Behind every athlete participating in the BWF World Senior Badminton Championships 2021, there is a story. The World Senior Badminton Championships hosts 1338 male and female players from 49 countries around the world. They compete in the five modalities – men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles – and divided according to age category: +35, +40, +45, +50, +55, +60 +65, +70 and +75. All of them share the same stage, the Palacio de Deportes Carolina Marín in Huelva, and they are also united by the same passion: badminton. Among the 1338 participants, we wanted to tell the story of the oldest and youngest players in the tournament. The German delegation, by chance and as a curious fact, has among its representatives the oldest player Peter Uhlig (83 years old); and also the youngest Alois Henke (36 years old) and Patraporn Zimmermann (36 years old) of the Huelva 2021.
Alois Henke (36)
Henke was born in December 1985, and makes his debut in Huelva as a senior athlete in the MS, MD and XD +35 events.
Henke confesses that “It’s the first time I compete in this category, in my age. It’s really good for me, everything is new and it’s very exciting. I’m a bit nervous now. The first matches were pretty good for me, so now I can enjoy the tournament. My focus is on the mixed doubles, so I think we can play until Thursday or Friday. But it’s not impossible to win some matches in singles or doubles.
Peter Uhlig (83)
Uhlig was born in February 1938, and at the age of 83 he is competing in his second world championship in Huelva in the X and X +75 events. Uligh doesn’t know English, but that doesn’t stop him from enjoying the experience. His partner Henke has acted as translator for this interview.
It is his second World Championships and he also played European Championships. For him it is a great experience to play here because, due to his age, he normally doesn’t have so many chances to win a match, but it is a great experience for him and he enjoys it a lot. The best thing for him is to meet people, to have a social life here and to have all his friends. This is the best thing for him and he enjoys it a lot.
Patraporn Zimmermann was born in November 1985, being the youngest player in the tournament. She competes in X and X +35. She showed his excitement of being part of this event and told us her expectations: “To be part of that tournament was awesome. This is my first year where I was allowed to play senior championship. Although I did not win my matches .. it was great to play here. The atmosphere was fantastic. I have got to know a lot of new fair sportsman and connect new friendships. The organization is also super. Thank you for that. It is an exciting experience for me.”