At 42 years old and after a remarkable career in para-badminton, Fabien Morat decided to turn a page. He shares his memories, feelings and plans.
“I had my first racket in my hand at 20 years old, with the creation of the Le Volant Salanquais club of which I am president. I discovered para-badminton in 2014. It was the beginnings, the first French championships” , he remembers. The first international meetings were organized in 2017. There were few players then and many fewer competitions, only two or three per year compared to twelve to fifteen today. “It has evolved so much that it has become complicated to have a professional activity on the side.” Fabien Morat is a research engineer at the Criobe laboratory in Perpignan (Island Research Center and Environmental Observatory). For years, he managed to combine a demanding career and a successful sporting career. Among the titles won, he was six times French champion, double bronze medalist at the European championships (in men’s doubles and singles). At the worlds, he was a silver medalist in mixed, a three-time bronze medalist in men’s doubles. Last spring, he was still ranked 8th player in the world. He was world number one in men’s doubles with his lifelong teammate, Charles Noakes. He was also 2nd mixed player in the world.
So why stop? “Age, young people push hard, train hard. I lost in the quarter-final at the Europeans against a 15-year-old kid. Body fatigue, pain, the desire to settle down.” What remains of this fabulous adventure? “So many beautiful stories, beautiful moments. I had the chance to discover many countries, to make friends all over the world. Above all, these are human adventures.” The following ? Fabien will take care of the club which is booming. But he will also “gain height” as a referee. “I am going to graduate with the aim of one day being on the international high chairs for para-badminton competitions.” Still great adventures in perspective for this champion with a mind of steel that nothing can stop.
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