Foo Kune

Rio de Janeiro, Aug 16 (IANS) Kate Foo Kune of Mauritius knows she owes the sport of badminton a personal debt far more costly than her early exit from the women’s singles competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“Without the game of badminton I wouldn’t exist,” Foo Kune said after her match against Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen of Australia on Saturday, reports Xinhua.

“I owe everything to badminton and I’m trying to give it back.”

The 23-year-old shuttler from Mauritius beat Chen but suffered a straight games loss to No. 12 seed Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand on Sunday evening.

“My parents met playing badminton when they were kids so it’s kind of a cute story. They got in the national team and said, ‘Let’s play mixed doubles together’ and won a few tournaments like the Indian Ocean Games,” said Foo Kune, who is ranked No. 65 in the world.

“Then they decided to get married and make two daughters and, obviously, they both had to play badminton.”

The eldest daughter, Karen Foo Kune, represented Mauritius at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and played with Kate in the women’s doubles at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games. “She is retired so now it’s my turn,” Foo Kune said.

Foo Kune lives in Paris but still has fond memories from a childhood surrounded by badminton paraphernalia.

“At home in Mauritius, our whole house is covered with rackets and shuttlecocks. My parents even made the burglar bars in the windows as a badminton shuttlecock. So everything in my house is really badminton and I grew up with the sport.”

To reach Rio de Janeiro from Mauritius, Foo Kune’s parents travelled overnight via Cape Town in South Africa. Her own journey to her first Olympic Games was even more exhausting.

“I haven’t had a day for a holiday for one-and-a-half years because I have been travelling around the world, trying to win points to come here. So this is a dream come true and I am enjoying every second of it,” Foo Kune said.

“After here my dream would be to keep climbing the world rankings and maybe get into the top 30 in the world. I guess I just need to get better.”

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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