Badminton Life

Jonassen Promises 'No Easy Ride'

New Great Britain singles coach Kenneth Jonassen has warned players not to expect an easy ride when he takes charge this summer.

The former world number two was last week named by Badminton England as the man to drive the nation's singles players towards the London 2012 Olympics.

The 35-year-old will primarily oversee the development of England's players at their Milton Keynes base but will take charge of all the British elite as the build-up to the Games intensifies.

England's top men's singles players Rajiv Ouseph, Andrew Smith and Carl Baxter are ranked 23, 26 and 35 in the world respectively and Jonassen wants immediate improvement.

The 35-year-old said: "When they think they have reached their limit, I want to push them more.

"I will show them we need to examine every part of their game to see if we can improve that.

"We need to bring intensity to practice. We want a group of three or four players wanting this more than anything.

"Our goal always has to be to push the limits and never be satisfied with the current level, always wanting more."

Jonassen is the reigning European singles champion but is now winding down his playing career in club badminton.

He has also been coaching the elite Danish players but will step down this summer to take up his new Badminton England role in July.

Throughout his own days on the circuit, Jonassen was spurred on to greater things by legendary compatriot Peter Gade and he hopes to foster similar domestic rivalries in England.

He said: "I think the Danish singles players want more than just being number one in Denmark. They want to be number one in the world.

"That is totally an attitude towards practice.

"I had all my close training sessions with Peter.

"I was reaching a high level in practice every day because he was and he said exactly the same.

"We understood we had to give our best every day against each other.

"Now, since I have stopped, Jan Jorgensen is pushing Peter, so they have another one.

"That is something I want to bring in to everyday practice and competition."

Badminton England are well aware of the shot in the arm success at the next Olympics could give their publicity-starved sport.

In Jonassen, they are confident they have found the right man to help them make an impact.

Performance director Ian Moss said: "He brings significant international experience as a player and coach.

"He exhibits the type of world-class ability and understanding of a medal-winning environment that we are looking for."

Source from Press Association Sport

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