Photo credit: Therese Rivers, Pacific Games News Service.
Remi Rossi stole the show at the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games as he raked in the biggest possible gold medal haul during the individual event.
Alongside Rauhiri Goguenheim in the men’s doubles and Coralie Bouttin in the mixed, his dominance in the singles saw him claim all three titles. The feat was fresh from a spectacular Continental Championships campaign six months earlier.
At the VICTOR Oceania Championships 2019, Remi came close to making history as the first non-Australian or New Zealander to win a gold medal at the Continental Championships. In the semifinal, he ousted the number one seed Abhinav Manota (New Zealand), before going down in a valiant final to Manota’s predecessor, Oscar Guo.
In the same year, he moved to France to work as a PE teacher, complimented by some incredible training opportunities, including a homestay with the Popov family. The Popov’s are a well-known family in Europe’s badminton scene, including the talented Christo and Toma Junior who are in pursuit of Olympic glory on home turf in three years’ time.
Inevitably, the global COVID-19 pandemic took hold in France and like many players, brought a halt to Remi’s usual training routine. But after a seven-month cooling period, he resumed in September as courts became accessible and domestic tournaments made a resurgence.
“I have trained in a lot of different places in France. More recently with some of the top 10 players in the country, where we train once or twice per day. When I moved in with the Popov Family, Christo and Toma, I trained with them at a local club, where the standard was really high, with some very professional players”, says Remi.
“Now, I am training with French team at the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (INSEP) in Paris. It is the biggest and best place to train in France, with a great coach. I train with my brother over there so it’s fun for me to go”, Remi continued.
However, the apple never fell far from the tree for Remi, who is thrilled by the opportunity to reunite with Team Tahiti at the TotalEnergeis BWF Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2021.
“I’m really excited to play for Tahiti again because I miss my friends in the team. I left them over two years ago and haven’t seen them since. I’m really excited to see them again and be able to play alongside them”
“I feel a bit homesick with Tahiti. It reminds me of when I was young, when I see all my friends. I’m still happy to see them and can’t wait to be back with them in Denmark”
“Mostly, I miss the most is the type of language we have between Tahitian players and people. In France, we don’t speak like this. In Tahiti it is a much more chilled life whereas in France it is much busier”
“The types of teams chants we do in Tahiti are like nowhere else – they are unique to Tahiti. They don’t do it in France”, says Remi.
Originally, Australia qualified for Thomas, Uber and Sudirman Cup Finals. However, due to the significant travel costs and quarantine restrictions currently in place in their country, Badminton Australia withdrew. Runners up, New Zealand, were offered the spot but decline for similar reasons. Following the process of inviting Oceania’s next ranked teams, Tahiti welcomed the invite to participate at this year’s TotalEngeries BWF Sudirman, Thomas and Uber Cup Finals.
At last week’s Sudirman Cup, many members of Tahiti’s youthful squad were earning their first international cap. However, the men’s and women’s team will be powered by the additional forces of Remi Rossi, Louis Beaubois and Melissa Mi You in Denmark.
Leading the charge for Tahiti, Remi will be up against some stiff competition in Group C, where the team will have to take on defending champions, China:
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“My thoughts about the draw…it will be really hard for us. I will try to enjoy the matches on court, enjoy the feeling and give all my best. The spirit is we go there to enjoy and leave with no regrets. Just give our best, even if we know it will be really hard. I’m excited by the prospect of playing Chen Long – and some of the other best players in the world”, says Remi.
Follow Tahiti’s progress at the TotalEnergies Thomas and Uber Cup Finals 2021 on our Facebook page or click here to follow the official tournament website.