(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Stoevas: There is no mercy
Date: 8/7/2020 9:05 AM
Published by : Alan Raftery
The Stoeva sisters sit at the top of the European women’s doubles pecking order. They give us an insight into what this is like for them, their main targets they are aiming for and how they are adapting to the current situation. 

As the Bulgarian Junior Open Championships is currently being played and coming to a close today, the first competivie badminton since early March, Badminton Europe take a look at the most successful Bulgarian duo in history. 

Ranked 15 in the world, the sisters from Bulgaria, despite reaching number one status in Europe have always said: “We are not there yet”. Commenting on where they feel they are now, they say. 

-We have been working on the physical training and to get the speed to compare with the best double’s pairs. We missed quite a lot of tournaments last year and we had to start from zero and to build everything again which we lost in the months when we were out of tournament play.

After Pedersen and Rytter Juhl retired, they have been the pair to chase. Asking how it is to be the two people that everybody wants to beat, they responded.

-Well, we think that everybody wants to beat everybody. Badminton has developed a lot and we can see that the tough matches start from round one and there is no mercy. At the highest level, tournaments are only won by the pair who wants the victory the most.

Same result from 2018
We have seen the Dutch, Danish, English, French and German pairs doing well lately in the race to Tokyo. Discussing how far from their level these pairs are, they say. 

-Every European pair is doing well, and it is good to see that now more pairs can compare with the Asians. This is a very positive thing for European women doubles.

The European Championships due to take place in Kyiv, Ukraine, has been postponed. The sisters, reigning European Champions, share their expectations for the European Championships. 

- For us, the European championship is very important, and we want to achieve the same result from 2018. 

It has been a long time since we saw the sisters playing in mixed doubles or even singles. Stefani Stoeva recently won the Bulgarian Nationals in singles. Asking whether this is a possibility for future tournaments, they answer by saying. 

-Well, playing one more discipline is quite tough at this level. We can see women doubles go more than the 90-minute mark frequently, so imagine playing that and also another category in one day. 

Lastly, after everything settles down with the Covid-19 pandemic and it is safe to resume sporting events, the Stoeva sisters lay down their major targets in the future.
-A medal from the Olympics would be amazing. Also, we can add the French Open and of course the All England Open. 

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