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Canada aim to upset the favourites

22 July 2002

Canada’s German-born national badminton coach, Gunther Huber, is enjoying the experience of his first Commonwealth Games.

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A veteran coach of the past three Olympic Games, most recently with Canada in Sydney and before with Germany in Atlanta and Barcelona, he is sensing the friendly atmosphere that traditionally surrounds the Commonwealth Games.

“It is different to the Olympics, far more friendly and with a sense of a family atmosphere between everyone,” said Huber.

Canada face tough opposition in the team event after being drawn in the same group as gold medal favourites England and Malaysia, with only one team qualifying for the semi-finals from each group. But it is a challenge Huber is looking forward to.

“We like to play the role of the underdog,” he said. “The pressure is on our opponents and it is good for my young side to feel they have nothing to lose.”

The average age of the Canadian men’s team is 22, but women’s team member Denyse Julien is celebrating her 42nd birthday on Monday, 22 July and making her appearance in a Canadian record sixth Commonwealth Games.

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