Jordan Kan Smash ‘em with the Best

A badminton player who taught himself to play by watching YouTube clips won gold earlier this week.

Jordan Kan from New Zealand began playing seven years ago and has had no formal training. He used to watch Chinese and Korean coaches explain techniques and tactics on YouTube.

The unusual training has obviously paid off and Kan shrugs off his lack of professional coaching as no big deal.

“I used to play basketball so I have got quick movements,” he said.

“If you have a sense of movement or a feeling for getting in to position, you can do well.”

The 43-year-old came up against Clinton Badger of Hobart in the gold medal match for the open men’s singles 35+. Badger is the number one ranked badminton player in the tournament.

It was a nail-biting thriller of a match. Both players were evenly matched shot for shot, smash for smash until the scores were 29 all. Eventually Kan prevailed though, taking the match 30 to 29.

Of his opponent, Kan said: “He’s really good.

“He’s well trained; he’s got a good tempo.

“To beat him, I took a high risk and focused on our differences.

“He was showing signs of fatigue and couldn’t take long shots. It was all about tactics.”

This is Kan’s first Alice Springs Masters Games. He decided to compete in Australia because in Auckland the badminton competition is small. After two years he found he was playing the same people over and over again.

Kan’s journey to the Alice Springs Masters Games came after a trip to the European Championships in Nice, France last year, and the American Masters in Vancouver Canada a couple of months ago.

While he was impressed with the standard of games at the Alice Springs Masters Games, Kan would have liked to have played more games over the six days of competition.