Zhang Lianying: A Chinese behind Danish Badminton flourishing

14:46, April 27, 2011      

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Even though modern badminton has orginated from England, only one country in Europe pose a threat to beat the Chinese badminton players: Denmark.

However, behind the Danish Badminton team, there is a Chinese coach; Zhang Lianying, who is now the technical coach for Danish Badminton Association.

During his 22 years' work in Denmark Lianying has worked together with international top players and world masters such as Poul-Erik Hoeyer Larsen, Peter Rasmussen, Peter Gade, Camilla Martin and Tine Baun.

Before coming to Denmark, Lianying worked as the coach for the Tianjin women's badminton team in China for nine years. In 1989, Lianying was invited by Bjoern and Tonny Holst-Christensen to come to Denmark to be the private coach of their son Jon Holst-Christensen.

Soon his reputation spread around the country and Lianying became the coach for the 23-years-old Poul-Erik Hoeyer Larsen. After only three rounds of training, Poul-Erik Hoeyer Larsen beat the four-time All England winner Morten Frost and just four month after his arrival in Denmark, Lianying became the special coach for Danish Badminton Association's Elite Center in Broendby.

" At the beginning, the biggest challenge coming to Denmark was learning the language and to get used to live in the Danish society. Luckily Danes are good at speaking English, but soon I started to have Danish lessons and today I can speak Danish" , Lianying says.

From 1996 to 1999, Lianying were in charge of the men's badminton team. At the same time Danish badminton achieved great international success. Poul-Erik Hoeyer Larsen, Peter Rasmussen, Peter Gade won many international tournaments such as Olympic, world championships and All England. However, Lianying turned to be the technical coach for Danish Badminton Association.

" I would like to have more time to train with our players. So I can do things the way I want" , Lianying says.

And Lianying' s way of training the Danish players is different from his Danish colleagues. Opposite many of his Danish colleagues, Lianying provides a personalized training according to the players' individual strengths and potentials. And often a player will improve his or her techniques after each training session.

Lianying has also received offers from other European countries like Germany, the Netherlands and England. However, Lianying turned them off even though some of them were very attractive seen from an economic point of view.

"I am satisfied with my career and network in Denmark. I have been working here for 22 years which is longer than any other trainer before me and I have built a good relationship with the players here" Lianying explains.

During his record long coorperation with the Danish Badminton Association a long line of international top players has gone through the Chinese expert training.

Multiple winner of the Danish Championship and double All England winner Tine Baun trained with Lianying since she was 12.

" Lianying is not only a super trainer. He is also a super good friend. He smiles a lot and is always in a good mood. He talks about not only badminton but also ask us how things go in our families. He has been really important for my career" , Tine says.

One of Lianying' s other forces is his skill at technical details, which reinforces the strengths of the traditional European players. Peter Gade, the winner of All England ' 99 and being No. 1 on the world rankings for almost 3 consecutive years 1998-2001 says, "He is indisputably the best coach I ever have had. It's because of him that I can constantly develop my moves and my net games. Moreover, I am impressed that he has trained our elite players not only at one way. He is a master at finding each player's strength and making them even better. Therefore, every Danish singles player has his or her own style."

Peter Rasmussen, the winner of World Championships in 1997, was a medical student before he started his career as a badminton player. At that time he didn' t really know whether he wanted to continue to study or to be a badminton player. Lianying encouraged him and told him," You can be a world champion."

And Peter Rasmussen actually won the World Championships in 1997 in Scotland after a memorable and dramatic final against China's Sun Jun.

" It is only because of Lianying that I won the World Championship. In the last seven to eight years he has worked with me every day at the gym. He stands behind my development of becoming a world class player" , Peter Rasmussen says. Recently Peter Rasmussen has finished his studies and is now a medical doctor after he stopped his career as a badminton player at around 2004.

Lianying lives a happy family life at Copenhagen. He and his wife have two daughters. The eldest daughter is a dentist and the little daughter, born in Denmark, is a pupil in primary school.

Lianying has also been actively in promoting the badminton exchanges between Denmark and China. This summer Lianying (2011) will organize a youth badminton players team to train and live in China.

Lianying says: "I look forward to train more young upcoming players. I work with them and live with them. I hope this will bring up more good players. "

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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