Ahead of this week's senior European Diverse Team Championships on home-based soil. Junior world number one Lanier speaks. The mindset of French players is shifting from making up the numbers to stimulating for silverware. Think of France and Paris 2024 badminton is perhaps not the first sport that springs to attention.
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But a band of youngsters is hopeful to transform that in a country. Where squad sports like football, basketball and handball lead. And where courtesy in individual sports inclines to fall on certain sportspersons such as judo star Teddy Riner. Leading the way in the senior positions are Toma Junior Popov, and Christo Popov. And Arnaud Merkle with Alex Lanier agreed to link them.
Lanier, 18, is the number one junior men's solo performer in the world. And links his senior colleagues at this week's European Varied Team Championships 2023 in Aire-sur-la-Lys in northern France. The hosts are attempting to go one better than two years before in Vantaa, Finland. Where they vanished ultimately to Denmark.
Speaking entirely to Olympics at last year's World Junior Competitions. He whispered of French players, Ten years ago we were objective like we’ll play one or two series. And now it's more like we want to get an award or win the contest. We altered this mindset. We're not just the Asian players. But thrashing them. It was a giant modification for France.
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While the Popov brothers and Merklé have through their results at the senior level. Lanier is obstinate that they are not his motivations having skilled with them. They're elder than me, but they are not too far away off, he clarified. Working out together meant it was a while like I wanted to shatter them. And they don't dearth to fail against me.
The quartet's close association has made home admirers trust they can make an impact in Paris 2024. Even breaking Denmark's old supremacy over European badminton. With these three guys, we just desired to be improved and better. And we wanted to progress composed, Lanier said. When one became a soldier, then the others trailed and it was natural. They displayed to me that we can, from France, win the European awards. And we can shatter the Danish people. We can shatter everyone in the world, that's not difficult.
Reginald Lee and Yoyo ready to challenge for Paris 2024 after rocketing up rankings
Varied doubles duo were opposing in lower rank international sequence little more than a year ago. But will now encounter a place at 2024 Paris Sports. Former world junior duos champion Lee and Ng rank 22nd. Just one place behindhand Hong Kong’s topmost pair Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet.
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Little more than a year ago, Reginald Lee Chun-Hei. And Yoyo Ng Tsz-you were opposing in minor badminton competitions trying to boost their world positions. Now the Hong Kong duo have a shot at succeeding in the Paris Olympics. The duo’s performances in the mixed doubles have received their suitability for some of the top tournaments. With their world position rising to 22, just one place late the city’s top combination Tang Chun-man and Tse Ying-suet.
And while the latter pair have wriggled lately. Lee and Ng showed why they have increased so fast at the Asian Mixed Team Challenges in Dubai last week. By winning significant matches in the group stage against Taiwan and the quarter-finals in contradiction of India. Although Hong Kong vanished that best-of-five encounter. Badminton head coach Tim He Yiming was enthralled by the fast development the pair have made so far.
Lee still wants better control of his cadence. So that his enemies will find it difficult to follow his stride. While Ng wants more international experience of how to play against big forenames on the circuit, the trainer said. But what they have attained over this period is bright. As they are in the highest 32 in the globe. And can flinch in most of the major competitions. The coronavirus pandemic over the last three years was a setback for both players. But now they can relaunch their movement and set foot on the better international stage.
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They turn out to be the first Hong Kong pair to victory an Asian Championships gold award in 2014. And a bronze at the World Competitions three years late. Before that, they were also capable of the 2016 Rio Olympics. But after creating the quarter-finals at the 2018 Asian Games. Chau’s career deteriorated and she superannuated two years later. While Lee was concerned about a shoulder problem. And when he improved in late 2019. He could not feature on any occasion for almost two years as Covid-19 hit.
Ng, 24, was a previous Youth Olympic champion in the varied duos. With a Malaysian mate at the 2014 Nanjing Games. The duos expert had a brief curse partnering with Tang Chun-man in the mixed duos in 2019. When Tang’s mate Tse Ying-suet was side-lined because of the wound.
With no activity for almost two years, she linked services with Lee in late 2021. When they gained the Bahrain International Sequence. Before taking part in several low-ranking competitions the next year. The spiralling point of their profession came last year. When they had accrued sufficient points to take a share in the Taiwan Open. A super 300 competition which they gained. That result gave them the sureness they needed in opposing the top players, their trainer said.
Popov and his brother Christo are aiming for the top at Olympic Paris
The European bronze winner arrived in France at age six, incapable to say a word of French. 17 years later and still trained by his father. He’s targeting to shine together with his brother at Paris 2024. The bronze award was won by France’s badminton stellar Toma Junior Popov at the European Finals in 2022. That was his initial at the global level. It’s just the start, says Toma Popov, his father and trainer. Now the 23-year-old is targeting higher at one of this year’s most admired international oppositions, the next Indonesian Open. A Great 1000 will start from 14 to 19 June.
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Currently graded 25th in the world, Toma Junior journeys the globe together with his family. Whose past with the game started thousands of kilometres away from France. Tomi reached France at age six, with his mother and fledgling brother Christo. He was born two years later. They made their approach to Fos-sur-Mer in the south of France. Where the father had stirred in 2003 to help the native badminton team.
Toma senior Popov had been a national winner in Bulgaria. And a trainer at the nationwide level. Before the disbanding of the Soviet Union ran a great overhaul of the country. And saw finances for sports dissipate. Many Bulgarian sportspersons had already ported to the country. Counting Mihail Popov, father Toma's brother. He contested for Bulgaria at the Olympic Games Sydney 2000 in the men’s solo. And duos actions, before moving to France in 1999.
Toma's son Tomi is inwards in the Provencal city in 1st rating. Without being talented to speak a word of French. I would connect with other people. And after a while, the public got to recognize me and I combined. Everyone did their portion.
Olympic Hospitality: Fan’s Favourite Badminton athletes to watch at Paris 2024
In the men’s singles occasion, Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen is in leading form. After engaging in gold at Tokyo 2020, he went on to victory his second world award in 2022. His teammate Anders Antonsen will also be among the preferences. Japan’s dual world champion Momota Kento will be targeting for improvement. After failing to succeed in the knockout stages at Tokyo 2020 as the upper seed. There may also be amazement, as Kevin Cordon showed at the last edition of the Games.
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Graded 59th in the world before Tokyo 2020. He stretched the semifinals and showed that grading means little at the most significant sporting event in the world. In the women's solo occasion, Rio 2016 gold winner Carolina Marin. He will try to win a second Olympic award. The Spanish shuttler appealed for her sixth European award in 2022. However, could not go to more than the quarter-finals at the World Contests in the same year.
Japan’s Yamaguchi Akane gained gold on home soil at the Worlds. By beating the leading Olympic champion CHEN Yufei from the People's Republic of China in the last. In the women's duos, Chinese pair CHEN Quingchen and JIA Yifan gained gold at the World Finals 2022. After clinching silver at Tokyo 2020. They will surely be among the preferences for Paris 2024. Along with the Republic of Korean duo KIM So-Yeong and KONG Hee-Yong. They came second at the World Competitions.
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