Beijing: Former World mixed doubles champion Ma Jin popped a surprise on the first day of China Open on Tuesday, with the news that she has formally retired from the China national team.
Ma Jin was weighing up her future in the sport of badminton after bringing her 2016 season to a close when she and Xu Chen were defeated by Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying of Malaysian in the mixed doubles semi-finals in Rio Olympics. But, she decided to row back on her retirement decision and was planning to play until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after consulting her coaches. However, she was taking another sharp turn on Tuesday when she confirmed her retirement to the surprise of the public.
“I have always been very strict and have high expectation for myself. I realized I’ll have to be the role model for a lot of our young players during the next Olympic cycle, and it’s a huge responsibility. Considering I am already 28 years old, I can no longer afford those high intensity training. Therefore, I should give our young players more opportunities to play at higher level tournament, and it’s time for me to step aside and to retire from the national team,” said Ma.
The current World No. 6 mixed doubles player Ma has partnered Zheng Bo to win the 2010 mixed doubles World Championships, and also became the runners-up for women’s doubles at the 2010 World Championships. She then partnered Xu Chen to win the silver medal in 2012 London Olympics. She was part of the China team that won the 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 Sudirman Cup, and was also a team member of the Chinese women’s team that won the 2014 Uber Cup.
She posted a message on her social media page on Tuesday to express her feeling and to say goodbye to her fans.
“Has been with the national team for eleven years, and it’s time to leave. I feel like I’ve been so blessed along the way. Thanks badminton fans for the amazing support over the years.”
After her retirement from the China national team, she will still represent her provincial team to play in next year’s China National Games. Ma will quit the sport as a player completely after the China National Games.