By Alexandra Chen
The swooshing of racquets.
The pluck of strings signifying strong hits.
Grunts of “Got it!”
The squeaks of skidding sneakers.
These sounds are what junior Claudia Lim hears and creates herself as she flies across the badminton court.
At one of the nine badminton courts, Lim and her partner, junior Rebecca Shum, walk towards each other, clank their racquets together, and exchange quick slaps. Immediately after their small display of unity, the two girls crouch into position, ready to take on the birdie’s next assault.
As the birdies soars over the net to the pair’s side, Shum reaches up to whack the birdie and Lim waits, tensed up, ready to back her partner up. As the birdie is deflected back to Lim and Shum’s side of the court, Lim leaps forward, slams the birdie and scores.
Lim has been playing doubles ever since she joined the varsity badminton team freshman year. People who try out for the team constantly note Lim’s skillful playing. “We were playing Queen of the Court, and she was just like ‘wham’ and then you were out,” freshman Emily Liang confirmed.
Lim said, “I guess I’m okay, but I have my weak points. I play doubles because my partner fills up my weak points.”
Lim and Shum have been partners since last year. Lim said, “Sometimes, you have different personalities, and you can’t get along. When you can’t get along, you can’t improve. I work well with my partner right now because [Shum] understands me. Besides, she’s also my best friend.”
Shum echoed Lim’s opinion, saying, “Communication is really important to working together.”
Lim’s father first introduced her to badminton. However, at that time, Lim wasn’t really into the sport. She wanted to indulge in other activities and only played on weekends with her father. Lim became dedicated to the sport when she first tried out for the badminton team during freshman year, which she considers the beginning of her badminton career.
By joining the team, Lim learned several important lessons. She said, “I learned how to control my temper and keep a cool head because when you get angry, you start losing points and missing shots.”
Coach Allison Gottfried has not decided on the team captain yet. Many teammates feel that Lim will one day be captain, whether it is this year or next year. While Lim would like to be captain, she said she wouldn’t mind if she didn’t receive the title. When asked about what she would do as a leader on the team, Lim said, “I would be more open to people. I’m determined to help.”
Lim’s main priority at the moment is improving her badminton skills and achieving her set goals. She said, “I’m hoping to get into semifinals for counties. I went there last year but barely made it. I want to have a match against the county winner who beat my seniors last year. It’s a test of skill.”