Waikato badminton coach, TJ Weistra has become the first New Zealander to ever claim a BWF World Championship title.
The Dutch-born Weistra defeated Danish player, Carsten Loesch 21-11 21-12 in the final of the 35-40 years age group competition from a field of 42 players at Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.
“I didn’t come to this event with any expectations and took it one match at the time. I only played singles which gave me quite good recovery time. The Danish guy in the final had been there before. He was a small fellow and a runner but without any key shots which suited me as well.
He really struggled to control the shuttle as there was a massive draft in the giant Richmond Oval Stadium. I think that my game suited the draft and also my previous experience in playing in this kind of stadium helped. The Danish guy was too eager to win it where I was very relaxed throughout the whole event. I only made four unforced errors in the whole final whereas he made 21.”
Weistra didn’t drop a set the whole tournament. He was recently the captain of the Waikato Wisden Cup winning team as well as being a finalist at the New Zealand national champs in singles and was previously the New Zealand National Coach and High Performance Manager.
He says having a family seems to have helped with his attitude on the court.
“It’s hard to explain why I’m playing so well at this moment, perhaps it is just the fact that having my little girl next to the court when I play and that I don’t put any pressure on myself anymore really helps to just play and enjoy myself.”