Friday, February 20, 2009 3:48 PM

Dear Friends and Supporters...

Well, I'm back on tour here in Europe, the first stop being here in Vienna, Austria. Apart from eating their famous sacher-torte, and checking out a couple of sights in town, most of my focus has been on the badminton. I am here with Joseph Rogers, from Ottawa and Dave Snider, another young player from Winnipeg. They are joining me on two weeks of my five week tour.

Joseph was in the qualifying rounds, and was within points of winning his second round match against another young british talent, losing 22-20 in the third game. It was quite a good result, especially considering that he was down about 11-4 and then 17-12 in the third.

Dave had a very good tournament. He was in the main draw and had two good wins, beating a Bulgarian in the first round and then a Czech guy in the second. Both were very seasoned veterans and he had to keep very composed to beat them with all their wily tricks. In the quarters, he lost to a young Japanese player in two very hard fought games.

For me, I have to admit, it wasn't a great result. I lost in the second round to a Dutch guy who's a year younger than me, Rune Massing. I've played him once before and it was a battle, which I won. It was a battle this time as well, and though I consider myself normally very fit, I hit the wall in this match. I won the first set 21-19. We were having very even rallies and I was really having to push myself to makes things work. The second set was no different and we were even until the end where he pulled away and won 21-18. In the third I had nothing left and though I made a good fight, I was just too slow and he was able to control me until he had his chance to put the shuttle on the floor.

Since the national champs, I haven't been into my training routine as much as I normally am, and I suffered the consequences. It's not a fun feeling to hit the wall like I did; there was a slight nausea and bad taste in the throat, light-headedness and zero ability to explode with my legs. I don't wish it upon anyone!!!! Needless to say, I will shape up and fight for my routine again. I don't want to feel this feeling again! :)

We're off to Zurich on Sunday for one night and then to Mulheim an der Ruhr for the German Open. My draw there is tough. I have one of the young players from Japan who are here at this tournament. I watched him play today and I will have my work cut out for me.

Should I win that match, I am up against Bao Chunlai, China's current number 2 or 3. That would be a fun one! Tomorrow, apart from training, we will be heading to the main market, which is aparently quite a famous tourist attraction, as well as walking around the downtown area and seeing the sights!

Take care!



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