The team of France Plumfoot is growing every year, little by little. Many active recruits joined the adventure this year, bringing new ideas and proposals. Among them are Thomas and Etienne, who decided to conduct several interviews about the French Open. After the first (Ayman for France Plumfoot), and the second (David Zentarra for Germany) interviews, other presidents of national federations which send a team to the Open have answered their questions. Find below János Fehér’s answers for Hungary !
In about one month, the 10th French Open will take place in Eaubonne, a city located 20 minutes from Paris. This anniversary will without a doubt be a landmark in the history of Shuttlecock. But is it the first time your team participates to the French Open ?
It will be the tenth time Hungary participates in the French Open. For me it will be the ninth time, I have missed only one tournament in France. Actually we return with the hope to win again. We also intend to help with the development of shuttlecock. This tournament is going to give feedback on our performance.
So do you have any good memories of the previous French Opens you have been to ?
While in France, we always had a great time, we discovered Paris’ wonderful sights and got to know new friends. It was a funny moment when six Hungarian players stayed at Danny Doan’s small place.
You said you have the hope to win again this year. That seems very confident, even knowing the level of the Hungarian players !
Hungary has four teams in this year. I hope the men’s teams will be among the top six, and the women’s teams will also have good results. If they are evaluated separately, they can be on the podium.
I think our strength is that we are good at all disciplines, every player is quite good at single, double and team events as well.
We did not have special preparing for this Open, as we regularly compete. We have already had three ranking competitions in this season.
We are newcomers in the world of Shuttlecock. Could you tell us more about Shuttlecock playing in your country ?
The Hungarian shuttlecock started 25 years ago. Today we have 15 clubs with 500 players.
For this anniversary, we are going to organize a special contest in May. Just check out the Facebook page of the Hungarian Shuttlecock Association. Our biggest international tournament is the Hungarian Open, which has been organized since 1996.
We also are trying to involve the young by cooperating with schools. We hold student olympics every year. This year over 500 children from 55 schools took part. Lots of them are not members of shuttlecock clubs.
Hungarians are known to be the best shuttlecock players in Europe. Nevertheless, during the last two European Championships, Germany has performed really well, managing to take first place in the men single event. Do you think European players will step-up to challenge Hungary’s supremacy? Do you think the French Open will be an opportunity to show that Hungary still has the best players in Europe?
Anyone can be beaten. When shuttlecock started in Europe, the Germans were unbeatable we defeated them after six years, in 1999. In recent years more countries have improved, but definitely the Germans are the most powerful rivals.
The more you practice, the better a player you become. A Chinese player trains six hours per day, while a European approximately six hours weekly. If you multiple this training time you may be the best. Children start from the same level in any country. What matters is who works harder.
As we started playing not long ago, we are craving for advices from the best players. Is your secret eating a lot of goulash before the tournament to get some extra energy and defeat your opponents?
Our secret formula is goulash indeed, but it is mere luck scientists have not discovered that it is an extraordinary dope. It is only suitable for those with strong stomach, so our rivals had better avoid it. Instead, we suggest they should practice as much as they can.
Finally, we have a tradition of giving everyone we interview a final word… Is there anything you would like to say to the French players, to any specific team or to the International Shuttlecock community before the tournament?
The only way to improve shuttlecock is to spread it as many countries and involve as many players as possible. We, the European community, are small, so we must cooperate and work together, helping each other. It is the best way to become a respected sport. We should involve people at a younger age, and it is necessary to train experts. I find it essential to keep the tradition by organizing and holding our prominent events like the European Championship, the Hungarian Open and French Open. It would be a mistake if any of these regular competitions was cancelled.