Photo: Badmintonphoto
Léa Palermo: Time to reflect
Date: 5/13/2020 10:02 AM
Published by : BEC staff

Léa Palermo, an established player in the fast-developing French team, has had an eventful period in her career this past year. 

Palermo, 26, had a standout 2018 season with her women’s doubles partner Delphine Delrue, where they won two titles, were finalists of the Orleans Masters and won the gold at the Mediterranean Games. In the last year, in an attempt to build on this, all focus has been on the road to Tokyo. Commenting on the impromptu pause in proceedings, Palermo says

- It is a tough situation we have all been facing the last two months. It particularly made me aware of the situation because my dad is currently working at the hospital as a radiologist and saw how significant the virus impact was on everyone’s lives. Besides this, it seemed that the quarantine situation is actually pretty good to me since it gave me time to reflect about this year and about how I want to handle my badminton career in the next few years.

Earlier in the year, at the major badminton spectacle of the European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships, the French ladies won bronze on home soil. Despite being part of the team in Liévin, we did not see Palermo on court. Explaining why this was, she states. 

- I have been trying to deal with a serious neck injury since November. As I did not really take time off because of Olympic qualification, in January, it got worse in Indonesia since the inflammation reached the bone. 

Were there mixed emotions for Palermo?

- I cannot hide that this week was a bit up and down regarding the emotional part. I have to say it felt so hard knowing I would stay the entire competition on the bench, but at the same time, it was a hugely proud moment to be in this team and get the bronze medal at home. We fought so hard in Kazan to get it and I remembered being so eager at that time, already thinking for a better result at the next edition. And that is what the team did!

Read: Milan Ludik: Managed to get back on track

Decided to stop looking 

It goes without saying that it was a significant goal for the French ladies to be part of a medal-winning team at the European level. At this time of reflection, Palermo lays out her upcoming goals.

- My short-term goal is still to fully recover from my neck injury and be back at practice with a new vision of how I want to practice and perform on a badminton court. 

Lastly, this year has been one of big change. The Olympics has been postponed. Émilie Lefel has retired. This has resulted in Palermo and Delrue becoming the French frontrunner for a spot on the plane to Japan. Currently, on the Race to Tokyo ranking, they are eight thousand points behind the Dutch pair of Piek and Seinen. Commenting on this, Palermo says.

- To be honest, I have decided to stop looking at that ranking after Indonesia because we knew we had to bring a good performance in both Malaysia and Indonesia to stay hopeful about our qualification chances. As we did not manage to perform as good as we had to, I knew that I had to turn to new goals. 

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