She could not be a part of the World Championships but veteran German woman shuttler Juliane Schenk feels proud that the process of breaching the Chinese wall, started by her and Saina Nehwal, is being taken forward by the likes of rising Indian star P V Sindhu and Thailand's Ratchanok Inthanon.
"...it is good to see in this world edition, so many players from different countries do well. I am not surprised to see Ratchanok claiming the gold. It is just interesting," said Schenk when asked for her opinion on Sindhu, who won a bronze, and Inthanon's exploits at the World Championship.
"It makes me feel proud because me and Saina Nehwal started the process of pushing the Chinese," added the German, who was runners up at the Indonesia Open, India Open and German Open this year.
A bronze-medallist at the previous edition in 2011, Schenk missed the World Championship in China due to a feud with German Badminton Association but she said it was a good decision considering the circumstances.
"I didn't play because of what happened with the Association. It was just a good decision for me. They gave me a dismissal and I have nothing more to expect from my country," she said.
"I can't even practice there then why should I represent my country in the world championship when I don't have any support. It doesn't make sense.
"What I experienced is that they try to keep the power. For me, I didn't get fully accepted for the personality I have because I started to change something. I called my retirement till the end of the year. It is impossible to change the whole association. I knew there is no future for me in German, so I had to go pro," she added.Schenk, who won the Singapore Open and Bitburger Open in 2012, said she is happy with the freedom that she is enjoying after turning pro.
"It is kind of freedom. Although I want to play in the World Championship but I think it's good to have this freedom that even though I am world number two, it was okay for me to decide 'no, I don't want to play this World Championship'. It is a totally new feeling for me," said Schenk, who was bought for a whopping USD 90,000 by Pune Pistons in the Indian Badminton League which starts today.
"I don't know what future will bring but I noticed there are many different doors opening up for me. This shows there is a lot of respect when other players ask me to join them in practice. They That is something which gives you good feeling," she said.
"I am happy to be a part of the first edition of IBL. We have a good team. I think it is exciting to get own rhythm, we travel and get the spirit going, get a good bonding and have an exciting time. I am looking forward to it," she added.
Asked about life after Indian Badminton League, Schenk said: "I plan to play in the upcoming months till the end of the year and after that I have to rethink what I need to do. Anything is possible.
"I will play a few selected tournaments. But I still have some duties towards BWF. As a top player, I have to play a certain number of super series."