Beijing: When Badminton World Federation (BWF) broke the news about the retirement of 7 Chinese players on Tuesday, the badminton community around the world was definitely saddened by the news especially these great players have brought so many wonderful memories to the sport of badminton.
However, surprising insights emerged just one day after the news was released that the 22-year-old World No. 2 women’s doubles player Tang Yuanting hasn’t officially retired from the badminton, the Chinese Badminton Association submitted her retirement application to BWF because they wanted to avoid being fined by BWF for withdrawing her from upcoming tournaments.
The Chinese Chief Coach Li Yongbo has clarified that Tang Yuanting did not actually retire from the sport. Tang and her partner Yu Yang had been chasing the Olympic qualification points relentlessly since the second half of 2015. Despite their short partnership, Tang and Yu were able to rise to #2 in the Rio standings.
Li reiterated that since Tang is ranked top 10 in BWF ranking, according to BWF rule, she’ll have to participate in the upcoming Denmark Open, China Open, and the Super Series Finals, otherwise, she will be faced with a fine of $5,000 for each top-level BWF tournament she misses. After an exhausting year, Li has decided allowing Tang to take some time off to allow her body and her mind to recover and to recharge.
Therefore, they will have to “retire” her temporarily, and Tang will come out of retirement when she is ready to play again.
It’s not new for badminton player to skip certain tournament and to slap with a fine. Chinese men’s singles superstar Lin Dan experienced a similar problem when he planned to stay away from badminton after defended the men’s singles title at the London Olympics. He was facing a total fine of $20,000 for skipping four Superseries (Denmark Open, China Open, Korea Open and Super Series Finals) at the end of 2012.