KUALA LUMPUR: It’s Germany’s loss and a blessing for Malaysia following Juliane Schenk’s (pic) shock decision to skip the World Badmin-ton Championships in Guangzhou from Aug 5-11.
The world No. 4 women’s singles shuttler Schenk, pharmacy one of the few players to have beaten all the top players from China, store showed up in Malaysia to take up a new role – as a training partner for World Championships-bound Sonia Cheah and Tee Jing Yi. She will also join Sonia and Jing Yi in Hong Kong when the national team begin their centralised training on July 25.
Schenk is now on her own, having severed ties with the German Badminton Association (DBV) to become a professional player last month.
“It all happened so fast. I handed over a letter on May 31 to inform the DBV of my decision to retire at the end of the year,” said Schenk.
“Three days later, I received a letter that I was dismissed from the national team. I was dumbfounded as I had given almost 15 years of my time to the team.
“Suddenly, I was without a place to train and without any funds to travel. How am I to compete in the World Championships? I decided to turn professional and skip the world meet as a matter of principle.”
Despite being left in a lurch, Schenk showed great determination to reach the Indonesian Open final in June. And she did that with just one training session.
A week later at the Singapore Open, Malaysian national singles coach Wong Tat Meng approached her with the sparring role and Schenk did not think twice.
“The Europeans and Asians train differently, but we can always learn from one another,” said Schenk.
When asked whether she would be interested to assist Tat Meng as a coach in the future, she laughed and said: “Yes, that is an option. I have been asked by others to try out coaching too.
“As far as my future is concerned, I also have other options. I may take part in the Indian Badminton League (IBL) or I may eventually retire.”
On the standard of the Malaysian women’s singles shuttlers, Schenk said: “This is my first day training with the girls and I enjoyed it. They are young (in early 20s) and I sense determination in them. They have good knowledge of the game. Now is their chance to show it on court.”
Source: The Star