Queen of Badminton Tai Tzu-ying is in Tokyo for the third Olympics. It''s been five years since her last games, when she crashed out in the Round of 16. This time around, she''s going into the tournament as World No. 1 in women''s singles. Speaking to the Badminton World Federation, she says she''s shooting for a medal at what will be the "last major tournament" of her career.
The queen of badminton is in Tokyo for her third Olympics. Due to the pandemic, Tai had been training in Taiwan since her three back-to-back tournaments in Thailand at the start of the year. During this period, she adjusted her training to enhance adaptability on-court.
I can actually put more emphasis on other off-court training. For instance, agility, high intensity training. And we play other games such as beach soccer.
At the 2012 London Olympics, Tai was only 18 years old. She fell in the Round of 16 in a matchup with Chinese ace Li Xuerui. At the Rio games in 2016, Tai crashed out again in the Round of 16, losing to PV Sindhu. But since her showing at Rio, Tai has improved by leaps and bounds. Today she’s ranked World No. 1 in women’s singles, with more than 100,000 ranking points. She holds the record for the most weeks at the top, beating out the 124-week record set by Li, her old Olympic opponent. Now unrivaled in the world, Tai says her sights are set firmly on an Olympic medal.
I think that the Olympic Games are a sacred and very significant competition. That’s why I really hope that I can win a medal. As for this Olympics, I feel that I’ve reached a satisfactory level in match performance.
Tai previously said she might retire following the Tokyo Olympics. Now that the postponed Olympics have finally arrived, she says her mind''s not fully made up.
This Olympics will be my last major tournament before I hang up my racket. I have yet to decide if I will continue to play after the Olympics this year. I have not made a firm decision.
It’s been five years since the last Olympics, and Tai has come a long way in her mental and technical game. She’s hoping to make it to the podium of the world’s highest sports battlefield.