Chinese shuttlers are not unbeatable: Morten Frost

From overcoming asthma to winning major titles in badminton except the World Badminton Championships (silver in 1985 and 1987), former All-England champion Morten Frost has done it all.

Denmark's Morten Frost at the CCI yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan
Denmark's Morten Frost at the CCI yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan  

On his first visit to Mumbai in three decades, 'Mr Badminton' — as he is known on the badminton circuit — is impressed with current World No 18 Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth.

"Srikanth is a talented kid. He needs to consistently work hard and keep improving. If he plays the way he is currently, he has the potential to break into the world top-10 rankings soon," said the 56-year-old during a function at the Cricket Club of India yesterday.

Even as China dominate the badminton rankings, Frost emphasised that the Chinese are not unbeatable. "It's just that the number of Chinese players playing the sport is a huge. So if the top player is injured, they have many others to fill the spots.

And if that's not enough, Chinese players are shifting to other countries so you end up facing a Chinese opponent anyway. The kind of training players undergo is similar across the globe. It's just that he/she needs to find ways to be unique to their opponent," the Danish legend told mid-day.

Talking about India's top women's singles shuttler Saina Nehwal, he said: "Saina was a lot stronger and fitter three years ago. With PV Sindhu coming up the ranks, it's a healthy sign for the sport and Indian badminton."

Frost is very close to Indian great Prakash Padukone and said that having him as a sparring partner those days was a blessing. "Prakash came to Denmark in 1980's when I was an upcoming player.

When Denmark's top players — Flemming Delfs and Svend Pri were fading out — I was making a mark on the international circuit. Having Prakash as a sparring partner was career-changing. I went on to win many titles. Prakash and me stood tall against many Chinese opponents in those days," he said.

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