Women’s badminton singles world number one Tai Tzu-ying has suggested that she may now retire after the Tokyo Olympics after the event was moved to 2021. The Chinese Taipei player has said she is planning to compete in the sport for at least another year, despite only being 26-years-old.
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She has sat at the top of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) world rankings since December 2016 with her streak now sitting at a record 148 weeks. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics are now scheduled to start on July 23 in 2021.
Speaking to the BWF, Tai said: “I will play until the end of next season before I revisit the decision”.
As of now, I want to finish the next season’s schedule. With no competition ongoing right now, that means there’s fewer media exposure I hope people won’t forget about me. The 2018 Asian Games champion added that the postponement of the Olympics allowed her to recover and prepare effectively for the upcoming season.
“I can use this time as a period of rest because it’s been a long and tight schedule of high-level competition,” said Tai, a double Asian champion who has also won the World Tour Finals twice.
It’s a good time to rest and have even more time to prepare for the Olympics. Despite her world number one status, Tai has yet to win either of the two biggest prizes in the sport, the Olympics or the World Championships.