BALLINTEER’S Scott Evans set himself up for the 2014 badminton World Championships in Copenhagen at the end of August in the best possible fashion as he took gold last week at the Brazil Grand Prix in Rio de Janeiro.
En route to the title, he dispatched the Czech Republic number one before beating number one seed Henri Hurskainen, from Sweden, in the semi-finals before getting the better of German number two Dieter Domke in the final.
In that decider, Evans showed incredible fighting spirit by coming back after losing the first two games, taking the final three games to win the Grand Prix title which will no doubt go down as the biggest victory of his career so far.
The upshot of the tournament sees Evans break into the world’s top 50 players, and has given the 26-year-old a big psychological boost ahead of the worlds.
“I know I can beat guys like this but I have never really had a run where I beat them back-to-back,” he told GazetteSport. “I have found it hard to continue a high level, playing better and better as you go on in a tournament.
“I struggled with that but this was a great week for me; I played well but also learned a lot of things about myself and how to deal with going through a tournament.”
He attributes his recent improvements to working with Peter Gade, a hugely decorated former world number one player, who he now works with on a daily basis.
In the wake of the 2012 Olympics in London, Evans made the decision to commute from his Copenhagen base to Milton Keynes, England to train with the GB squad between tournaments.
It proved a costly endeavour and so when the opportunity arose to work with the now retired Gade – who was working as a youth coach at Evans’ Danish club – it proved the perfect reason to return full-time to Copenhagen.
“Life was always going to be in Copenhagen so this made the decision to move back so much easier. To work with one of the most famous players in badminton every day is huge.
“I’m improving a lot in my game but also mentally. That would have been an area I needed to work on. Every week I work with Gade, I improve in certain areas.”
As such, he is confident he will be in good shape for the Olympic qualification process that starts in May 2015 and Evans is upbeat ahead of the world championships in his adopted hometown.