Beijing: Besides Zhao Yunlei, Tian Qing, Yu Yang, and Wang Yihan who had gone public with their retirement decisions after the Rio Olympics, in a move that has sent shock waves across badminton community, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) confirmed on Tuesday that Chinese Badminton Association has submitted the retirement applications for 26-year-old Wang Shixian, 22-year-old Tang Yuanting, and 26-year-old Wang Zhengming.
Despite being ranked World No. 6 during the Rio Olympic qualification ranking, Wang Shixian who missed the 2012 London Olympics and was dropped from the Chinese 2016 Rio Olympic squad. After the Chinese national team contributed to crushing her Olympic dream twice, she has decided to quit the sport and will be pursuing her master’s degree at Beijing Sport University.
The most surprising news on Tuesday was the 22-year-old Tang Yuanting also made the list. Tang who performed exceptionally well in last year’s Sudirman Cup and the 2016 Uber Cup, was highly regarded by Chinese Chief Coach Li Yongbo as the next rising star in badminton. Nevertheless, her defeat by South Korean shuttlers Jung Kyung-Eun and Shin Seung-Chan in the Rio Olympic women’s doubles bronze medal playoff was perhaps the last straw for Tang that she knew she had to leave badminton.
When asked by reporter, former men’s singles World Champion and current head coach for the Guangxi province Zhao Jianhua was shocked to hear the news about Tang Yuanting’s retirement. Zhao later revealed that Tang has come back to her hometown in Guangxi and is currently not involved in any training because she is still recovering from illness.
As for Wang Zhengming, despite denying speculation about retiring from badminton, he is officially being forced to let go after failing to reach the heights set by his compatriots Lin Dan and Chen Long. Wang won the 2008 World Junior Championships, and the 2008 Asian Junior Championships. Sadly, he couldn’t seem to find his touches and make a major breakthrough at senior level.
The retirement of these 7 great badminton players from China marked the end of a remarkable, generation-defining era. Their presence will be greatly missed by the badminton fans from around the world.