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2016-04-12 16:05:00 CET

Jerky for the journey

Packing is not always easy for World-Tour-Players – especially when the next stop is called China.

Peeking into the athletes’ suitcases before they leave for a tournament is always interesting. This time particularly because going to China means having some special things on the list.

German players Karla Borger and Britta Büthe packed beef jerky, corned beef and canned tuna. That isn’t usually the main food of the silver medalists of the World Championships 2013 – they just need protein in China, which is confirmed with the World Anti-Doping Agency. “Talking about food in China is very complicated for us,” says Karla. 

That’s what they need for China. Karla Borger (left) and Britta Büthe went on a big shopping-tour in advance. Photo Credit: Borger/Büthe privateThat’s what they need for China. Karla Borger (left) and Britta Büthe went on a big shopping-tour in advance. Photo Credit: Borger/Büthe private

Since 2011 there have been examination from the Center of Preventive Doping Research because of unintentional ingestion of ß2-Agonist Clenbuterol when eating meat products in China or Mexico. In 2014 the World Anti-Doping Agency discovered more Clenbuterol cases, therefore the Agency is expecting the highest sensitivity when it comes to nutrition in these countries. As a result, the athletes have to prepare well, as most of them are in China for two weeks to feature in Open tournaments in Xiamen and Fuzhou.

“Our main course will be rice, I think,” says Toni Hellmuth. The German is traveling to China for the first time in his life. Together with 19-year-old partner Eric Stadie, the 25-year-old will play his first World Tour Tournaments in Xiamen and Fuzhou. Hellmuth and Stadie started in the qualification on Tuesday because Markus Böckermann and Lars Flüggen had to forfeit in Doha. Flüggen injured his meniscus in Doha and as a result, he and his partner Böckermann withdrew from the tournament. Leaving out China is not what the two wanted, but maybe it wasn’t all bad for Böckermann, who likes to have barbecue every second day. “Two weeks China are quite a challenge,” says the German team doctor Michael Tank. “You shouldn’t eat any cultured essentials.”

Toni Hellmuth (GER) off to his first World Tour journey; Photo Credit: Yanina WeilandToni Hellmuth (GER) off to his first World Tour journey; Photo Credit: Yanina Weiland

But not all athletes are as careful as the Germans. Aleksandrs Samoilovs does not understand the excitement.  “My list for China is mostly the same as for other tournaments,” says the experienced traveler. “I don't take any extra food or nutrition. I like Asian cuisine and I usually find good places to eat.”

When looking at Karla’s pictures, the Latvian laughed a little: “Most of the stuff Karla has you can buy in any supermarket in China,” he says. “That could be true,” agrees Karla. “But I love eating things from home.”

Furthermore, it’s the responsibility of every athlete to prevent substances which could be tested positively, so it’s maybe better to be safe than sorry.

Anyway, the ‘Lion King’ has another hot tip about packing the suitcase for Xiamen and Fuzhou. “A Chinese adapter is probably the only different thing from other tours – and Chinese currency,” he says. “It’s hard to change it in China, you can change money only in one national bank.”

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