Indian badminton is experiencing a golden period and the reason behind the spiralling success is the zeal of young players to experiment with new techniques, feels world number 22 Tian Houwei.
“Indian players earlier had no technique but now things have changed. The young players are coming up with different techniques; they are taking badminton one step ahead,” Tian, a former world number six, told PTI.
The 25-year-old from China, who had clinched the silver medal at the All England Championship last year, believes focus on fitness also helped a turnaround in fortune for India in the sport.
“A lot of new players are emerging from India who are playing very good matches. Every time they get down to play, they pay attention to their fitness,” he said.
“They learn something new from each game and work on it. They change their weakness into strengths.”
Asked about the decline of China’s dominance in world badminton, Tian said it is just a phase.
“It is very normal. Like in India there is cricket, which is the most popular game. The players who practice more win more tournaments and thus India is dominant in cricket,” said the 2014 Asian Games silver medallist.
“It’s the same in badminton, players from other countries are practicing more than before. They are coming up with better games. So it is normal for other countries to focus on the game we do well. We can’t expect China to remain dominant always.”
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) had received a lot of flak after it made it mandatory for top shuttlers to play at least 12 tournaments in a revamped schedule for 2018.
Tian said there is no point talking about it.
“I haven’t given it much thought. Yes, it is hectic but we have no option but to play,” said the 2009 World Junior Champion.
Asked about the new service rule which will be tested starting with the All England Championship in 2018, Tian said it was a fair decision by the BWF.
“I think the new service rule is a fair decision as earlier the players who are tall had the advantage to put the shorter players down with the service,” he said.
“It does not affect me as I am not very tall or short but I think it is going to affect the Japanese players who have very short height.”
The first Chinese player to participate in the Premier Badminton League (PBL), Tian also expressed his desire and passion to win the competition.
“My expectation is to win the PBL this season with the Delhi Dashers team,” Tian said.