Some of the most interesting things said in a busy second half of the year, which marked the first BWF World Junior Championships and BWF Para Badminton World Championships since 2019.
“Sapsiree in the coach’s chair, she knows their game well!”
“I’m a badminton addict, nothing comes before it.”
Reddy B. Sumeeth used his passion for the sport to fight back from a potential lower body paralysis in his teens.
“I’m sure this is her first time watching any sport live in person and she gets to do it at the Commonwealth Games!”
Australia’s Nathan Tang about having his mother on the stands in Birmingham.
“Badminton is my life, my profession. I will do everything which can help me, my country, the Ukrainians; all my wins will be for the Ukrainian people.”
Polina Buhrova takes solace in playing the sport she loves as her nation battles for freedom.
“For me it’s the white line fever. You cross that line and it’s a competition. It doesn’t matter who’s on the other side.”
“Last year we won bronze at the Olympics. This year we got the (World Championships) gold. Tokyo is lucky for us!”
“I can tell you I’m from this world, from this planet.”
Viktor Axelsen after picking up his second world title, taking his unbeaten victory streak to 37.
“It’s just the love of the game. Badminton is the motivation of my life. I wake up every day knowing I must go to practice and that’s what keeps me going.”
Lino Munoz explains how he coped with arriving in Tokyo a few hours before his opening World Championships match due to a cancelled flight.
“If we win tomorrow, we will need to change our flights, we could miss the start of our holiday!”
“They are our heroes, we’ve idolised them since a young age. Please tell them what we said.”
“I want to find a new me, one that is much, much better than before.”
Kento Momota on what keeps him going through a dip in form.
“I never dreamt that one day in my life I would board a plane.”
Uganda Para-Badminton International participant Abiba Bakayoko on the BWF Female Participation Grant’s impact on her life.
“We couldn’t believe it, it felt so surreal. We forgot until you reminded us!”
“We didn’t talk for a day.”
“We’ve played each other a lot as we are from the same generation. I remember her chubby cheeks when we were 16 or 17.”
“He liked watching me play badminton. He always watched me play.”
Thai prospect Pitchamon Opatniputh’s pledge to play in honour of her granddad, who died a week before the World Junior Championships.
“I’m more into the cakes and the sweet stuff, they are very tasty.”
Irishman Niall McVeigh, now a pastry chef, upon announcing his retirement at the Para Badminton World Championships.
“All I think about is the baby and how he’s doing. I get to sleep maybe three or four hours a day because the baby wakes up.”
Motherhood has changed Leani Ratri Oktila.
“This is a beautiful sport.”
World Cup-winning footballer Alessandro Nesta after participating in an exhibition badminton match in Jakarta.
“I think what they will do is say ‘you’re not allowed to be 100 and on court because insurance may not cover it’.”
The 69-year-old Duke Trench-Thiedeman of Australia jokes about being the oldest player at this year’s Para Badminton World Championships.
“We will continue playing in 2023 although we are getting older. No targets, we just want to enjoy every match.”
“You can see from my height that I’m not very tall, so I consider speed and quick movement important.”
“Lee Chong Wei is a legend. He’s the Michael Jordan of badminton.”
Lee Zii Jia focussed on carving out his own path in the sport.
“The one area that needs to be worked on for sure is consistency. I have the game to beat anybody out there (otherwise).”
Prannoy on his target for 2023 after a great season this year.