There’s been a new name for Jordan sports fans to follow this season. Baha Shneik has regularly won medals on the international Badminton circuit where he has shot up the world rankings to become the third ranked Arab player.
It has been an astonishing year for the 20-year-old who has focussed his competition on the African tour where it is cheaper to participate, thus allowing him to compete in more events to win more ranking points. It has paid off, but the youngster has come a long way to be in the position he is today.
When he started out eight years ago, it was tough financially and logistically for him due to his home being in Zarqa, but he prevailed and is reaping the rewards.
“I'm so happy now because I am able to play something that I really love at a very high level,” said Baha.
“It has been a tough and challenging road for me right from the start. I was living in Zarqa and needed money to pay for the transportation. As a student I was struggling but nothing could stop me from doing what I love to do.”
He praised his coach, Yousef Abu Munthr, who he said has been “phenomenal” in standing behind him throughout his career to date.
Success has come in singles and doubles and most recently he teamed up with Nayef Mansour to secure silver in Egypt. “I want to achieve so much more. My dream is to lead the world rankings and be in a World Championship.
I want Jordan to be proud of me.” Since Jordan’s first Olympics participation in 1980, Badminton has never been represented and that is something Baha is keen to change.
“No one has ever played Badminton for Jordan at an Olympic Games because the qualification is so tough,” he said. “But I know that I can do it if I continue to work hard. I will fight for my dreams to come true.”