'Thank You Badminton Asia' - Iran's Amir Jabbari
Badminton is a not in the top bracket in terms of sports rankings in his country but the "lovely shuttle sport" has won the heart of young Amir Jabbari - Iran's most promising badminton player.
The soft spoken Amir, with film star looks, has taken it upon himself to take the sport to a "higher level" and challenge football, which is the number one sport in the country. Second on the list of ranking is volleyball followed by wrestling.
It was not easy for Amir to pick badminton as his sporting career after trying his hand in football, volleyball, ping pong (table tennis) and even tennis .Wrestling is not in his list as he "just can't hurt" any human being.
Amir, however, found his niche in badminton and has won the Iran Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 titles and finished third in the Iran National Championships.
Hailed as a bright spark with "tremendous potential" the Amir wants to follow in the footsteps of Iran's most famous shuttler Kaveh Mehrabi who played in the 2012 London Olympics and six world championships.
Amir is most grateful to Badminton Asia for his deep love for badminton.
In thanking the Asian body, Amir said getting selected to the Asia Olympic Project under Badminton Asia's Development Project in Kuala Lumpur in 2014 was a stepping stone to play in bigger tournaments.
"Thank you Badminton Asia for fulfilling my dream. It has spurred me to achieve greater goals in the game," said Amir who played in last year's World Junior Championships in Bilbao, Spain and did well to reach the fourth round.
"Badminton Asia has played a key role in my career. My improvement in the game is due to Badminton Asia who not only provide badminton equipment and scholarships for us to participate in tournaments but also provide the coaches during training camps.
"I and others have benefited greatly from the project."
Iran woman international Soraya Aghaeihajiagha, who is also in Wuhan for the Badminton Asia Championships, is another beneficiary of the development project.
In the on-going 2017 Wuhan - City of Automobile Badminton Championships in Wuhan, China he failed to get into the main draw after winning one and losing one in Group A qualifier.
Amir beat Brunei's Jaspar Yu Woon Chai 21-9, 21-4 but fell to Japan's Kenta Nishimoto 21-3, 21-3 to finish second behind the Japanese in the qualifier.
The Iranian international also plays for Azad University - the reigning Division One Super League champions. There is also a Division Two and Division Three league.
"Time is on my side and I am looking towards qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"Badminton is lovely and it will live with me," added Amir.