Story and picture by FABIAN PETER
Juliane Schenk will not be at the World Championships.
JULIANE SCHENK will not be competing in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championships in Guangzhou, China from Aug 5-11.
The 30-year-old, women’s singles world No.4 who is in Kuala Lumpur to train and spar with Malaysian players bound for the World Championships, said she is an independent player after being released officially by the BA of Germany on June 3.
Juliane Schenk is happy to be in Malaysia.“I am no longer a German national player, and I am not even allowed to train with the German national team,” said Schenk when met at the Lee Chong Wei Sports Arena in Old Klang Road.
“So I will not compete in any tournament under the German flag, which means no Sudirman Cup, World Championships or even the Olympics.”
Schenk had sent in her resignation to the BA of Germany on May 31, stating her desire to quit the national side at the end of the year. They, however, released Schenk four days later, which surprised her.
“I don’t think it’s fair to have acted this way, as I have been with the national body for the past 15 years.“Now they don’t even allow me to train with the national team, but are hoping I will play at the World Championships. I don’t think so,” she added.
When asked about her future plans, Schenk said: “I will train with the Malaysian girls, till they leave for Hong Kong for their centralised training.
“The plan now is for me to fly with them to Hong Kong, and part ways when they leave for China after their 10-day preparation.
“I have been offered to play in the Indian Badminton League which begins after the World Championships, and I think it will be great for me to play there.
“I have played in leagues such as the Indonesian Superliga in February and I think it’s great.“And me training here is to keep fit as well.
”On a brighter note, the German who is well known for her powerful jump smashes, is delighted for having been given the opportunity to train with the Malaysian women’s singles players.
“It’s a great offer, and it is always nice to be here in KL.“The players have great potential and hopefully in my short stint here, I will be able to help them as well,” Schenk said.
(There are always pros and cons on turning independent and much also depends on the relationship between the player and the National Association.
Taufik Hidayat is special and enjoys the independence but at the expense of proper training which showed when he was defeated quite often in recent BWF tournaments.
It must be a player's wish to be able to represent his/her country at the highest level and if this is denied, as in JS's case, it is a great loss to both sides. JS is WR4 now it seems, and she is well known for her skills. great fighting spirit, as well as her fitness that no professional player can disregard. Fans also lost the opportunity of seeing her more regularly in the international arena unless she is able to find good sponsors to undertake her travelling expenses.
From the article in The Star, we learn that JS wanted to retire at the end of the year, but it is not clear if it is a retirement from the national team or from badminton.
As there have been stories between JS and the coaching bench in the past, with a chaotic relation it seems, we might think there some stories behind this decision. Neverheless, it is a shame for the badminton world. i think she should and could participate ine the world champ', as an independant players. The WC are between individuals, not nations.
She wanted to resign at the end of the year anyway (National team only), and her success seems to have gotten to her head a little. Personally, I believe her not playing the WC has two reasons - one, she wants to stick it to the association, two, there's no price money. And looking at her last tournaments, you kinda see a trend of her playing only events with a price purse (no Sudirman Cup, no Ntl. Championships....).
For me, it makes no difference. I've never liked her play style and have had no interest in her personally, so the only difference this makes is that maybe the German teams (mixed, ladies) will be a little weaker in the next EC.