TuksBadminton: Bongani von Bodenstein off to Commonwealth Games

Ashley Magwindiri

Bongani von Bodenstein, a third year UP student, qualified for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in April. Perdeby had the opportunity to chat with Bongani von Bodenstein about his overall success.


Are you self-taught or did you get lessons from a master?
Fortunately growing up, I had people who taught me the basics and helped [me] get a jump start on my badminton career. Just to name a few, the late David Banks, Martie, Daniel Sibeko, Billy and Ruby Caper, Chris­tina Caldeira, Michelle Butler Emmett and Stewart Carson.


What does your average week of training look like?
Monday mornings start at 04:30 with sprints followed by gym at 07:30 and then training on court later at 17:30. Tuesdays are a little better as I’m in gym by 07:30 cycling and strengthening, and training at 17:30. On Wednesday I follow the Monday routine, Thursday it’s the Tuesday routine, then Fridays are gym days and lastly Saturdays are game days with my friend and partner Ruan Snyman.


During a game, it’s easy to lose sight of your primary objectives. How do you keep yourself in check?
Whenever I feel distracted on court I simply start praying quietly to calm my mind and then readjust my focus.


In addition to being crowned a triple champion in 2016 and 2017, this season has been remarkable for you. What has been the secret behind your success?
Honestly the “secret” behind my success is God. To elaborate, everything I do, I do to glorify his name, he has blessed me with this talent and it’s a privilege to showcase this talent for him... I may train slightly harder than some players but it’s the faith that makes the difference in my opinion.


Your hard work has propelled you to the top. Which one of your victories would you say was the most rewarding and why?
I would say it was being crowned triple champ in 2017 at the USSA because I was injured two weeks prior to the tournament and I wasn’t at a 100%, but winning and becoming one of the few people to win triple champ back to back really brought me joy.


Many players have routines and habits when they play badminton. Do you have any thing you do before a game?
I like to pray in a quiet place to calm myself down, then I listen to hip hop music to pump me up and lastly I listen to worship music and begin envisioning the game and victory.


You have proven yourself to be a winner, what would you like to achieve next year?
Next year is the Olympic qualifying year and I would like to balance my studies and get my world ranking to top 120 in the world, and top three in Africa.


Photo: Prince Jiane

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