Development

Stefani Stoeva has Rio in her mind
Date: 7/5/2013 10:09 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

Stefani Stoeva is one of Europe’s biggest badminton talents. The Bulgarian, who was nominated for the 2012 Best Young European Player Of The year Award, first made a big step into the badminton spotlight when she took the U17 European Championships title back in 2011. This year, she became the most successful player in the European Junior Championships in Ankara as she scooped two titles. We spoke to the 17-year old about her biggest victories and ambitions - and she reveals to us a person she finds inspiring.

Stefani, what are your plans for the summer?
I will spend most of the time in Jakarta, Indonesia to prepare for the World Championships. I will be participating in the women’s doubles together with my sister Gabriela.

When did you hit your first shuttle?
My friend brought me into this sport. But it was 2006 when I won the first tournament in the doubles with my sister Gabi. From that moment on, I started to practice badminton more professional. I was 10 years old at that time.

What are your biggest victories until now?
The titles in the women’s singles and women’s doubles I have won at the 2013 European Championships in Ankara.

Are you a professional player or do you still attend school?
I already finished school and I decided to focus only on badminton to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio 2016.

How do you handle your defeats?
I have a huge support from my family. But I can also talk to my sister, my friends and my manager if there are problems.

What are you like off court, in ordinary life?
I like to go out with friends - and to be with my family and my dog.

What is your next ambition to achieve?
My biggest goal is to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio 2016

Do you have any recommendation to other young girl’s players on how to achieve your very personal goal?
They should never give up fighting. And always believe in their dreams.

Which other female athletes inspire you and why?
Actually I like the Korean double star Lee Yong-dae the most.  I don't have a favourite female athlete I admire. But I like the way Juliane Schenk from Germany is playing. And also I find it impressive to watch the Chinese players - especially because they can play with such a high speed.

Photo by BadmintonPhoto.

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