Ukrainian badminton player Maria Urtina, who has lived in Hungary since Russia invaded Hungary, said it was “really difficult to concentrate on the game without a home.”

When Russian missiles began firing at her home in the eastern Ukraine city of Dnipro in February, World No. 58 drove four days in a row to reach the Hungarian border.

Six months later, she’s still living in exile, with the situation taking a toll on her mental health.

“I don’t want to complain, but when you don’t have a home and you don’t know where you’re going to live tomorrow, it’s really hard mentally,” the 30-year-old told AFP at the badminton world championships in Tokyo. . on tuesday.

“It’s tough mentally and financially. It’s hard.”

Ulitina had previously lived in Hungary and had a residence permit for herself and her dog when she fled the war in her homeland with the bare minimum of belongings.

She said the training conditions and standard of living were good, but her mental state was “difficult to manage” as the war dragged on.

She said her family in Ukraine is safe and speaks regularly, but she is also concerned that the front lines of the war are approaching them.

Urtina has been active on the World Tour this season, making a surprise appearance at the All England Open in March, just a week after fleeing Ukraine to Hungary.

“It happened just a few days before the start and I didn’t have a visa or anything,” she said.

“I am very grateful to Badminton England for asking the government for help so that I can go.”

Ulitina said she had Russian friends in the past, but had not heard from them since the war began.

Russian badminton players are banned from competing in international competitions and said he “can’t imagine” what it would be like to play against badminton players on the court.

“I had friends there, but since the war started, they didn’t write or ask how we were doing or if they were sorry about it,” she said. .

“This is really disappointing.”

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