Guatemalan badminton star Kevin Cordon hopes to build on his performance in the Tokyo Olympic Games with another good show in the World Championships which begin in the Spanish city of Huelva on Sunday.
Cordon shot to fame by beating Chinese star Chen Long in the 2011 World Championships in London and although his career has been affected by knee and ankle problems, everything came right in Tokyo this summer where he reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual gold medal winner Viktor Axelsen.
Cordon admits his route in Huelva has been made easier by the withdrawal of Kento Momota, who he would probably have met in the second round, reports Xinhua.
“I knew I would play Momota if I won the first round, but now it’s opened up for me to reach the last 16,” Cordon told the official BWF World Championship website.
He explained that he doesn’t usually look at the draw; “I never see the draw; it doesn’t matter as it’s all about the next match,” commented the Guatemalan, who was happy to be playing in Spain.
“These are like home conditions. In 2012 I had a chance to train with the Spanish national team, so it feels like home to be here in Spain,” admitted Cordon, who still remembers the upset he produced in 2011.
“Beating Chen Long was my best ever result, and then I reached the quarter-finals. To beat Chen Long and then have a chance to play Lee Chong Wei. I haven’t played in the World Championships since because of injuries.”
“The environment here is totally different, it feels really nice. And after the Olympics, my mentality has totally changed, this is about having fun,” commented Cordon, who said his success in Tokyo has had an impact in his homeland.
“Most of the kids want to play badminton. It’s really nice. Most kids ask their parents to buy them a racket. They play on the streets and in their houses. In Guatemala badminton is now getting more popular because the kids want to play. Now I’m here, I’m playing the World Championships for them,” he concluded.