Meet Elias, Tahiti’s 14-Year-Old Sudirman Cup Starlet

Elias Maublanc 3First-time finalists Tahiti will be turning to youth at this weekend’s TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup 2021, where eight of their players are below 20 years old.

Fourteen-year-old Elias Maublanc is one of those set to make his international debut, a step in realising his “dream of becoming the world’s greatest player”.

Upon hearing the news of his selection from his mother, his reaction was: “Why didn’t you tell me earlier, I only have a month so now I’m training even more than usual.”

Maublanc admires Lin Dan.

Following in the footsteps of older brothers Antoine and Louis Beaubois, who have represented Tahiti on numerous occasions, Maublanc is excited to put his seven years of playing under them to test in one of the biggest ways possible.

Unlike most of the players in Vantaa, Finland, Maublanc has been spending his weeks of preparation cramming in extra training sessions before school daily and sticking to a stringent schedule.

“I wake up at 4.30am and practice physical training before leaving for school at 6am. When I go back home at 2.45pm, I’ll finish my homework and continue training,” he said.

“If not, I watch matches on YouTube to correct my moves or strategy. Most nights I get to practice from 6-7.30pm. I usually keep watching and learning from matches online until I fall asleep.

“I like everything that constitutes badminton; the sound of the shuttlecock, the sound of your shoes on the floor, the speed, the strategy, the mindset, every little thing.”

It’s bound to be an inspirational yet awakening experience for the teenager, who is set to take on teams boasting Olympic and world champions.

“We know we are going to face some of the best in the world so we don’t have unrealistic expectations. We hope the players gain a lot from the experience that will motivate them for future events,” says Tahiti coach Léo Cucuel.

Tahiti had featured at the 2017 edition in Gold Coast, Australia but were not among the elite group competing for the title. In Finland, they will start their Group B campaign against Chinese Taipei on 26 September before taking on four-time champions Korea and Germany later in the week.

The team will then travel to Denmark for the TotalEnergies BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2020 (9-17 October 2021).

The men’s squad has a particularly tough draw, having to take on top seeds China in Group C. Maublanc is however, elated to be matched up against the team that developed his all-time favourite player Lin Dan.

“I’m impressed by his calmness on court, he’s really different from others. When I want to correct something on my footwork or technique, I principally watch his matches.”

** First published on Badminton Oceania website by Tom Leonard.

Sudirman Cup News

Enjoy Aarhus ‘Live’ from Your Living Room

Enjoy Aarhus ‘Live’ from Your Living Room

9 October 2021
Momota Yet to Regain Confidence, Says Coach Park

Momota Yet to Regain Confidence, Says Coach Park

5 October 2021
‘Once You Step Away from Podium, You Start from Zero Again’

‘Once You Step Away from Podium, You Start from Zero Again’

4 October 2021
China Ace Final Test

China Ace Final Test

4 October 2021
Momota Falls but Japan Ride Malaysian Challenge

Momota Falls but Japan Ride Malaysian Challenge

3 October 2021
Smooth Ride for China into Final

Smooth Ride for China into Final

2 October 2021
Young Malaysians Upstage Indonesia’s Stars

Young Malaysians Upstage Indonesia’s Stars

2 October 2021
Heroic Heo Sets Up Korean Triumph

Heroic Heo Sets Up Korean Triumph

1 October 2021
‘Stopping This Just Kills You Inside’

‘Stopping This Just Kills You Inside’

1 October 2021
Momota Strikes Big in Japan’s Victory Over Malaysia

Momota Strikes Big in Japan’s Victory Over Malaysia

1 October 2021
Vitidsarn Surprises Shi Yu Qi But China Top Group

Vitidsarn Surprises Shi Yu Qi But China Top Group

30 September 2021
Teen Prospects Get the Stage in Vantaa

Teen Prospects Get the Stage in Vantaa

29 September 2021
Momota Overcomes Shaky Start; Japan Blank England

Momota Overcomes Shaky Start; Japan Blank England

29 September 2021
Indonesia Clinch Tie but Brian Yang Steals Show

Indonesia Clinch Tie but Brian Yang Steals Show

28 September 2021
Young Malaysians Take on the World

Young Malaysians Take on the World

27 September 2021
Indonesia Seek Trophy They Have Not Won Since 1989

Indonesia Seek Trophy They Have Not Won Since 1989

27 September 2021
Finns Cherish Positives Despite Opening Loss

Finns Cherish Positives Despite Opening Loss

26 September 2021
Put the Headphones on for ‘Live’ Badminton Experience

Put the Headphones on for ‘Live’ Badminton Experience

26 September 2021
Denmark Are a Tricky Team, Says Axelsen

Denmark Are a Tricky Team, Says Axelsen

25 September 2021
England Geared to Spark in Vantaa

England Geared to Spark in Vantaa

25 September 2021
Group D Preview: Japan Have Point to Prove

Group D Preview: Japan Have Point to Prove

24 September 2021
Group C Preview: ROC Could Spring a Surprise

Group C Preview: ROC Could Spring a Surprise

22 September 2021
Group B Preview: Chinese Taipei in Tricky Terrain

Group B Preview: Chinese Taipei in Tricky Terrain

21 September 2021
Sudirman Cup Offers Praneeth Fresh Start

Sudirman Cup Offers Praneeth Fresh Start

21 September 2021
Group A Preview: Thailand-India Clash Likely to be Decisive

Group A Preview: Thailand-India Clash Likely to be Decisive

20 September 2021
Time for Young Guns to Shine

Time for Young Guns to Shine

18 September 2021
Sudirman Cup: Teams Field Star-Studded Line-Ups

Sudirman Cup: Teams Field Star-Studded Line-Ups

15 September 2021
Sudirman Cup: Finland Face China in Opening Tie

Sudirman Cup: Finland Face China in Opening Tie

8 September 2021
Sudirman Cup: China Drawn With Thailand, Finland, India

Sudirman Cup: China Drawn With Thailand, Finland, India

25 August 2021
Egypt Qualify to Sudirman Cup Finals

Egypt Qualify to Sudirman Cup Finals

4 March 2021
On This Day: Korea Snap 10-Year Chinese Dominance

On This Day: Korea Snap 10-Year Chinese Dominance

28 May 2020
PARTNERS