Home2017Jordan's Bahaedeen quits karate to seek Olympic glory in badminton

Jordan’s Bahaedeen quits karate to seek Olympic glory in badminton

Chasing Olympics dreams is never an easy call for any athlete but Jordan's 19-year-old shuttler Bahaedeen Ahmad Alshannik is ready to take the tough challenge even when the odds are heavily stacked against him.

He is willing to make sacrifices to achieve his dreams and love for the shuttle sport which began at the age of 13 – at a time when he was also deeply involved in two other sports – karate and football.

Bahaedeen even made a name for himself as Jordan's karate champion but the martial art took a back seat when the shuttle "love bug" got the better of him. So did football although he still talks about his idol Lionel Messi because he was a striker as a footballer.

Bahaedeen has achieved a fair amount of success with the racquet and believes that he can put Jordan on the badminton world map – just like Malaysia's current world No 1 Lee Chong Wei, China's five-time world champion and two-time Olympics gold medallist Lin Dan and Rio Olympics champion Chen Long.

Lack of financial support is hindering his progress in badminton and his present 250 world ranking speaks of the tough journey and obstacles that await him. The Jordan national men's singles champion also plays in the men's doubles with Mohd Naser Mansour Nayef and mixed doubles with Domou Amro.

"I just love badminton. I have given up karate and football to embark on another journey to fulfill my dreams of competing in the Olympics," said Bahaedeeen after the mixed doubles first round match in the on-going 2017 Wuhan, City of Automobile Badminton Asia Championships on Wednesday.

Bahaedeen-Domou, who is still studying, failed to win their first round match against Hong Kong's Tang Chun Man-Tse Ying Suet and lost 8-21, 15-21.
"Badminton is not popular in Jordan but I am determined to bring the game to a higher level so that more people will take up the game.

"We lack experience and exposure in international tournaments," said Bahaedeen, who works a part-time painter to self-funding for his badminton career due to financial support from the government or sponsors.

"I use my own money to buy shoes and other badminton equipment. It is a tough call but I still believe that I can achieve my dreams in badminton. I am grateful to Badminton Asia for assisting us in the development of the sport.

Before coming to Wuhan, Bahaedeen competed in two tournaments in Egypt and Uganda. Bahaedeen-Domou won the mixed doubles in Uganda and reached the semi-finals in the men's and mixed doubles. He also made the last four in the men's singles and men's doubles in Egypt. 

This is his second Badminton Asia Championships after making his debut in Wuhan last year.


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