Tokyo: The China Badminton team is the most mysterious yet very powerful team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Chinese players have not competed in any tournaments since the 2020 All England Championships in March of 2020. Still, the team was strong enough to fill two spots in four categories (maximum of two representatives allowed for every country in each discipline), with the exception of men’s doubles.
As a result, players around the world have no clue what to expect from the Chinese players in all five categories.
Despite not competed in a single tournament for 16 months, the president of the China Badminton Association, Zhang Jun said that the 14 Chinese athletes were ready to compete in Tokyo.
“Out of the five categories, we have the highest chance to win gold medals in mixed doubles, women’s singles, and women’s doubles,” said Zhang Jun two weeks ago.
“This time, it will be quite difficult for men’s singles and men’s doubles,” added Zhang.
Even though World No. 6 men’s singles player, Chen Long is the only defending champion playing in Tokyo, Zhang saw tough challenges ahead for the 32-year-old in the Olympics. Chen’s potential rivals could be Japan’s Kento Momota, Danish player Viktor Axelsen, Chou Tien Chen of Taiwan, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia, and Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia.
“We put our hope in Chen Long to continue success in the men’s singles event,” continued Zhang. However, Zhang admitted the biggest problem for Chen was for him to recover after every match.
In the men’s doubles category, former 2018 world champions – Liu Yuchen/Li Junhui see the opportunity to do well as they probably are playing without pressure at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Liu/Li were seeded third, and Li Junhui felt it was a proud achievement for him to be playing in his first Olympics.
“The Olympics, regardless of the outcome, as long as I can participate and have the opportunity to appear there, is already a great achievement,” said Li to Chinese media.
“I want to say that the Olympics are the results of my hard work over the years. I insisted on appearing in the Olympics despite all the difficulties and pain,” continued Li.
On Sunday morning, the Chinese badminton team has left for Japan to take part in the Tokyo Olympics. The Chinese team has arrived safely in Tokyo Sunday afternoon.