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Heriau: I will go there without any pressure

3/28/2020 12:05 PM | |  BEC Staff

Vimala Heriau, 21, is one of France’s hot prospects in the making and one to certainly keeps an eye on. She discusses the current challenges, her ultimate dream, doubles partnerships and a potential career in science after badminton. 

Heriau was part of the national team that won the gold medal at the 2017 European Junior Championships. She won her first senior international title by winning the women's and mixed doubles event at the 2019 Hellas Open. Hériau also was the women's doubles national champion in 2018 and 2020, and continued her progression this year by reaching two tournament finals at the Estonian International and Swedish Open. 

As a young and hungry professional athlete, who is developing at a fast rate, any halting of competitive play can be frustrating, but Heriau takes a mature spin on things. 

- During this period of confinement and after it I will prepare for the next tournaments, and particularly my first European Championship that has been postponed. It will be my first so I will go there without any pressure to get as much experience as I can and try to have good matches as we did these last few months. 

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Young and promising group for 2024

The French badminton project has already captured the attention of many, Heriau comments on this and outlines her aspirations. 

- My overall dream is to go to the Olympics and why not get a medal. I am really happy that in 2024 the Olympics will take place in Paris. I would be so proud to play for my country in the city that I am playing for. I think that we have a really young and promising group for 2024, so we will work hard to be at our best in four years. We show that France is becoming a really good nation in Europe so now it's time to show this also in the international tournaments. 

The top women’s doubles pair in Anne Tran and Emilie Lefel were taken out of action due to the long-term injury for Lefel. With this, would there be potential for a reshuffle? Heriau, currently partnering Margot Lambert, responds. 

- It is true that Anne is without a partner for the moment, but with Margot, we are having good results since the beginning of the year, so our partnership will continue until the end of the season and I am really happy about this because we worked hard together and the results are there. But after this season, the coaches will decide about the new (or not) partnerships, but I am really happy about mine for the moment so it’s not really in my thoughts to change. 

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Mixing it up

In addition to level doubles, Heriau has success in the mixed doubles. Thinking about which category she warms to most, she states. 

-I love playing mixed as it is different than women doubles. I don't really have a draw towards one over the other, we had good results in mixed last year with Fabien (Delrue) and now I am playing well in women’s doubles with Margot, so I do not put any priority. I think it's also fair for both of my partners, they are both really invested in our partnership, so I am trying my best in both as they are. 

When your sporting career is taking off, it is understandable if the athlete focuses all their energy in making this a reality. However, it is impressive to hear from a player who keeps one eye on their future post-career goals. Heriau explains what she is planning. 

- For the moment I am studying Physics, so I would like to work in the research or Engineering after my career if possible. I also love to travel and visit other countries, discover cultures, so it will also be one of my goals after badminton, even if I am already doing this a little bit.

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