For a remote country like Greenland, the TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2019 is a huge deal.
To have the opportunity to play in the badminton-crazed nation of China, on a court parallel to the home team, was a new experience for all the players.
Greenland opened their campaign against Macau in Group 4. Even though they suffered a 5-0 defeat, the players were clearly seizing every moment.
“That was unreal. The venue is very big and the crowd was so loud. It was all really new for us,” said doubles player Frederik Elsner.
“That was the toughest thing I’ve ever done. The lights, the noise, the atmosphere. But it was a really fantastic experience,” added Sara Lindskov Jacobsen.
Most of the team has competed at the Iceland International – a BWF Future Series event in January – but until this day, Iceland had been the limit of their travel when competing on the international stage.
The team has its fair share of barriers to participation at an elite level, with funding and transport making local tournaments in Europe the most accessible and realistic opportunities.
“In Greenland, we have one international airport and flights are incredibly expensive. It’s extremely hard for us to get around so this opportunity to play in China is really special for us,” said Jens-Frederik Nielsen.
“Luckily, most of us live in the capital so we manage to train together easily, but the Sudirman Cup is really for the benefit of our younger players and we hope they can get to this level in the future.”
Greenland plays Kazakhstan in their only other fixture on Tuesday.
For full results, click here.