Pictured: Adam Jeffrey, New Zealand. Photo Credit: New Zealand Badminton League
Badminton Oceania caught up with Badminton New Zealand’s doubles specialist Adam Jeffrey to discuss about his badminton journey leading up to this year’s VICTOR Oceania Championships, which takes place at Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre from 28 April – 1 May, 2022.
The 21-year-old was last seen competing internationally two years ago at the 2020 edition of the Continental Championships with Jonathan Curtin (men’s doubles) and Erena Calder-Hawkins (mixed), where they were eliminated in the first and second rounds respectively. Since then, he has been competing domestically in the New Zealand Badminton League and finished with a silver medal at the New Zealand National Championships (in July 2021) with Dylan Soedjasa. They were defeated narrowly by Oceania’s reigning men’s doubles champions, Oliver Leydon-Davis and Abhinav Manota, who clutched the three-game series from behind 21-18 12-21 14-21.
The promising player was recently selected to represent New Zealand at the TotalEnergies Thomas Cup Finals 2022 in Bangkok, ten days after the Oceania Championships. Learn more about what he had to say about his prompt return to international badminton competition:
The VICTOR Oceania Championships 2022 will be your first International tournament since the 2020 edition. What has your badminton journey looked like since then?
“Basically just only training for the whole time with a few local tournaments here and there. One of the main tournaments which I felt has helped me improve was the New Zealand Badminton League.”
How did COVID-19 affect your training? Were there any opportunities throughout New Zealand’s lockdowns to progress your game?
“It definitely effected training as we were in lockdown for long periods of time, meaning we were not allowed to leave the house. The only trainings I could do was running basically, so keeping motivated was quite difficult at times.”
What parts of your game have you had to elevate in order to prepare for the ‘Open’ tournaments?
“Mainly my idea for the game had to change, meaning thinking a little bit ahead of the rally than just hitting the shot. Also getting used to the pace of the game was quite a big thing for me in the beginning, but I felt it had been one of my larger improvements.”
What are your ambitions in this year’s Oceania Championships?
“I want to play as well as I can and continue progressing my level.”
What motivates you the most to keep training and competing at this level?
“To carry on improving and hopefully one day I can compete on the international circuit.”
What are you overall badminton aims for 2022 – and beyond?
“To travel overseas and play some more international tournaments. Hopefully, I can get into the Commonwealth Games further down the line.”
Congrats on your Thomas Cup selection. What do you make of this experience?
“Playing the world’s top players in a team environment will be fun. It will be interesting to gauge just how good they really are and how they play.”
Am I right in thinking this will be your first cap in a senior international event? If so, how do you feel about making this milestone?
“I am really happy with being selected for this event. Hopefully, I can keep improving and continue being selected for more senior international events in the future.”
Have you received any advice from more experienced players in your team regarding Thomas Cup?
“I’ve been advised to just go and have fun. It is likely that they are all much better than I am, so mainly taking the opportunity to gain experience and learn as much as I can from a high-level badminton tournament.”
Written by Alex Deng
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