The Swiss para-badminton player won two medals in this year’s BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in Tokyo. Mathez talks about the preparations in the lead-up to the big event and what’s next for her.
Hailing from Bernese Jura in Switzerland, Cynthia Mathez was always drawn to sports. Having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she ventured into the world of Para-badminton, competing in the women's singles WH 1 and women's doubles WH 1 – WH 2 events.
Mathez’s first BWF Para-Badminton World Championships were in 2017. Just a year later, the Swiss player would go on to become the women’s doubles WH 1 – WH 2 2018 European Champion with Karin Suter-Erath.
Fast-forwarding to 2022, Mathez would go on to win not one, but two medals at the World Championships. “I have not yet assimilated that I am the vice-world champion, I think that I still need time to process it. I have to be honest, without the Chinese players, it was easier to win a medal in my category, also in women’s doubles”, Mathez admitted.
It was a great tournament for her and many other players from the continent, with Europe taking home a great number of medals. There have been many Para tournaments throughout the year, culminating in the biggest yearly competition to crown the world’s best — this time, in Tokyo, where the Olympics took place one year before.
“My specific preparation for the World Championships started after the Thailand Para-Badminton International. I spent more than four weeks in India in an academy with some para players who welcomed me wonderfully. Then, everything went very quickly, all the preparation and work to arrive at this second place on the podium”, Mathez explained.
The player emphasises all the effort behind those moments of pure joy in the awarding ceremony and does not forget about those that have accompanied her along the way to these victories. “I feel very well surrounded by my coaches and training partners, and I am very grateful to them. We never win alone”.
With less than two years to go for the 2024 Paralympics, there are many players that have already set their eyes on the biggest sports event in the world. The road to Paris will be long, with many stops along the way, and Mathez is preparing for whatever comes her way. “The next tournament for me will be Spanish Para-Badminton International and then I will not stop until Paris 2024. My goal is to go there, so tournament training, regular training, and tournaments will be in my program. I trust my coaches, who have already done the planning”.
2022 has been busy for the Swiss player, filled with new experiences and a lot of trips, including tournaments in Bahrain, Dubai, Ireland, and Thailand. In fact, Mathez was the women’s singles WH 1 runner-up in all of them, with great achievements in women’s doubles WH 1 – WH 2 too.
When it comes to the main takeaways from this hectic and inspiring year, she says: “I learned that I must have more confidence in myself and accept my results. This year went by very quickly so summarising it will be easy; it has been emotional, fast, different, and incredible”.
In 2023, we will have 12 World Circuit Para-badminton events and one to look forward to is the European Para Games 2023, set to take place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, from 15 until 20 August. There are still many important wins to claim and Mathez knows what’s the most important thing to focus on to achieve her goals, no matter if short-term or long-term.
“There is no secret. To succeed, you have to work.”
For daily updates about her life and training, follow Cynthia Mathez on
Instagram @cynthia_mathez, or read more about her on her website.