China’s badminton boss: Team aiming for all 5 golds at 2024 Paris Olympics
China’s badminton boss: Team going for all 5 golds at 2024 Paris Games – CGTN
Zhang Jun, president of the Chinese Badminton Association. /CFP
The 2024 Badminton World Federation (BWF) season will begin at the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur on January 9, 2024. The Chinese national team has been training behind closed doors since they returned from Japan in November. Zhang Jun, president of the Chinese Badminton Association, told Xinhua News Agency that the team is aiming for all five badminton gold medals at the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.
In his review of the Chinese players’ performances in 2023, Zhang praised them for their resilience in coming back to win multiple major tournaments. For example, China overcame four match points of Japan to win the semifinals 3-2 at the Sudirman Cup in May. The men’s team beat a 0-2 deficit to edge India in the final at the 19th Asian Games in October.
Zhang was also glad to see the rise of young players on the national team.
“The young generation has made their presence felt in the national team,” Zhang said. “Like Li Shifeng and Weng Hongyang of the men’s singles event, Liu Shengshu and Tan Ning of the women’s doubles event, Jiang Zhenbang and Wei Yaxin of the mixed doubles event.”
China’s players celebrate after winning the Sudirman Cup in Suzhou, east China’s Jiangsu Province, May 21, 2023. /CFP
While praising them for their performances, Zhang also pointed out the problems some of the aces have to fix. He said Shi Yuqi has been improving his form since he finished his suspension but is not in his best mindset yet. Zhang also said he appreciates Li’s potential but wants him to get more experience by playing with top opponents like Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
China’s women’s singles ace Chen Yufei suffered a series of major losses in 2023, but Zhang expressed confidence in her.
“Chen Yufei’s opponents have been studying her since she won the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics,” Zhang said. “Young players have been chasing her in the national team. Both can be burdens on her. But, like she said herself, she grows stronger after every loss and finds out her shortcomings.”
Liang Weikeng and Wang Chang and Liu Yuchen and Ou Xuanyi are China’s latest leading pairs in the men’s doubles event. Zhang said in the interview that Liang and Wang need to improve the consistency of their performance and that Liu should watch out for injuries and move faster in the matches.
China’s players celebrate after winning the gold medal for the badminton men’s team at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province, October 1, 2023. /CFP
Zhang said he is pleased with Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan’s progress since their loss in the women’s doubles event at the Tokyo Olympics and expressed confidence that the key to the pair’s continuous good performance lies in enhancing their stamina via scientific training sessions.
The Chinese national team has a good mix of youth and experience in the mixed doubles event with three pairs: Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong, Feng Yanzhe and Huang Dongping, and Jiang and Wei. Zhang believes their major competitors will come from South Korea, Japan, France and Denmark in Paris 2024.
Zhang also revealed that the national team will not finish the current training camp until the end of February 2024 but said some of the players will go to Southeast Asia to play some matches during that period. After the camp, the team will travel to Europe to prepare for the Paris Olympics.
Badminton events at the Paris Games will begin on July 27, 2024, and run until August 5.