Toma Junior Popov. Remember the name (Photo: Badminton Photo)
Toma Junior Popov - thinking about my last win on FIFA!
Date: 12/1/2018 6:31 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Recently turning 20 years of age, Bulgarian-born French badminton player Toma Junior Popov has already achieved a tremendous amount. Heads were turned in 2015, when winning the bronze medal at the European Junior Championships in singles. Two years later, he made history as the first non-Danish male player to win a European junior team gold as well as the boy’s singles and doubles. He joined the prestigious list of Peter Gade, Jim Laugesen, and Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen as the only male player to ever complete this treble.

We had the opportunity to speak to the promising young star early in his career. Firstly, asking how he got into the sport and how his training set-up looks like? Popov responded that

-I started badminton because my father is a badminton trainer. I train in France, at Fos-sur-Mer at my club. I prefer singles, but I like to play also doubles for fun. 

Just last week in the Scottish Open, we saw exactly this, where Toma also entered the Men’s Doubles with his brother Christo. Commenting on his form at the moment, Popov states 

-I feel very well, but I just had a bad time in the Scottish Open.

Favourite moment
After such a terrific 2018 for Popov, it might be a little harsh to ask to pick out his favourite moment. With six titles and four semi-finals to pick from. But after a little thought, Popov explains that 

-The stand out performances were the first place at the Spanish International in Madrid, after that the first place in the Czech open, and the semi-finals in the Dutch and SaarLorLux opens.

Family and friends
As we all know, to be a professional in any sport you must sacrifice a lot to make it. So as Christmas is approaching, we asked Popov about his plans 

-I will spend time with the family of course, with friends and enjoy the Christmas holidays. When the circuit tournaments are often, it’s hard to manage the time with family but after when the schedule is empty it’s easier!

Looking to the future, Popov details his aims and ambitions for the new year

-Perform at the nationals, key tournaments in February, March and April. Qualify for the European Games and try for the Olympics. And of course, go higher in the ranking.

Lastly, we noted that Popov shows excellent maturity and composure when competing. So, we asked how he does it?

-I think about positive things to get out of any pressure. Like thinking about my last win on FIFA!

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