NEW DELHI:Two is better than one, thus goes the saying. This is apt in the case of Danish shuttlers Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl. Their love for the game has made them one of the most dangerous partnerships. They have come to the India Open armed with skill and experience.
For a sport like badminton, most players usually opt for one event. But Christinna has excelled in both though, she admits that it is taxing sometimes. “I’m used to playing two matches each day. When I was young, I was okay but now there is slight soreness, especially if I manage to reach the latter stages of the tournament. But I can still find the power to play both. I will continue to play both as long as my body is fit,” the 28-year-old says.
For her partner, maintaining a balance between hard work and play is vital. “I’ve always made sure that I’m free from injuries. It’s very difficult to make a comeback after injury. I do work hard but I also make sure that I have equally good amount of rest,” Kamilla maintains.
Kamilla, a former two-time European champ before teaming up with Christinna, feels the duo’s combined experience has helped them yield good results over the years. “I feel Christinna and myself have plenty of experience. It’s important to practice regularly together so that we can maintain our consistency. We also have lot of fun. I feel that is really important as we travel around the world all the time,” the 31-year-old opines.
Like any other sport, Badminton can be quite rigorous as there are a lot of tournaments in the calender year. Christinna reveals how power-training has helped them despite the crowded schedule. “We usually take two, three days off if we are playing back-to-back tournaments. Then we have light practice the third day and gradually increase the amount of practice. We call that power-training. This method of training keeps us away from injuries.”
The World No 3 pair are the only non-Asian team in the top 10 in the world rankings. Kamilla says the rich tradition in Denmark has helped the country challenge the Asians despite their dominance. “We have a really good system and tradition. There are also many youngsters who are doing really well. We have a lot of clubs and anyone who is interested can join one for cheap. The players can also borrow a racquet from the clubs. There are also many good coaches,” the southpaw revealed.
The duo accept that they will get strong competition again from Asian powerhouses but are ready to play their heart out in front of the Indian crowd. “China has strong players but we believe we can win. Korea also have a strong unit so it will not be easy. We will give our best,” Christinna says.
Kamilla says they don’t set goals but rather look to enjoy the game. “We don’t have a target but we just prepare for the forthcoming tournament. Of course, with the Olympics and World Championships, we put in extra hard work but I feel the most important thing is to enjoy what you are doing. Our goal is to have fun and to give our best every time we go for practice and every time we go for a tournament,” Kamilla signs off.