Before this year, world No 1 Tai Tzu Ying did not have a medal at the Olympics or World Championships in her glittering trophy collection. Arguably the greatest of her generation, the Chinese Taipei shuttler finally won her first Olympics and Worlds medals in 2021 but the gold proved elusive.
There have been reports in the past that Tai could consider retirement this year and when the two Major medals were added to her name, it was once again on everyone’s minds. Whether the superstar will carry on in her quest for a gold but will the early retirement she had hinted at might prove to be the case.
World C’ships, Finals as it happened: Akane Yamaguchi defeats Tai Tzu Ying in final, Loh Kean Yew bags historic gold, Srikanth wins silver
After the defeat against second Akane Yamaguchi at the final of the BWF World Championships in Huelva on Sunday, Tai said she had no plans of retirement now and will be setting new goals for 2022.
“The speed of the game was very fast and I couldn’t control it,” said Tai about the match that she lost 14-21, 11-21. “I didn’t find my way or my game. I was a bit passive and behind on the scores. It’s true that I had some problems with my body in the second game, but maybe I was in too much hurry and I couldn’t follow the game as she was too quick.”
Terming the year of two silver medals as “normal”, Tai told BWF in the mixed zone that she intends to continue playing. And in another interview to Badminton Europe, when asked “you have many fans around the world that are worried you are going to stop playing soon. Please tell us that is not true?”, she replied in English, “Yeah... not true.”
For Yamaguchi, it was the first gold medal at World Championships and she finished a remarkable post Olympics season on a high.
“I’ve played a lot of matches over the last few months. There were good moments and bad moments, but at the end I’m very happy with my performance and very happy with this result,” said Yamaguchi.