Latest Badminton News and Articles

Badminton champ tapped into China to beat it (pic)

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Category: Badminton News Published: 15 August 2013
Written by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 180

That man beaming in many pictures behind Thai badminton world champion Ratchanok "May" Intanon is Xie Zhihua, her Chinese coach and, for her, a second father. He's been training her for 12 years. The 47-year-old is himself a former national doubles player and counted among his "sparring partners" Li Yongbo, now China's chief coach.That man beaming in many pictures behind Thai badminton world champion Ratchanok "May" Intanon is Xie Zhihua, her Chinese coach and, for her, a second father.

So when May defeated Chinese top seed Li Xuerui in Guangzhou last week to win the world championship, Xie couldn't resist saying to the astonished Chinese reporters, "Do you remember me? I used to be on the national team!" Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao followed up by asking how he felt about being criticised in his homeland for helping Thailand top China. Xie said he was unfazed because he'd done his bit for the country, and what he's doing now is no different from what Lang Ping is doing for the US women's volleyball team.

"I still hold a Chinese passport and I visit often," Xie told the paper. Indeed, May returned to Thailand without him - the coach was off to visit his mother in Hubei province.

He'll be back in the Land of Smiles soon, though. He loves grooming Thai players, and "May is like a daughter to me," he said. When May was still a kid he charged her no fee because her family had no cash to spare.

It was his idea to stop kids from running around the candy factory where their parents were making banthongyord and get them playing badminton instead. That's how the Banthongyord shuttling academy got started. "The factory was full of hot stoves, so it was dangerous for the kids," he explained.

May was one of those youngsters, and shares the tale on Facebook. "I started playing when I was six years old. I was so naughty that my mum was worried I'd could get hurt by the hot syrup pot."

School owner Kamala Thongkorn says Xie was approached to take his coaching talents back home, but he declined. "I guess he's happy here!" she says. Well, he must be even happier now that one of his students has scored a major international upset.

Xie now also trains her younger brother, another reigning junior champ in Thailand. He and May are among 300 students, including some from China, Spain and Sri Lanka. Twenty of them come from underprivileged families and are coached and housed for free. "They have to pay for their food, though," Xie said. "We have a lot of costs to cover. Shuttlecocks alone cost Bt1,000 per box!"

Asked about his secrets to success as a coach, Xie said he relies on a combination of modern techniques and his own experience as a player back home. "I never lose touch with what's going on in China because I often travel there to exchange ideas. I never forget my roots," he said.

But May's heroic victory has caused at least one big change in his outlook. Xie said he now believes in miracles. Let's hope there are more!

 

  • No comments found

Facebook

Twitter

Google Plus

Replays: World Champs 2014

playbutton-2014-square-world-championships

Watch Replays

Related Badminton News

  • Recent News
  • Popular
Li Xuerui vs Carolina Marin in women's singles final

Copenhagen: On Saturday, top seed Li Xuerui of China ended t

World Champs: Lee Chong Wei powers into semi-finals

Copenhagen: With a dominant display of superb badminton, Lee

P.V. Sindhu reaches semis, Saina Nehwal crashes out

Copenhagen: On Friday, P.V. Sindhu outlasted second seed Wan

Lin Dan joins torch relay for 2014 Youth Olympics

Nanjing: Two times Olympic gold medalist Lin Dan was one of

Chan Peng Soon to split with Lai Pei Jing

Kuala Lumpur: Despite gradual progress towards stabilization

Koo Kien Keat’s last shot at World Champs

Kuala Lumpur: Badminton is a rigorous and physically demandi

Recommended Videos

  • 2013 India Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2013 Indonesia Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2013 Japan Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2014 Malaysia Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2014 India Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2014 Singapore Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2014 All England - Badminton Videos
  • 2013 World Championships - Badminton Videos
  • 2013 World Superseries Finals - Badminton Videos
  • 2013 Denmark Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2014 Korea Open - Badminton Videos
  • 2013 Hong Kong Open - Badminton Videos
Previous Next