The Danish shuttler Peter Gade, the former world No. 1, was in Manila on June 28-30 to grace the FDG Cup where he played in an exhibition match against Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.
He may have only caught a glimpse of the Philippine badminton scene, but Peter Gade, one of the legends of the sport, believes Filipinos have what it takes to excel on the international stage.
“They can. Of course, they have the possibility,” said Gade. “But I think it demands a change in their mentality. They have to work really hard and believe that they can do it. They have the same possibilities as in China or Malaysia.”
Although he admitted he saw little action from the locals in the competition, the 36-year-old Europe’s best believes the Filipinos’ interest in the sport is a start of the road toward greatness.
“I didn’t get the chance of seeing actual matches from the tournament, but from what I know and I’ve seen a bit, there’s no doubt you have a lot of interest,” said Gade.
“But you have to have an education about what do you have to do if you want to be one of the best players in the world,” he said.
Interest, however, only gets one so far, according to Gade, a five-time European Championship winner and former All-England champion and winner of 22 Grand Prix titles.
“It’s a life-long commitment,” Gade said. “You have to be fully committed in every area. You have to spend time. Not only for one year or two years, but you have to make a plan for five years and 10 years and follow it then will you see results coming.”
Asked if he was willing to help train the country’s national team players in any way, Gade answered in the affirmative — as a sparring partner or as a consultant.
“Yes, of course. I like the people around that I’ve been acquainted with in the seven days I’ve been here and if, in some way in the future, I can do some things, it would be nice,” he said.