Wednesday, 27 August 2014 | MYT 6:40 AM
Lang brightens up world meet with new looks
Ville Lang posing for a photograph after beating Israel’s Misha Zilberman 11-21, 21-14, 21-14.
COPENHAGEN: There are many colourful characters in the popular Han Christian Andersen’s fairytales and shuttler Ville Lang could easily be one from the famed Danish author’s storybooks.
On Tuesday, the 29-year-old Finnish shuttler surprised everyone when he turned up for his first round match in the World Championships at the Ballerup Super Arena sporting an unusual look for a badminton player – with his long hair, bushy beard and a bandana with a dragon-motif.
The new-look must have given him some extra motivation – as he fought hard to beat Israel’s Misha Zilberman 11-21, 21-14, 21-14 to make it to the second round.
Lang said that his new look was meant to add some colour – and fun – to the sport.
“I’ve never had long hair like this. I did not cut it for a couple of months. It is a refreshing move for me ... to try something new,” said the Finn in his deep, rough voice.
Lang is not a new face in badminton, having brightened up the scene with his courageous displays for the last 10 years.
“I have competed in every world meet since 2005 (in Anaheim) and in two Olympic Games (2008 Beijing and 2012 London),” said the world No. 45, who has won 12 titles in the European circuit.
“My most memorable moment was playing against Lee Chong Wei at the London Olympic Games (group match). I managed to take a game off him ... that, to me, was exciting.”
He said that it was “career highlights like this” that have kept him going although he has had to fund himself for the last decade.