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June 22, 2015
Birdie, baby and briefcase: Kati Tolmoff does it all

Estonia's Kati Tolmoff (Photo:Getty Images)
by Leman Seferli & Merili Luuk, AIPS Young Reporters

BAKU, June 22, 2015 - A mother, businesswoman and a successful badminton player. Her name is Kati Tolmoff, a badminton player from Estonia. She was born on 3 December in 1983 in Tartu. She started playing badminton when she was just 5 years old. Winning the Estonian National Badminton Champoinship 12 times, she became Estonia’s strongest women badminton player and participated in several international tournaments. “Being 12-time Estonian Champion is my pride.” said Tolmoff.

She announced that she was going to finish her professional career in 2010. “I ended my career because of lack of motivation and money. There was not anything else to do, I only lived and played those times. So I needed something new.”

After finishing her career, she moved to Denmark and started to manage a small cafe there. “I was always interested in food, it was something different, I did not want a job in an office, because I had never done that before. So being at cafe, moving around and meeting, talking to new people every day was very good and refreshing.”

But she could not to stay away from badminton too long. She slowly started play badminton again when she lived Denmark and joined a team there. “I came back to badminton because I realized that I was missing sport. I began to play in Denmark, but I was not a citizen of Denmark, so I could not play at big tournaments there. Then my sister’s husband offered that if I ever want to play National Championships again he would deal with the financial support. I decided to come back to Estonia and start my sports career over again.”

Kati has two children, and because of her intensive sport career she usually stays away from normal life. “Having two children makes so hard to compete in different tournaments, I miss them so much. They usually stay with my family when I compete, but sometimes I bring them to my tournaments. As I have a dense schedule I cannot live my normal life, spend weekends with my children, I should always be training more and more. ” said the athlete.

Now Kati is participating in the European Games, and represents Estonia. On the 10th day of Games she won a match against Irish athlete Chloe Magee, who defeated her at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. “It was really nice to win this match, I felt very confident. So I am going to do my best in Baku.”

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