Rachel Choong has won triple golds at the World Para-Badminton Championships in 2015 and 2017. (Photo: Mark Phelan)
Triple world champion after Paralympics announcement: Yes, I was disappointed
Date: 2/19/2018 2:50 PM
Published by : Emma Lollike
Back in the fall of 2017, the announcement of the categories for para-badminton at Paralympics 2020 in Tokyo was published. Unfortunately for Rachel Choong of England it was what she had kind of ‘half-expected’.

Para-badminton will finally be a part of the Paralympics from 2020, but one of Europe’s safest medalists at major tournaments will not be able to compete as the women’s short stature category 6 was not included. 

- To be fair I half-expected it. Only because, I mean, it’s been building up for so long, we have known about the announcement and I had a vague idea of what the criteria was for an event being accepted towards the Paralympics, Choong explains in the 9th episode of BEC Podcast.

- So, with numbers and participation being a big factor of it, I was half-expecting and it and I had built it up in my head a little bit to expect that disappointment potentially. When I saw it - yes, I was disappointed still, but I was OK with it. 

More funding in Asia
Also guesting the BEC podcast for the 9th episode is Julie Thrane from Denmark. The world champion from 2015 in SU 5 discusses the difference in funding compared to Asia.

- I think a lot of the European players they struggle with going to tournaments and stuff because they fund it by themselves, where the Asians will get funding from their federations. So yeah, definitely money is a big, I would not say problem, but we could get more funding. 

- I feel that a few years ago at the world championships and all the international tournaments it was predominantly European para-badminton players and there wasn’t really too much from the Asian countries, Choong points out and continues:

- Whereas now it’s got Paralympics status, over on that side, they are able to invest more money in what is one of their most popular sports over there. So, they are able to put that money towards it. I know quite a lot of players that’s funded for badminton and they are able to train a lot more than we are.

Coming together
An idea came up during the podcast about European nations coming together to practice, which could help Europe in terms of catching up with Asia.

- I think if we come together it would be better, in the sense that we would have more people to train with and broaden our skills that way because we can learn off more people, Choong says.

All of this and much more on how it feels to win a world championship medal will be revealed when the podcast airs later this week.

The full podcast will be available soon so stay tuned for more exciting discussions with Rachel Choong and Julie Thrane.

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