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Henri Hurskainen: 'It was just amazing'

"Back to normal business." That is the motto for Swedish badminton sensation Henri Hurskainen (24), who created one of biggest upsets in the history of European Badminton when he entered the 2012 European Championships finals.

We spoke to the lanky Swede about his Silver medal in Karlskrona and the effects of the success in his home country.

BADMINTON EUROPE: You have just won the Denmark International. Are you happy with your results in Frederikshavn?

Henri Hurskainen: I am very happy to follow up my result from the Europeans with a victory in Frederikshavn. It means a lot for me to be able to show that my game has the same level as at the European Championships.

BADMINTON EUROPE: After two weeks have passed now, if you look back to the Europeans how would you describe that “crazy” tournament in a few words?

Hurskainen: It was a great tournament for me and the atmosphere in the arena was just amazing. The support I got during the week, probably not many Swedish players ever experienced something like that.

BADMINTON EUROPE: Have you already realized that you beat European icon Peter Gade in the quarter-finals? You will be the only European who ever beat him at European Champiobships.

Hurskainen: Yes, I have realized that and it will always be a great memory for me.

BADMINTON EUROPE: How was the media attention at home?

Hurskainen: The media attention was very high the week after the Europeans, but now it’s coming back to normal. So that was not something that I was used to, but it was fun and a good experience.

BADMINTON EUROPE: What can your success from Karlskrona bring to the Swedish Badminton in general?

Hurskainen: Hopefully my result will bring more attention to badminton in Sweden and also get more youngsters to start playing badminton. Maybe this result can inspire other Swedish players to put in all their passion for badminton and actually see that it is possible for them to take medal in a big championship.

BADMINTON EUROPE: You have already beaten some the best Danes now. What does it mean for a Swede?

Hurskainen: Of course it is nice to show that a Swede can beat some of the best Danish players. Maybe it shows that with a good will it doesn't matter what conditions and which country you come from, you can still win.

BADMINTON EUROPE: Was that the reason to play in Denmark’s top league next season?

Hurskainen: The biggest reason to play in the Danish league next season is all the good matches I will get. Hopefully I can improve my game even more when I get to play there and it will also help my financial situation.

BADMINTON EUROPE: Sweden was a big badminton nation in the early 90’s but then suddenly it disappeared from the top nations map. What went wrong?

Hurskainen: I don't have the best knowledge to answer this question, but I would imagine that lack of education for coaches was one thing. Another thing was that we didn't start any National Center in Sweden which many other countries did. Then also lack of knowledge for the development on the highest international badminton level.

BADMINTON EUROPE: You have qualified for the Olympics. What would you like to achieve in London?

Hurskainen: If I get selected from my NOC to play in London, I want to show the same level or even better than I’ve shown in Karlskrona. If I can achieve that I will be satisfied and then I have to see how far it can get me in the tournament.

BADMINTON EUROPE: And what is your long-term goal?

Hurskainen: My long term goal is to compete for medals in the World Championships and the Olympic Games.


via Badminton Europe

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