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05-28-2007, 04:46 AM #1
Australian Veteran and Coach DanTravers finding it hot
What a hot spot for Dan
May 25 2007
NATIONAL badminton coach watched a world veteran’s gold medal slip through his fingers in the stifling heat of Chinese Taipei.
The 51-year-old Perth player was on track for another golden moment, leading his Russian rival by a set and desperately trying to close out the second.
But with sweat cascading from his tiring body, Travers admits he “hit the wall.”
The upshot was a 21-18 loss and defeat in the decider, losing out on the gold he had set his sights on before leaving Scotland.
“I just couldn’t think straight,” confessed the one-time Scottish international and highly rated national coach. “I was trying to focus and get the points needed to win the gold medal. But whenever the next rally got going mental fatigue took it’s toll.
“It was a real sickener to lose out in the final. I genuinely believe I was the better badminton player but he was a bit younger and coped better with the heat. It was 28 degrees outside so goodness knows what it was in the hall. For some bizarre reason they didn’t have the air conditioning on for the finals! I felt like a boiling kettle!
“I’ve played in Thailand when it was even hotter. But I was in better shape, and younger.”
Travers stepped up from the 45-50 age group this year, having grabbed gold in Kuala Lumpur.
And he returned from Chinese Taipei – or Taiwan – with another gold. On top of his World Masters singles’ silver and mens’ doubles bronze with Leon Douglas, Travers won the mixed doubles with Christine Black.
“I’m as competitive as ever, even if I wasn’t training specifically for the Masters event.
“I stepped up into the 50-55 slot this time and it is a fantastic event.
“There were 10 former Indonesian internationals competing that I had faced down the years. The play was of a very high standard.”
Travers, whose love affair with the sport began at 13, was on the road for nearly a month, with the Taipei trip – assisted by a welcome Perth and Kinross Sports Council grant – coming hard on the heels of a European Badminton Union event in Portugal. His Far Eastern excursion also took in Singapore and Indonesia, with three Scots participating in World Badminton Federation organised competitions.
Now Travers’ focus turns to the Sudirman Cup in Glasgow, with five times winners and defending champions China top seeds for the 10th World Team Badminton Championships being staged at the Scotstoun International Sports Arena from June 11-17.
There will be 49 nations from all of the five continents descending on Glasgow.
Travers, who has been the national coach for 11 years, said: “We have a young but very good squad. Only two of the 10-strong squad are over 25.
“Nowadays a lot more European countries are giving badminton a high profile, especially since it became an Olympic sport. It was always big in the Far East so the competition is stronger than ever.
“But badminton has become more organised in this country and there are opportunities for youngsters if they work hard. It’s more physically demanding than in my day. Rather like tennis it’s about power and speed as well as finesse.”
05-31-2007, 10:39 PM #2
AWESOME ! PERTH Rules !
06-01-2007, 06:17 AM #3
06-01-2007, 09:53 AM #4
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