open. And then - of course - the long-awaited Olympic Games in London.
Photo by BadmintonPhoto.com