Best badminton players in the world in Calgary for Canada Open

Best badminton players in the world in Calgary for Canada Open

With shuttles that can clock upwards of 300 kilometres per hour, badminton is the fastest racket sport in the world, and extremely physically demanding on high-level players.


Ken je BC Vrij Uit al?

So no, we're not talking about BBQ badminton.

Michelle Li is the best Canadian women's player in the world. She's ranked 15th in the world, trains seven hours a day, six days a week-all to prepare for international tournaments like the Canada Open, hosted for the first time in Calgary this week.

"People think it's still just a backyard sport, where you just go outside and just poke at the shuttle. People don't really know how tough it is," Li said.

This year's Canada Open is an Olympic qualifier event, with knockout rounds and a level of play that's become more like a game of chess.

"It's no longer about physical ability, because everyone has the same shots, same power, same speed, same stamina, same fitness," she said. "It's all about mental."

"You can have fake shots, like you can pretend to hit soft and then you go hard, or vice versa," said Calgary player Kylie O'Donogue.

More than 250 players are representing 32 countries around the world at the annual tournament, running June 23 until June 28 at WinSport Arena.

O'Donogue started playing when she was eight, and says the sport isn't as popular in southern Alberta.

"They ask if you play tennis, and when you say you play badminton, they get disinterested or they say, 'Wow, I used to play that in high school.' I think I've been asked: 'Do you play indoor or outdoor badminton?'" O'Donogue said.

The 18-year-old laughs it off, knowing she competes for prize purses like the USD$50,000 in this week's tournament.

"I think there's starting to be a lot more cash in badminton, not as much as tennis and it's not as big, but when you go to Asia, it's like hockey is here. That's how big it is in Asia. They've got Asian games and they've got stands of people coming to watch small tournaments there," O'Donogue said.

Canadian players say China is the fiercest country on the court, with badminton players who are basically born with a racquet in their hands, and only showcase their very best to the rest of the world. They even have a team of analysts studying the competition.

"They've trained a lot more, they're a lot quicker, they're a lot stronger than most of us, but we can still definitely compete with them. We've been playing our entire lives, too," said Calgary player Austin Bauer.

At Canada Open, Calgarians finally have the home court advantage.

"I've travelled across the world to play and in my hometown, it's super incredible to see some of the best players in the world right in the same city as you," Bauer said. "It's nice that we can have people who don't even play badminton just to get to come watch the high level that we have this week, and they can really appreciate the sport," O'Donogue said.

Badminton can be an acquired taste for sports fans but Li's goal is to smash through that. She's turned down opportunities to train in Asia, in the hopes she can grow her beloved sport at home.

"Hopefully it will become something like tennis, because I think it takes just as much effort as tennis players, to become pro," Li said.

Bijscholingen voor badmintontrainers

Behoud je certificering en leer de nieuwste trainingsmethoden! Het begint bij de VBO: Vereniging Badminton Oefenmeesters. Leer meer door op het logo te klikken!

StudentenlevenStudentenleven op YouTube

We plaatsen regelmatig mooie badmintonrally's, knappe trickshots, volledige wedstrijden en meer. Volg ons door op het logo te klikken!

Recente artikelen
Kaarten te koop voor Dutch Open in Topsportcentrum Almere

Kaarten te koop voor Dutch Open in Topsportcentrum Almere

Van woensdag 13 t/m zondag 17 oktober vindt de Dutch Open - dit jaar een international challenge toernooi - plaats in Almere. De…

2 augustus 2021

Viktor Axelsen wint badmintontoernooi Olympische Spelen in Tokio

Viktor Axelsen wint badmintontoernooi Olympische Spelen in Tokio

De Deense badmintonner en voormalig wereldkampioen Viktor Axelsen was in de finale mannenenkelspel in twee games te sterk voor…

2 augustus 2021

Selena Piek: I'm coming home

Selena Piek: I'm coming home

That's it. Our Olympic road is ending in the quarterfinals. Tried to gave it our all but the Koreans were simply better today.

29 juli 2021

Mark Caljouw on final performance in Tokyo: Heartbroken

Mark Caljouw on final performance in Tokyo: Heartbroken

That’s how I am feeling right now. Crazy how sports can go. If you would have told me up front that I would reach the last 16…

29 juli 2021

Vond je dit leuk om te lezen?

Dan hebben we jouw hulp nodig! We werken 365 dagen per jaar aan foto's, video's en updates over je favoriete sport én de Nederlandse topbadmintonners. Al vanaf €0,01 kun je steunen en het kost slechts een minuutje van je tijd. Dank je voor je hulp!