Badminton juniors ready to take on the might of Asia

Written by  Thursday, 15 November 2012 16:22

Twelve of the nation’s leading badminton juniors will have the chance to make a name for themselves after being selected to represent Australia at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF).

With the dust beginning to settle following the London Games, the youngsters, who will be split into two teams of six, will be looking to perform strongly at the event that has become an important stepping stone for some of Australia’s most celebrated athletes to go on and compete at the Olympic Games.

In a sport dominated by Asian countries, the competition will provide some tough competition for the Australian teams as they take on athletes from powerhouses China, Malaysia and Chinese Taipei, as well as Great Britain, New Zealand and a combined team from Oceania.

“It will definitely be tough for our guys with the difficult competition they will be up against at the Festival,” said National Youth Development Manager and two-time Olympian Glenn Warfe.

“It will be good for them to see the level of work and training they need to put in to compete and beat players from the top nations.

“The teams we have announced are some of the strongest we’ve had for a while as all of our top juniors are available, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they perform.”

Having competed at the 2001 AYOF himself, Warfe knows the important role the Festival can play in pushing athletes to new heights.

“The event is a great insight into how multisport events are run, with the athletes having the opportunity to learn from the way other sports prepare and compete. It gives you the motivation to pursue your goals and the team camaraderie that the Festival promotes is excellent.”

Seven of the athletes selected have recently returned from the World Junior Championships in Japan and will now turn their focus to the Festival in January.

“The athletes will finish up their studies now and begin their intense training to ensure that they will be at their peak for the competition,” Warfe said.

The AYOF participants will take confidence from some of the strong performances at the London 2012 Games that included women’s pairing Renuga Veeran and Leanne Choo equalling Australia’s best result in the Games as they made the quarter-finals.

The AYOF takes place around Sydney from January 16-20 and will feature 1700 athletes from 30 countries competing in 16 sports. Check out all the info here.

Article credit to Australian Olympic Committee.

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