Laura Sarosi – Fair play girl finally makes it to Rio

The BWF announced that tripartite spots had not been allocated in women’s singles, hence, giving chances for the next higher ranked shuttlers to qualify – amongst them, Laura Sarosi from […]

The BWF announced that tripartite spots had not been allocated in women’s singles, hence, giving chances for the next higher ranked shuttlers to qualify – amongst them, Laura Sarosi from Hungary. The shuttler had made the headlines for her incredible fair play spirit during the European Championships, when she gave her spare shoes to her opponent Karin Schnaase. Sarosi later lost that match, losing a chance to qualify directly for the Rio Olympics…. Badzine talked to Laura this morning to find out about her feelings after finding out she had finally qualified for the Olympics.

By Raphael Sachetat. Photos: Laura Sarosi and Badmintonphoto

Badzine: First of all, what went through your mind when Karin broke her shoe?

Laura Sarosi: First of all, I thought she must have another pair with her so I went to talk to my but then I saw she didn’t have any. Then it came up to my mind that I had an other pair of shoes with me. So I asked her what size she was wearing (I wasn’t sure because she is shorter than me) and she had the same size so I immediately gave her my shoes.

Badzine: At any time, did you think that, by giving her your shoes, you were putting your qualification for Rio in danger?

Sarosi: I hadn’t  thought about it at all. I just knew that I had another pair with me. My dream was to qualify, but not like that, if she couldn’t continue. I wanted to beat her again, then I would have had enough points to qualify in the first list and not be on the waiting list.

Badzine: What happened after you lost? Did you regret having given your spare shoes?

Sarosi: No, I didn’t regret giving her my shoes!! I lost and I could feel a bit relieved as this year was mentally and physically really tiring. But being on the waiting list was really terrible.

Badzine: How did you feel when you saw all the posts on social networks, the online petition, etc.?

Sarosi: I was really surprised!! I read Mark Phelan’s article and I liked it a lot, but I have never thought it was going to be a “big deal” like this!! Because I don’t feel I did something special.  It was just shoes and I believe all the other players would have done the same! Everyone was really proud! I was happy that the German Federation tried to get me a spot in Rio, as a fair play reward, but I’m more happy that I qualified with my world .

Badzine: How important is fair play spirit for you?

Sarosi: Fair-play spirit is important for me, and I feel like more people started to know what badminton is, especially in Hungary after so many interviews and TV shows!

Badzine: How did you feel when you found out that you qualified after all?

Sarosi: I got a call from my Federation’s President on the 15th of May – I was waking up to his call. On one hand, I was unbelievably happy, but on the other hand, my first question was if my boyfriend (Lino Munoz from Mexico) who is also trying to qualify was also in. And he is not…yet, but I hope he is also going to make it. He is the first on the waiting list right now…

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.