ODENSE: Kim Bruun is an unusual badminton player.
The 20-year-old is of Korean descent but doesn’t speak the language and spent almost his entire life in Denmark.
He was adopted by a Danish family when he was just three months old.
“I’m actually adopted and I do not know who my real parents are. My adoptive parents are Danish, although my father is of Chinese descent. I grew up in Copenhagen,” said Bruun.
Growing up in a country where badminton flourishes inspired Bruun to pursue a career in the sport.
In fact he enjoyed a successful junior career, winning the Danish national juniors twice, when he was 17 and 19. He was also a European Under-17 finalist in 2009, losing out to current world No. 21 Viktor Axelsen.
Bruun, playing in his maiden Super Series event – the ongoing Denmark Open, also showed glimpses of his brilliance by beating compatriot and former world No. 10 Joachim Persson in the first qualifying round.
He nearly made a fairytale run to the main draw but was ultimately stopped by South Korea’s Lee Dong-keun, losing 9-21, 21-18, 18-21 in 62 minutes. World No. 37 Dong-keun will face world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei in the first round of the main draw.
“It is a little disappointing, failing to make the main draw in my first Super Series event,” said Bruun who is ranked No. 123 in the world.
“I was very happy with the way I played against Joachim who has tons of experience but I got off to a bad start against Dong-keun.
“I thought if I could just focus I could do it but it’s really hard, mentally.
“It’s a little sad because I badly wanted to make the main draw and have a go at Chong Wei.
“But this defeat doesn’t mean I’ll give up. I’ll continue to work hard and get my rankings up, which is most important right now,” he said.
Bruun is currently not part of the Danish national team and he trains on his own at an academy in Copenhagen.
If he keeps up the impressive performance he demonstrated in the two qualifying rounds, it will not be long before Bruun starts making strides on the international stage.