Suffolk Saxons badminton team have today announced Olympian and women’s singles badminton legend, Tine Baun, as their latest signing — and confirmed she will be available to make her debut in Monday’s home fixture in Ipswich.
The former three times women’s singles Yonex All England champion, has had a stellar career, and is coming out of retirement to play for the Suffolk Saxons, who are sponsored by the University of Suffolk, in the AJ Bell National Badminton League.
During her career, the 37-year-old Danish international managed to climb all the way to the top and rank as the world’s best women’s singles player and has an incredible 10 national championship medals hanging on her trophy wall.
“I’m really looking forward to playing in the league,” Baun said. “I’ve only heard good and inspiring things about it. I still love and enjoy playing badminton and England is one of my favorite countries to play in. I’ll give my best for the team and I hope I can give them victories.”
As well as winning three golds at the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships in 2008, 2010 and 2013, her achievements include several Super Series medals, including gold in Malaysia and Singapore.
She won the 2007 Japan Open beating all Chinese-born players from the first match, including the 1st seed, Zhang Ning of China, in the quarterfinal. She also won the 2008 Singapore Super Series, beating Zhou Mi of Hongkong in the final.
She won the silver medal at the 2008 European Championships and a gold medal at the 2010 and 2012 European Championships after beating Juliane Schenk of Germany in both finals.
At the 2012 London Olympics, she reached the quarter finals, and she ended her career on a high by winning the prestigious Yonex All England against 18-year-old Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand. It was her third All England title and fourth time of reaching the final.
After retiring, Baun joined the Europe All Stars Team to participate in the Axiata Cup in 2013 and she played at the Indian Badminton League for the Mumbai Masters team.
She continues to play in Denmark at club level, inspiring and developing the younger generation who are able to train and play against her, and she’s also currently studying.
Anthony Clark, head coach for the Saxons said of his latest signing: “I remember Tine the whole way through my career as someone to really aspire to.
“Early on in her career, she had a horrible Achilles heel injury, but came back from that stronger, fitter, with unbelievable determination, and the mentality that she could beat anyone.
“I think it sometimes takes an injury to put you on the right track and this certainly happened for Tine…it brought out all her skills and power, to take on the best in the world.”
He added: “She brings pure quality to the team, and she may not be as quick as she was, but she’s one of the best players that Europe has ever produced and it’s incredibly exciting to have her on our team. With her skills, her power and her mentality, the quality of badminton we can expect from Tine will be outstanding.”
The news about Baun comes off the back of another stunning Saxon’s victory, against Loughborough Lightning earlier this week, and sets up an exciting clash with fellow AJ Bell NBL newcomers Bristol Jets at home at the Ipswich Corn Exchange on Monday (December 5).
* Tickets are available from the Ipswich Corn Exchange box office www.apps.ipswich.gov.uk or call 01473 433100.