Tang Yuanting the latest from China to reappear in Australia

Former Australian Open winner Tang Yuanting will be appearing in the Australian National Championships later this month. Former world #2 Tang Yuanting (pictured, with Ma Jin) keeps on surprising.  In […]

Former Australian Open winner Tang Yuanting will be appearing in the Australian later this month.

Former world #2 Tang Yuanting (pictured, with Ma Jin) keeps on surprising.  In 2013, she reached the semi-finals of her first ever tournament after never appearing internationally as a junior.  Within 8 months of that, she had been in the All England final and had picked up her first title.

In 2016, after helping clinch the Uber Cup title in a scratch pairing and reaching the semi-finals in Rio, the biggest shock to date came with the announcement of her at age 22.  Though Tang Yuanting was later quoted as expressing her own surprise at the news, it is plain in hindsight that she did indeed ‘retire’ as she has not once appeared in an international tournament since the Rio Olympics.

She hasn’t completely stopped playing, however, and indeed, she may be visible to a lot more people outside of China a little later this month.  In October last year, Tang was welcomed by the Badminton Centre (NBC) in New South Wales as the newest member of their coaching staff.  She did play in one event in that state in November and now she is entered in the Australian Nationals, set to kick off in Melbourne on February 25th, and she will again be playing mixed with fellow NBC Shen Yang.

Interestingly, this is not the first time a player has faded into obscurity in China only to reappear in Australia.  In 2012, when 3-time World Champion Huang Sui played in the Australian Open, it even became something of an issue in her home state, where her former employer reportedly first learned of her relocation down under.  At that Australian Open, Huang was playing with a long-time Australian veteran.  Tang He Tian had won the Denmark Open and many team titles while representing China in the 90s and became the first to win a title for Australia when she and Renuga Veeran (pictured right) picked up the Australian Open crown in 2009.

For Tang Yuanting, if she is going to settle outside of China, Australia is a fitting place.  The 2013 Australian Open was the first international tournament of her career.

In fact, Tang is far from the only Chinese national in the Australian Nationals this year.  Qin Jinjing, who won gold at the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing, is also going to be competing at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.  She too was in Sydney in 2013, where she won gold at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

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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