Its been a few weeks now since our six week tour of Asia. Throughout June & July we had competitions in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand & Singapore followed by a training camp in Guangzhou, China and then on to the World Championships in Nanjing, also in China. This was the first time both Gabby and I have been on a tour, our longest previous trip being around 4 weeks. However as we missed the first third of the season due to Gabby’s injury, we felt it necessary to give ourselves the best chance to qualify for the HSBC World Tour finals at the end of the year & of course maintain our top 10 ranking.
In general we were pretty happy with our trip, which of course had its up & downs that included an extremely tight semi final in Malaysia and reaching the final in Thailand but we managed to stay focused on the goal at the end, which was the World Championships in Nanjing. Throughout the trip we kept each other going and also made sure we made time for nice meals and time off (mainly sunbathing!) to make sure we stayed as fresh as we could. Although of course we miss being at home we feel extremely lucky that we can do this together as we are well aware it would be a lot harder if this was not the case.
We arrived in Nanjing with the rest of the England team feeling in good form again, helped by a brief stop in Guangzhou where we were able to practice with the local province team for some sparring, which was a great opportunity to get in some great final preparations for the World Championships. We also spent a little time visiting local clubs and meeting some of our Chinese fans. It’s always great to see how popular Badminton is and how many people were playing and having great fun in doing so.
Unfortunately after a solid start to the week we were unable to repeat our result from Glasgow last year and didn’t come away with a medal. We lost out in the quarter final and, although not playing our best, we were proud of the fight we put up & the Chinese pair we lost to were just better on the day.
Since then Gabby and have taken a break to sunny Spain. It was so nice to be able to switch off after such a crazy few weeks. Although it sometimes takes a few days of holiday to completely switch off it was something we quickly got used to!! Our time mostly consisted of lots of sun, great beaches & fantastic food, all a recipe for a refreshed Chris & Gabby.
On holiday we do try and keep ourselves in shape by going on a few runs, swims and a couple of visits to the gym (to make sure all the fantastic food doesn’t take too much toll!!) – this also means when we get back into training we can hit the ground running.
After getting back home our thoughts have quickly moved forward on to the next tour of Japan, China & Korea. This is a tour we are really looking forward to, Japan is always an amazing place to visit and play and is of course the home of our main sponsor Yonex, who always go the extra mile to make us feel at home, and whewe they will be supplying us with some new playing kit so keep you eyes peeled! We also always try & sneak a trip to one of our all time favorite restaurants, Nobu in Tokyo! (The dessert is to die for!!) if you ever get the chance trust me it’s a no brainer: www.noburestaurants.com/tokyo
We will catch up soon and while we are away make sure you keep and eye across our social media accounts to stay up to date on how we get on! And I think next time we will be taking about Gabby’s favourite players past & present and what inspires her.
(Photo Credit: Badminton Photo)