Original Title: Badminton World Championships | A coach, a mother, and a doubles partner
At the Badminton World Championships being held in Copenhagen, not only world champions such as Axelsen and Akane Yamaguchi are attracting attention, but a pair of mixed doubles from Israel has also become the focus of attention.
Female athlete Svetlana Ziberman is 65 years old this year, even older than most of the team’s coaches. When she stood on the court with her partner Misha Zilberman, it even made people feel in a trance that “however the coach himself ended up”.
Svetlana Ziberman (right) and Misha Ziberman.Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Xiao Yazhuo
This idea is actually not wrong, because Svetlana is indeed Misha’s coach. Of course, Svetlana has another identity, she is Misha’s mother.
“When I competed in men’s singles, my mother was my coach. But in mixed doubles, we are partners,” Misha told reporters.
In this year’s World Championships, the mother-son team defeated an Egyptian pair in the first round of mixed doubles, but lost to Jiang Zhenbang/Wei Yaxin of the Chinese team in the second round. However, the 65-year-old Svetlana has once again set a new record for the oldest winner of the Badminton World Championships. Last year’s World Championships in Tokyo, they also passed the first round, when Svetlana became the owner of this record at the age of 64.
On August 22, Jiang Zhenbang (right)/Wei Yaxin defeated the Israeli combination Misha Ziberman/Svetlana Ziberman 2:0.Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Ren Pengfei
In the match against Jiang Zhenbang/Wei Yaxin, although the audience had been cheering for Svetlana and Misha, the huge gap in strength left them with little to do in the match. They lost two games in a row in less than half an hour. The game was lost. Since Misha lost to Denmark’s local player Antonsen in the first round of the men’s singles match the day before, the mother and son’s journey to the World Championships has come to an end.
“At my age, it is actually very difficult to compete at such a high level. I can only do my best,” Svetlana said. When the two are interviewed, usually their son Misha is mainly responsible for answering, and Svetlana will occasionally add a few words when she has an idea. Due to language problems, Misha will act as the mother’s translator at this time.
“For me, being a player is much easier than being a coach. Being a coach is actually more stressful, and there are more things to consider. As a player on the field, you only need to play games, but you have to think less.” Sway Trana said.
Svetlana has won the Israeli national championship in women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles many times. Most of the mixed doubles championships were won with his son Misha. The two have partnered since 2005, and won the Israeli national championship that year. In 2009, they entered the stage of the World Championships for the first time. Up to now, the mother and son have been partners for 18 consecutive years.
When talking about why she chose to play mixed doubles with her son, Svetlana said frankly that it was because badminton was too small in Israel. At that time, there were not many outstanding female players who could pair with Misha. Partners start competing.”
The picture comes from the official website of the World Badminton Federation
Svetlana and her husband run two badminton clubs in Israel, where Misha trains. Since the mother and son often have to go abroad to compete, the daily work of the club is mainly taken care of by Misha’s father. Sometimes, if there is no mixed doubles competition, the couple will switch roles, and the father will go abroad to accompany Misha to the competition, while the mother will stay in Israel. After all, she is also the coach of the Israeli badminton national team.
Many people think that partnering with their mother will put extra pressure on Misha on the court. But Misha said, not at all.
“We enjoy more in mixed doubles,” Misha said. But he immediately changed the subject: “But in singles events, she is very strict and often criticizes me during training.”
When talking about his idol in his career, Misha said that Lin Dan is his favorite player, while his mother Svetlana is “a player in another tier”.
“My mother is the most unique existence. Without her, I would not be able to stand here and walk on this path. She is the most important person in my career. If you don’t count my mother, then Lin Dan can be counted My idol.” Misha said with a smile.
In 2012, Misha participated in the London Olympic Games, becoming the first Israeli badminton player on the Olympic stage. In Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Misha became the first Israeli player to win a single Olympic badminton match. At the Tokyo Olympics, Misha won two more victories. Looking ahead, his goal is to qualify for the Paris Olympics.
“It would be perfect if I could play in the Olympics again,” Misha said.
After the interview, Misha asked the reporter to take a photo of him and his mother in the mixed mining area.
“This World Championship is over, and I just realized that we haven’t had a photo together yet, please take a photo for us!” (Xiao Yazhuo Linjing)
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