Small Town Boy Dreams Big

“Like every other Malaysian kid, I started playing badminton on the street in my neighbourhood. I didn’t think of my disability,” says Mohd Amin Burhanuddin, who hails from Labuan, an island federal territory in East Malaysia.

Now, at 31, he is fifth in the world and fourth in the Race to Paris rankings in the SL4 men’s singles category.

“I never thought I’d be in this position with the possibility of being at the Paralympic Games and maybe even winning a medal. It’s a strange feeling of happiness and awkwardness combined,” said the shuttler born with a right leg defect.

“I didn’t think I could join the Para team because I didn’t know there was a category for me. Then I met a doctor in my hometown who told me I could get checked and classified.”

After being classified in 2019, he joined the Malaysian team, winning his first gold in 2023 at the Bahrain Para Badminton International. It turned out to be a highly successful year as Burhanuddin took silver at the Hangzhou Asian Games, and followed up with another two international titles in Japan and Dubai.

Malaysia’s hope for gold at Paris 2024.

About the two biggest events this year, the BWF Para Badminton World Championships this month (20-25 February in Pattaya, Thailand) and the Paralympic Games in August, Burhanuddin says: “Looking at my ranking, I should qualify for Paris but I’m constantly aware of my health and wellbeing. I’m working on finding the balance between my mental and physical strength on court.

“It’s also hard to maintain this level of self-discipline. It’s easy when I’m in training camp but sometimes I have cheat days, especially when I go back to home-cooked food.”

His competitors will no doubt be wondering if he’s up to the challenge.

“Lucas (Mazur) will be my biggest hurdle. We’ve played three times and I won the last match in Japan but he’s experienced, strong and very fit. He knows exactly what he’s doing no matter who he plays,” said Burhanuddin.

“Then there’s Suhas (Lalinakere Yathiraj), and even though I’ve defeated him several times, he’s good at controlling the game to his advantage. He tends to play a psychological game and moves easily around the court.”

After more than a year on the international scene, Burhanuddin claims to still be in awe of life on the circuit and the travelling.

“It’s a lot of fun but I’m a small-town boy and tend to keep to myself. Most of them have been playing together for a long time so it’s taking me a while to make friends, but my teammates and coaches are amazing. I rely on them a lot and they are happy to share their experience.”

Olympic and Paralympic News

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Para World Champs: Season of Promise for De Marco

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Para World Champs: Chan’s Last Hurrah

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Para World Champs: A Special Moment for Jamporn

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Para World Champs: Faith, Paris Kept Kohli Going

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Para World Champs: Yang’s Speed Floors Seeded Ramli

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In a Class of Her Own

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Wiser Chyrkov Aims Higher

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Aranguiz Finds His Fit

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Ginns Races to Rack Up Points

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The Quest for Paralympic Gold

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Debut Season Thrills Para Badminton Newcomers

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Dubai Para: High Five for China

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Dubai Para: A First for Shin, Joo and Bolaji

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Dubai Para: Jakobs Overlooks the Lows

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Dubai Para: ‘My Shots Were Perfect’

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Dubai Para: Monteiro Focused on Meticulous Planning

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Parapan Am Games: Brazil Dominate

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Rosengren ‘Positive and Happy’ After Malaysia Stint

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Asian Para Games in Pictures

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Western Australia Para: Teenager Puneyani Lands Maiden Title

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Oceania Para: Robinson Captures Three Gold on Comeback

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Para Badminton Circuit Announced for 2024

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French Prodigy Lefort a Real Prospect at Home Paralympics

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European Para Games: Mazur Bags Triple Gold

European Para Games: Mazur Bags Triple Gold

21 August 2023
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Meet the Breakdancer-Turned-Para Shuttler

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4 Nations Para: Trio Claim Double Crown

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4 Nations Para: Helle High on Life After Breakthrough Win

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4 Nations Para: Paris Love Story Inspiring Rogerio and Edwarda

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4 Nations Para: Master Morten Amazed

4 Nations Para: Master Morten Amazed

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4 Nations Para: Home Bliss in Sheffield

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Paris 2024: With a Year to Go, Festive Spirit Pervades

Paris 2024: With a Year to Go, Festive Spirit Pervades

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Badminton Lets Pu Gui Yu Enjoy the World

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African Para: Mariam Bolaji Stars for Nigeria

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Uganda Para: Three-Gold Strike for Donghyun, Alphia James

10 July 2023
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Female Participation Grant Gives Space-Loving Nazaha Out-of-World Experience

27 June 2023
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Canada Para: Bethell Extends Dominance Over Bhagat

19 June 2023
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Bahrain Para: Maiden Title for Burhanuddin; Double for Cheah

24 May 2023
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Thai Para: Daily Discussions Lead to Gold

15 May 2023
Thai Para: Indonesia, Malaysia Halt China’s Domination

Thai Para: Indonesia, Malaysia Halt China’s Domination

14 May 2023
Thai Para: Overcoming the Racket

Thai Para: Overcoming the Racket

13 May 2023
Thai Para: Fast Friends Zooming Forward Together

Thai Para: Fast Friends Zooming Forward Together

13 May 2023
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Thai Para: ‘I Got Tired of Losing’

12 May 2023
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Thai Para: It’s Looking Up for Krajewski

11 May 2023
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Thai Para: Sizing Up the Competition

8 May 2023
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Simon’s Eyes Set on Paris 2024

4 May 2023
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Brazil Para: Nitesh, Murugesan Shine

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Spanish Para: Bethell Brings it Home for the Team

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Spanish Para: Double Winner Kajiwara Keeping it Fun

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Spanish Para: Sooyoung So Good

26 February 2023
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Spanish Para: My Time to Shine, Enthuses Ikhtiar

26 February 2023
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Spanish Para: ‘Anyone’s Playing Field’

25 February 2023
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Spanish Para: It’s All Smiles for Loquette

24 February 2023
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Spanish Para: Patience Key for Self Motivator Bunsun

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Spanish Para: ‘This One’s For You, Bello’

22 February 2023
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Spanish Para: New Season Brings New Faces

21 February 2023
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Para Shuttlers’ Road to Paris Begins in Spain

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Wandschneider/Hellman Chasing Fresh Records

4 January 2023
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23 December 2022
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Para Badminton Events for 2023 Confirmed, Paris 2024 Journey Begins

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Para World Champs: Golden Firsts for Marlina, Kozyna

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Para World Champs: Peru’s Pilar of Strength

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Para World Champs: Ukraine’s Kozyna Creates History

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Para World Champs: Hellman/Wandschneider Script Magic in Tokyo

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Para World Champs: Swiss, Japanese Ladies into Last Four

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Para World Champs: Satomi Dominant as Kajiwara/Murayama Crash Out

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Para World Champs: Baby Not Medals on New Mum Oktila’s Mind

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Para World Champs: Mazur Leads French Charge

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Para World Champs: Ukrainians’ Home Away From Home

2 November 2022
Para World Champs: Two-time Champion McVeigh Hangs up his Racket

Para World Champs: Two-time Champion McVeigh Hangs up his Racket

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Para World Champs: Top Seeds off to Flier

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Para World Champs: Debutants Revel in Representing their Nations

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Para World Champs: Stars Return to Tokyo

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Multiple Paralympic Medallist Czyz Explores Badminton’s Beauty

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Paris 2024: Paralympic Qualification Regulations Released

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