That's dedication. source: http://english.cntv.cn/english/special/news/20101119/107831.shtml Yara Azad Abdulhamid: Iraq's one-man badminton team 11-19-2010 14:33 BJT Special Report:Guangzhou Asian Games | With the scoreboard reading 18 to 17, and only three points left before match point, Iraqi badminton player Yara Azad Abdulhamid swung his racket and sent a shot towards the backcourt. Hu Yun, Abdulhamid’s first singles opponent from Hong Kong, dared not to be careless since the score between the two players had been close from the very beginning. Not only were the Chinese spectators who watched this men’s singles match in the last-16 knockout round of the badminton competition at the Guangzhou Asian Games surprised, but Hu Yun, who had trained with the Chinese national team, also felt a little surprised. After hitting his last shot into the net, Hu smiled in a self-mocking way while he picked up the shuttlecock. It seems that he had to adjust his mentality in such a tough match. It is not surprising because no one was familiar with Abdulhamid. Even on the match day, Abdulhamid was the only one that showed up at the court, even without a coach. In the surrounding player seats, there were no teammates except for several fans rooting for him. "I'm the only one on the Iraq national badminton team," Abdulhamid said, "this is the eighth time I have participated in international competitions. The Asian Games is the largest comprehensive event I have participated in." Badminton is not a particularly popular sport in Iraq. People there like football more. Abdulhamid said that he also would like to play football in his spare time, but is usually very busy. "I train 10 hours a day and five days a week," Abdulhamid said, "I do not have much time to engage in other sports." Abdulhamid is the 228th ranked player in the world; Hu is ranked 17th. Therefore, Hu quickly steadied the ship as he adapted to Abdulhamid’s pitch of shots and won the first set 21 to 18. In the second set, Hu did not give any chances to Abdulhamid and won in about 10 minutes by a score of 21 to 9. "I think I played fairly well." Abdulhamid said, "There are many reasons why I lost the match. I’m not quite used to the venue here." It is not surprising. Abdulhamid did not have sufficient time to adapt to the venue before the match. Iyad Najaf Elias, head of the Iraqi delegation at the Asian Games, said earlier that in order to save expenses, Abdulhamid was not in the first batch of players to arrive at the venues. However, Abdulhamid said that he felt his performance was satisfactory. "My goal is the 2012 London Olympic Games. Failure this time will bring me much more experience than numerous training sessions." 24-year-old Abdulhamid was born in Iran and he said that an important reason for him to continue in badminton is his parents' expectations. Both Abdulhamid’s parents are badminton enthusiasts. Under their guidance, Abdulhamid had loved the sport that originated in England but shone in Asia when he was a child. In order to achieve his Olympic dream, Abdulhamid accepted the invitation of the Iraq national team to become a professional badminton player. However, he is the only player on the team. In the absence of coaches, he had to train with a club in Malaysia, and unlike Hu and other players, he is the only one from his team to take part in the games, and cannot receive timely coaching during matches or on the courts. After the 26-minute match, Abdulhamid bid farewell to the Guangzhou Asian Games. Although he had participated in other international competitions as a doubles player, now he has lost the chance to compete for a higher place at the Asian Games. "It is not important whether or not I'm the only player, but the key is that I like badminton," Abdulhamid said.