To challenge every game with the most initial passion, a real man sweating on the court and his future have infinite possibilities!
V : How old were you when you first started to play badminton? When was your first game?
Ko : I started playing when I was 12 years old. I forgot when I played my first game, but I remember I played my first national game when I was 12. I had only practiced for 7 or 8 months when I competed in my first game and I still lost in the end, so I had a very clear memory of it.
V : You have played so many games, which is the most memorable one?
Ko : It was the 2010 Asian Games because it was my first big game and I was extremely nervous. Of course, my nervousness did not end well but I also let myself know that I had shortcomings and needed more training.
V : Did you ever lose your status quo during a game? If it happens again, how would you face the situation again?
Ko : This year, I have discovered that my opponents have become familiar with my plays and they can even precisely predict my direction and was already waiting for me. But during that moment, I did not want to change my strategy.
Say, if I think I can score if I attacked from this direction, even if the opponent is standing in front of me waiting for the attack, I would not change my thoughts or strategies, and I would insist on going ahead with this play. However, if during the game I discover that something is wrong, I would still use other methods to prevail over my opponent.
V : What do you think about partnering with Lee Yong-Dae?
Ko : Because I joined the National Team without going through the Junior team, consequently, compared to Lee Yong-Dae, I have much less experience. Even though he is my junior, he really possesses much more experience than I do, therefore, he knows how to effectively score on the court very well, which somehow fulfills my inadequacy. During the European games, because we did not have a tacit understanding, each game was difficult, but right now, we are slowly building our chemistry to find the best way for both of us to play to our strengths.
V : How will you build this tacit understanding with each other to capitalize on each other’s characteristics and strengths?
Ko : Every time before and after the game, we will discuss with each other, so I hope everyone can give us some time and anticipate our future performances.
V : If a situation occurs during the game, how will you offer an opinion and decide on the countermeasures?
Ko : Right now we will base our strategies on Lee Yong-Dae’s opinions, so if this situation occurs, he will think of the strategies and opinions, then we will defend and attack the opponents together.
V : Which attack method do you think is most effective for scoring? For you, what’s your most confident play?
Ko : The easiest way to score I think is still the first 3 shots with a smash to finish. Right now, many players have great smash skills, but to defeat the opponent with one smash is still very difficult to achieve. Right now, I would use smashing to disrupt the tempo of the opponent and have Lee Yong-Dae score from the net.
V : How do you choose your racket? What’s your suggestion for new players who have just started playing badminton?
Ko : I have great strength, so I prefer powerful rackets with a heavier head and a more flexible shaft. As for new players, I would suggest a racket with a lighter head and a lighter total weight. It is important to choose a racket that does not cause injuries. I like well-designed and fashionable rackets, so the THRUSTER K 8000 to me is great both in design and color.
V : How do you choose your badminton footwear?
Ko : Although I have wide feet and badminton is an intense sport, stability and shock resistance are very important. But footwear become loose after wearing them for a long time, so, I would choose 1 size smaller. It may be uncomfortable at first, but once you stretch the footwear out, it will become easier to run in and more comfortable. The one I am used to wearing now provides me great protection for my feet and its bright yellow is my favorite color. (Badminton footwear: SH8500 E)
V : What are your plans for your athletic career and self-expectations?
Ko : My current thought is to remain in the National Team until I am 30 and if I can remain in the National Team after I get married and have children, it would be great. If not, I can transfer to the professional team and I believe I will play until I can play no more.
V : If one day you were no longer a player, what business would you do?
Ko : I have never thought about it seriously, but if I am to answer this question, I believe I would start a business myself.
V : Everyday seems to be training and competitions for you, have you ever thought of quitting?
Because I started training when I was young, I already knew this road is difficult and tiresome, but I have never thought of quitting because of its tedious nature. This thought has crossed my head when I do not play well in my games.
V : How do you readjust yourself mentally and physically for the next game when a game ends?
Ko : I usually use sleep to readjust myself and every time it is more than 12 hours. Every time a game ends, if I don’t do well, I will think about the problems and take a good nap, forgetting about the last game, and tell myself to work harder for the next game.
V : What would you like to say to the fans that have supported you along the way?
Ko : Right now I have room for more improvements and I hope that my fans can learn about this sport because of me. Of course, I still hope that they can continue to support me.
V : Any suggestions and recommendations for new players?
Ko : Because I am more senior, therefore, when I train with them, I have discovered that they do not play well because they are nervous and I hope that they can be more relaxed. It is their duty to play well and because they have less experience, they should not set their goals too high during practice to avoid bigger losses.
They should learn from the seniors and turn it to their advantages by taking small steps. I hope they can play with more heart and more optimistic attitude, which will also stimulate me to achieve better scores.
V : What kind of results do you hope to achieve in the Brazil grand sporting event 4 years later? What would you like to say to yourself 4 years later?
Ko : I hope I won’t forget about myself right now. If you ask me why I gave you this answer, I do not know myself. But I think this sentence is the closest to what I would like to say to myself.