Visit to China

Badminton talent experiences rollercoaster of emotions

10.07.2024 15:58

Pascal Cheng is considered one of Austria's greatest badminton talents. The 17-year-old Viennese is currently in China, the country of his ancestors. While he is training in the country's squads and is able to visit his grandma for the first time since corona, he found out about the tragic death of a friend on the badminton court via the internet.

The last few days have been a rollercoaster of emotions for Pascal Cheng. Austria's badminton hopeful has been in the country of his ancestors for a few days now, visiting his grandmother in China for the first time since corona. "I'm really looking forward to it, we haven't seen each other for so long," said the 17-year-old full of anticipation before his departure.

On the other hand, it took his breath away when he heard about the death of Zhang Zhi Jie in the Chinese media while still in Vienna. The Chinese player, who was also 17 years old and considered a great talent, died a few days ago during a tournament in Indonesia. "We knew each other well, we met at the World Championships and the Dutch Open, among other things. It was terrible," said Pascal, shocked by the scenes in which viral videos showed the young athlete collapsing on the court during a match and only receiving medical treatment after what felt like an eternity of more than half a minute.

This will also be a topic of conversation when Cheng trains over the next four weeks - in addition to visiting relatives. And with coaches from the Chinese squads that have already produced numerous world champions and Olympic champions.

Pascal (left) with Manuel Rösler (Bild: WAT Simmering)
Pascal (left) with Manuel Rösler

"It's all about the physical aspects," says Manuel Rösler, who coaches Pascal at his home club WAT Simmering. "Pascal is good on the racket, but he still lacks a bit of the physicality to assert himself in grueling three-set matches. I told him to come back as a physical monster," jokes Rösler. Physically, but also mentally, Pascal will come back from China stronger.

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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