Torjussen 1200

August 16, 2022

Johnnie Torjussen is eager to continue climbing the ladder after winning the European University Games singles title and transitioning to full-time training.

The 23-year-old from Buckingham claimed gold in Lodz and, having now graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in mathematics and statistics, is targeting the Olympics in two years’ time.

The 2021 national champion has made quite the impression over the last 12 months, producing accomplished performances for England in the Sudirman and Thomas Cups.

His success in Poland, therefore, did not come as a shock to Torjussen, who beat France’s Valentin Singer 2-0 (21-12, 22,20) in the final.

Torjussen said: “I was seeded one and got to the semis of European University Championships last time, three years ago, so I was hoping to win this time.

“It was pretty plain sailing up until the final, where it was pretty tight.”

Torjussen inset

The triumph came off the back of a first appearance in the biennial Thomas Cup in Thailand, where Torjussen took favourites Kanta Tsuneyama and Ng Tze Yong to third sets before comfortably beating Don Henley Averia.

“They were quite long matches and, in the heat, it was tough,” said Torjussen. “But I really enjoyed playing that sort of level and those sorts of players because I rarely get to play against the top players.

“It’s a big step up from my level of tournaments at the moment. But I had a lot of fun. I was playing quite well so quite happy with it. Coming away from those matches it’s a lot of good learning.”

But his proudest achievement came in August last year, when he was crowned national champion after defeating number one seed Alex Lane 2-1 (15-21, 21-18, 21-16) in the final.

He said: “I knew going into it he was planning to retire after the tournament. I was hoping that wouldn’t faze me and just tried my best to win. I think I handled it quite well with any nerves.

“The year before I played him in the final and lost. It was very tough in three sets and quite close in the end.

“I hadn’t beaten him in the tournament before so I was quite happy to win it in such a nice atmosphere.”

With final year exams out of the way, Torjussen is training full-time at the national centre in Milton Keynes and is hoping he can kick on with a laser focus on consistent development.

He said: “Settling in and steadily improving from now until the end of the year would be my main goal and hopefully winning some international tournaments too, plus just trying not to get injured.

“I know a lot of people get injured starting off going into full-time and I’ve had a couple of knee injuries, a couple of ankle injuries so I’m very wary of any more coming along.”

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