For one of the region’s highest ranked Men’s Singles players, Daniel Fan, qualifying for the TOTAL BWF World Championships comes with huge celebration after the sacrifices and hard-work is paid off.
In 2018, Fan embarked on a journey around the world to get a feel for a professional playing career, while in pursuit of qualification for events like the World Championships and ultimately, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
On an expedition through New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia, Slovenia, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, Nigeria, Vietnam, Belgium, Poland, Czech Republic, Indonesia, Dubai and Kazakhstan, Fan was raking in the points. While it may sound glorious, Fan tells of the grueling year which was met with pessimism and a mountain of pressure.
As described by his coach and former international player, Nicholas Kidd, the life of a badminton player from the Western Suburbs of Australia is very much a ‘one-man army’.
Phrases like “You are wasting your time”, “You are too slow” and “Try something else” became all too familiar to the aspiring shuttler. Mixed with the arduous travel itineraries, backbreaking training regimes, uncertainty of partners to acquaintances to hit with, washing clothes in the showers and sleeping in hostels; it wasn’t the most glamorous lifestyle.
Nonetheless, 2018 was this year that opened Fan’s eye and he realised his ambitions.
“I was able to adopt different ways to approach my game. There were little things I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t explore in that year.”
“Despite all this, 2018 was the year I made the most growth”, says Daniel Fan.
As a result of climbing through the World Rankings, Fan was accepted as the wild card entry into this year’s Crown Group Australian Badminton Open and will be going one better as Oceania’s sole representative in the Men’s Singles in the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2019.
While he is making significant progress in his career, Fan continues to battle with the several barriers to competition, including funding, transport, accommodation. Through his social media account, Fan takes a pro-active role on fundraising for his career using portals like GoFundMe, a popular choice for aspiring athlete’s.
“Currently I am focusing on the World Championships and hope to learn more from the world’s best players”
“I recently played against Chou Tien-Chen in the Australian Open. It was a promising performance and he gave me some invaluable advice after the match, so I can’t wait to put that into action”, says Daniel Fan.
You can follow Daniel Fan’s progress at the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2019 on Tournament Software.
Chou Tien Chen didn’t let his foot off the pedal against Badminton Australia’s Daniel Fan 📈 21-11 21-9 Check out the rallies and find out what advice Chen offered to Fan after the game ⬇️ #ABO19
Posted by Badminton Oceania on Wednesday, June 5, 2019