(Photo: Badmintonphoto)
Tahiti waves goodbye to Finland but moves onto next opportunity
Date: 9/30/2021 4:01 PM
Published by : Sara Gonzalez Martinez
Finishing last in their group, Tahiti is already out of the Sudirman Cup but will continue their dream journey to another historic tournament.

It has been an opportunity of a lifetime for Tahiti, but their journey at the TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup 2021 has come to an end. After playing against some of the world’s best from Korea, Chinese Taipei, and Germany, the team has finished last in their team with zero points and will therefore not proceed onto the next stage.

However, it has been a more than positive experience for the rather young team whose players understood the difference in level with their opponents, but have rather taken the chance to enjoy playing against world-class athletes and to learn from the best.

A special opportunity
Elias Maublanc, 14, and Heiva Yvonet, 17, were two of the players in the young Tahitian team that played today against German men’s doubles pair Daniel Hess/ Jones Ralfy Jansen. This is Maublanc and Yvonet’s first time playing such an event, so they were in for a memorable experience in their trip to Finland.

- It has been really interesting. This is our first tournament, so this is special for us. It motivates us because we have the opportunity to play against people from other countries, and we do not have that in Tahiti, Maublanc explained.

From playing against top international players and training along them to seeing them every day at the hotel, it comes as no surprise that the youngsters would be rather starstruck.

- It is really cool, we took pictures with them, and we run out of words when they are near us, Maublanc said.

A learning experience
Tahiti did not get a win in the championships, but the opportunity to learn is more than worth it, and they will now be travelling to Denmark for yet another historic event, the TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2020.

29-year-old Glen Lefoll was the most experienced of his team and played against Max Weisskirchen. He told BWF that he enjoyed trying to keep up in some rallies, but he is also glad to be accompanying the young players in such a unique experience. 

- I think it is something from which they can learn a lot. They are watching something in real life instead of on video as they usually do. They got to see the players in real life—at breakfast, during training, on court. I hope they keep up with the good work in their practice after this, Lefoll said to BWF. 

Chloé Segrestan, 19, partnered up with Lefoll in mixed doubles and got to play against world-class duos Lee Jhe-Huei/ Ya Ching, Chinese Taipei, and Seo Seungjae/ Kim Soyeong, Korea. Today, she faced Germany’s Ann-Kathrin Spöri in women’s singles, and despite having another big tournament ahead, she is already grateful for this chance and will use it to learn and improve when she goes back home.

- I learnt a lot of things in mixed doubles with my partner and in singles. I have learnt from the level of the other players, I will try to take it into account when I go back to France to train, Segrestan said.
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