August 2, 1975 |
Xu Huaiwen (simplified Chinese: 徐怀雯; traditional Chinese: 徐懷雯; pinyin: Xú Huáiwén; born August 2, 1975 in Guiyang, Guizhou) is a female badminton player from Germany. She was born in Guiyang, Guizhou, People's Republic of China. She decided to play for Germany because the Chinese thought that she was too short to play professional world badminton. She can speak fluent Chinese, German and English. Huaiwen Xu is married to Matthew Curtain, the Director of Sport of the Commonwealth Games Federation. The couple have a daughter.
Xu was among the most successful of a number of Chinese-born female players who emigrated from their badminton-rich homeland, in part, for a better opportunity to play in the world's biggest events. Beginning in 2003 when she won a spate of middle tier open tournaments in Europe, Xu went on to become one of the more consistent performers on the international circuit. She was a women's singles bronze medalist twice at the BWF World Championships (2005 and 2006) and won European Championships in 2006 and 2008 over Mia Audina and Tine Rasmussen respectively in the finals. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics Xu was eliminated in a close quarterfinal match by China's Xie Xingfang, the world's number one ranked player.
Among Xu's more than twenty national and international singles titles are the Scottish (2003), Polish (2003), Dutch (2005), and Swiss (2006) Opens, the Copenhagen Masters (2007), and five consecutive (2004–2008) German National Championships. Notably, she earned all of these titles after turning 27, an age at which world level singles players often feel that their best years are behind them.
Xu retired from playing on the international circuit in 2009 and worked as a coach at The Bellevue Badminton Club near Seattle, teaching the Junior National team of young badminton players hoping to succeed in professional badminton for two years. In 2010 she was appointed as an International Olympic Committee athlete role model for the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics and then from 2011-2012, she served the Dutch Badminton Association as their National Coach.