Zimao’s new target: To improve English language skills

Five gold medals in two weeks.

China’s Qu Zimao is returning home from the best ever two weeks of his career—the Fazza-Dubai Para Badminton International and Turkish International. There was a lot of satisfaction, pride and motivation. After the great start to the year, the19-year-old rising star now looks to continue his winning momentum.

“It was the first time I won three gold medals in a tournament (Antalya, Turkey). So, it is a great feeling,” an ecstatic Zimao told the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC). “I wanted to make it three-for-three here too, but two gold is also very good. So, I am going home with five golds,” the 19-year-old said after taking the WH1 singles and mixed doubles WH1-WH2 gold in Dubai. He took the singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles titles in the first tournament of the year, in Antalya, Turkey.

“This year is important. And I am aiming to play every tournament with 100 per cent effort. But after playing long matches in these two tournaments, I am little tired now,” he added, eager to go home.

However, the first thing he wants to improve after returning home is improve his English language skills.

“My English is very poor. I want to improve the language before Tokyo 2020, so that I can communicate well with my opponents, make some new friends. So, once I return home, I will be taking classes from our English teacher in our academy in Beijing,” said the promising shuttler who lives in Shijiazhuang of Chinese Province Hebei.

Lin Dan and Shoes

Having followed the games of badminton legends like Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei closely, Zimao said he has learnt different playing styles—attack and counter-attack—from the two giants. “I am so happy; Lin Dan won the Malaysian Open again. He is a living legend. I love him so much. I follow his matches on live stream.”

Zimao, who is studying computer science in junior college, loves watching cartoon movies during his free time. He also has an interesting hobby of collecting shoes. “Currently, I have a pair of Nike Kyrie 5 Black Magic and Air Jordan 1 Retro High OC. There are many in the list. I will have them soon, once I have more money,” he laughs.

On his training, the youngster, who has been playing the sport for five years now, said: “The preparation for Tokyo 2020 has already started. And I am focused to improve my stamina and pace.”

“For me, the target will be winning the gold at the World Championships and then, Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. The aim will be to take one step at a time,” Zimao said adding his Korean opponent Chan Ho Yeun will be his main opponent in the road ahead.

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