Stars Spotlight

Jorgensen sees the light at the end of the tunnel

Jan O. Jorgensen’s career has been on a roller coaster ever since he moved into the first tier of international men’s singles badminton in the bottom half of 2009.

Jorgensen (Day 2 - rotator)He has been to world #8 and back and he is no stranger to the top of a Superseries podium, either.  But recently, his track has entered a tunnel, as he puts it, and he now feels he has come to the end of it.

In the second round of the 2012 Victor Korea Open, an OSIM BWF World Superseries Premier event, he came back from a game down to score his second ever win over China’s Chen Jin (pictured left).

The first time Jorgensen got the best of Chen was in the semi-final of the 2009 China Open when Chen was obviously bothered by a thigh injury late in the match.

“He started to do something with his toe as well this time,” said Jorgensen afterward, but the Dane denied that this took anything away from his accomplishment.

“This was a hard-fought win. I just kept to the plan, playing him around the court. My coaches kept telling me physically I was in better condition and to just keep doing what I was doing and it would work out.

Chen Jin (Day 2)“The physical aspect of my game is one of my big strengths but to believe that from the beginning is very difficult, mentally, to do against the Chinese because you know you have to play at least an hour and ten to beat them.

“I could see that in the second game. You believe in yourself when you see that he’s struggling more than you.”

With this promising win coming after his second Copenhagen Masters title last week, Jorgensen is making a promising start to 2012 after a year that did not see him in one semi-final past the International Challenge level.

“At the beginning of 2011, I had a toe injury. I was struggling with that for a while. Then I got going for the early summer tournaments and had a second and first round against Lin Dan and Chen Long. You have to get the draws, too, when you’re not seeded. I was feeling good but then had to get out and play against two of the top players in the game.

“Then I got the hamstring injury just before the Worlds. A tough summer – my mom died as well, just before the Worlds.

“Many things have happened in 2011 – a bad year! - many bad things, both personally and professionally.

Jorgensen (Day 2 01)“It gives you a kind of a tough skin. You have to break down and I think that’s where I am now, I’m reaching the end of the tunnel.”

Jorgensen is now just over 5000 points out of the crucial top 16 where he needs to be to qualify for the Olympics. He is actually third amongst Danes in Olympic qualification points but his total comes from only 8 tournaments.

“This win means a lot. When you’re down there in the 20 to 15 range, a quarter-final at a Superseries can really help a lot.

“I’m pretty confident that I will be in the top 16. I know I have the game, I just need to get the right draws - that’s very important – and when you get a chance like this, you have to take it.

“I think I have been pretty good at that. Going into Japan and China, I was in really bad form - I hadn’t trained at all - and I reached the quarter-finals. I’m good at performing when I have to.

“Now I have to get something to eat and get my body going again because that was a really tough game. And I think I’ll ask my coach who I’m playing next and we’ll take it from there.”

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