How to make it in pro badminton

The 2014 BWF Destination Dubai Superseries Finals will determine the world’s top badminton players. Vision investigates how the game’s international stars achieve supremacy in this fast-paced and physically demanding sport

It is estimated that almost a third of the population of China plays badminton, so it comes as little surprise that the nation is able to produce the superstars that dominate today’s game.

 

The 2014 BWF World Superseries Finals, which takes place in Dubai from 17-21 December, will features some of the best Chinese players in the world, such as Chen Long, Li Xuerui, and Wang Shixian. But getting to the top isn’t easy. And staying there is harder still in this physically demanding sport which sees top professionals clock up distances of 2.5 miles per match while hitting the shuttlecock at speeds of over 200mph. Chen Long insists it is dedication and attention to detail that defines the very best players.

“I practise for five to six hours every day, in the morning and again in the afternoon – but then it is my profession. I have been playing international competitions for six years and success in this sport is not easy, that is why you have to always work hard. The satisfaction for me comes in the winning.”

Chen Long spoke to Vision during a visit to Dubai during which he attended a ‘Shuttle Time Dubai’ event, part of an initiative to encourage people to play badminton in the UAE. He held a practice session with some of the young talent beginning to emerge and gave them tips on how to improve their game.

He explained that he wanted the emirate’s youngsters to “dream big” as that is what brought him his success, and that that was the attitude he planned to take to December’s BWF Destination Dubai World Superseries Finals in his bid to take the title.

Fresh back from a trip to the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, Chen Long told Vision he was excited about returning to Dubai in December for the tournament. “Dubai is such a modern and prosperous place!”