Tang Yuanting surprised by news of own “retirement”

Chinese news site Tencent Sports reported yesterday that 22-year-old Tang Yuanting, too, was surprised to hear the BWF announce her retirement. Photo: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto According to the Tencent […]

Chinese news site Tencent Sports reported yesterday that 22-year-old Tang Yuanting, too, was surprised to hear the BWF announce her .

Photo: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto

According to the Tencent report, Tang Yuanting said that she would be taking a longer post-Olympic break, of which withdrawing from the Japan Open was only a first stage.  She apparently said that she had merely applied to the China Badminton Association (CBA) for leave, and neither intended to quit the national team nor to retire outright.

At the time of writing, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) had not issued any statement adding to its Tuesday announcement, which came in a caption on a pair of photos (of Tang Yuanting and Wang Zhengming) on its Facebook page, using the wording: “Their official retirements were submitted to BWF this morning by the Chinese Badminton Association”.

The Tencent article goes on to say that the other six ‘retirements’ announced by the BWF this week – of Wang Zhengming and also Yu Yang, Zhao Yunlei, Tian Qing, Wang Yihan, and Wang Shixian – are also examples of incorrect wording, as these players are merely leaving the Chinese national team but they still plan to compete in next year’s China National Games.  However, recent experience has shown that such moves by players in both China and Korea are normally tantamount to ‘retirement’ from international badminton competition, which is how they have been written about in Badzine articles.  While some non-national team players may continue to compete in domestic pro leagues such as the China Badminton Super League or Malaysia’s Purple League – as ‘retired’ players Lee Hyo Jung and Han Sang Hoon of Korea or Zheng Bo and Bao Chunlai of China have done – it is extremely rare for players outside of the national team system in either country to compete in international events.  Gao Ling and others did so in early 2009 – albeit before they submitted their retirements to the BWF – and Korea’s Lee Hyun Il has been competing outside the Korean national team program, but only after reversing the retirement process and being reinstated as an active, independent player in late 2013.

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net