World number 1 shuttler Tai Tzu Ying to retire after Tokyo 2020
In a startling announcement on Saturday, world No 1 shuttler Tai Tzu Ying declared that she will hang her boots after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The 24-year-old from Chinese Taipei has been the most dominant force in women’s badminton ever since she became world No 1 on December 1, 2016, relinquishing the top spot only once for two weeks in April 2018.
Though she won the 2018 Asian Games gold in Jakarta and the Asian Championships the last two years, the two-time All England winner has never won a medal in any of the badminton Majors.
However, that is what she aspires for before retiring next year.
“My badminton career will be complete if I can win a medal at the Olympics but whether I win a medal or not, I’ll still retire,” Tai was quoted as saying by Malaysian newspaper The Star.
“I’ve given my all to badminton for 10 years and that is enough for me. I’ve to run on the court more than most players to cover my weaknesses because of my small size, so I think it’s enough.”
To give an example of Tai’s dominance, she has a 15-5 record against Saina Nehwal, beating the Indian 13 times on the trot. Saina last won against Tai six years ago at the Swiss Open. The Taiwanese also has an impressive 10-4 record against Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu.
Asked about her post-retirement plans, she said: “I don’t want to think so far ahead yet as my focus is now only on the present and on badminton.”
Tai exacted revenge after beating Chen Yufei 21-14, 21-19 in 34 minutes on Saturday to enter the final of the Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur. The Chinese had beaten Tai in the All England Open final last month.
In men’s singles, the legendary Lin Dan will take on reigning Olympic champion and compatriot Chen Long in the final after the two beat second seed Shi Yuqi and Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie respectively in the semi-finals.
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