Badminton Life

Diehl Rises From Law Court To Badminton Court

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 (Bernama) -- By just looking at the Russian singles ace, many probably will never know that Ella Diehl, 31, started her career as a lawyer.

"At first, it was hard for me to concentrate on both law and badminton but if you compare the two, it is much more relaxing and fun being a badminton player than a lawyer," the world-ranked 15th told Bernama Tuesday on the sidelines of the Uber Cup here.

While the ex-lawyer always wanted to have options in her life, badminton has given her happiness and enabled her to achieve more for her country.

Leaving behind her career as a lawyer, Diehl started concentrating fully on badminton since the age of 23 as it fueled a burning ambition to become her country's top singles player.

"Being a lawyer was so much different from my life now as it's so much more enjoyable being a badminton player," said Diehl who studied law at the Eastern University of Humanitarian Science Management and Law in Russia.

Asked about her workout regime to sharpen her skills in badminton, she said practice made her better everyday, adding that her parents were also badminton coaches in their country.

The semi-finalist at the Swiss Super Series this year also did two years of training in Badminton Education for Coaches at the Olympic College in Samara, Russia.

"I hope to be a coach one day because I love to teach too. I want to be like my parents," said Diehl.

She said although the team's performance in the Uber Cup this year was not eye-catching, the journey to the final round here was a big achievement as Russia did not participate in the women's team competition for the past 14 years.

However, she is impressed with the team's first win against Germany on Monday at the Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil here.

Diehl, who played in the Beijing and Sydney Olympics, is now targeting to create history in the Badminton World Championships 2010 this August in Paris.

On the progress of the game in her country, Diehl said the development was not so impressive, adding that a lot of measures had to be taken to bring the sport to a world-class level.

"We do not have a specific school or club for badminton currently, but we do have sports schools in certain regions," she said.

All the players in these sports schools were given financial support by the coaches themselves, which was a setback, she said.

"The most popular sports in Russia are football, hockey and basketball, so we need to work hard to turn badminton into one of the main sports," said the player whose interest in badminton started at eight years old.

Asked on the government's contribution to the players, she said incentives would be given to encourage them "but only when they win the game".

The team's Thomas and Uber Cup 2010 expenses are sponsored by the National Sports Agency of Russia.

Source from BERNAMA

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