Photo: Badmintonphoto
All England winner with no retirement plans
Date: 6/28/2020 3:15 PM
Published by : Rasmus Bech(BEC)

If you thought that Vladimir Ivanov was about to retire, you were wrong.

Russian Vladimir Ivanov, 32, has been a European “one to watch” in the last ten years. Winning multiple medals at the European Championships and the European Games he has shown that the Russian men’s doubles partnership between himself and Ivan Sozonov has been one of the few partnerships, who could challenge the Danes on the European stage.

With the COVID-19 situation in the back of the mind, rumors have been that Vladimir Ivanov would retire after the Tokyo Olympics, but the rumors are wrong: Ivanov is here to stay.

- I am 32 years old, but for a sportsman that is not old. I plan to be playing for a long time, Ivanov said.

A friendly relation

With more than 440 matches together on international level it is safe to say that the partnership between Ivanov and Sozonov is one to admire, and Ivanov has no doubt why the two have been doing good together.

- Our relation is of course friendly, and I am sure that is the reason why we have such a long and professional career, Ivanov stated.

In 2014 the men’s doubles were crowned European Champions, and in 2015 they claimed medals at the European Games in Baku (silver) and again in 2019 in Minsk (bronze).

- The European Championship 2014, which took place in Kazan, of course was a very important tournament for us. This result was one of the first serious steps towards where we are today. It was a starting point for us in the world of “big” badminton, Ivanov said.

The big upset

In general, the Russian men’s doubles has been doing great in Europe. Most European badminton fans for sure remember 2016, where the Russians pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport winning the All England.

On the way to the final the Russians beat pairs like Conrad-Petersen/Kolding (Denmark), Xiaolong/Zihan (China) and Korean legends Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong, before getting the better of Japanese Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa.

- It was historical for us. We wrote a piece of history in our sport on one of the big pages. We will never forget this one, Ivanov mentioned.

- We were surprised because all the players in the world want to make such a great result. We played some very good matches and we beat a lot of the absolute top pairs in the tournament.

All England semi-final motivates

With the COVID-19 situation all tournaments were cancelled or postponed, but at the last tournament before the situation shot down everything, the Russian duo delivered a good result reaching the semi-finals at All England – a result that gives Vladimir Ivanov confidence.

- Ivan and I still have big plans for the upcoming tournaments. The spot in the semi-final in England was a proof that we can deliver good results. It gives us great hopes for the new season and the Tokyo Olympics, Ivanov stated.

Vladimir Ivanov and Ivan Sozonov are currently ranked 24 on the world ranking – one spot short of Germans Mark Lamsfuss/Marvin Seidel and two spots behind the bronze medalists from the Olympics 2016, Chris Langridge/Marcus Ellis, England.

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