Wang unsure of East Asian Games role

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 October, 2008, 12:00am

After dropping to her lowest world ranking since she arrived from China nearly a decade ago, veteran Wang Chen yesterday admitted she was not sure she would still be playing by the time Hong Kong hosts next year's East Asian Games.

Wang, 32, had a disappointing Olympic campaign and she is now ranked 10th in the world. 'I have never been ranked outside the top eight since I moved to Hong Kong in the late 1990s,' said Wang, who lost to Saina Nehwal of India in the second round of the Beijing Games.

'Of course, I am a bit disappointed to learn of my latest ranking. It makes your life more difficult in major tournaments as you may draw the top players in the opening rounds because you are no longer seeded.'

She said she was not sure she had the drive to lift her ranking as retirement loomed.

'I do not know how long I can play on the circuit as I may retire any time I find myself failing to cope with the demands of the game,' she said.

'In fact, I will only play selectively and try to enjoy the game as much as possible.'

It had been hoped Wang would continue to play for Hong Kong until next year's East Asian Games, where badminton is making a comeback after being dropped from the last two incarnations.

'I am not sure when I will stop playing. It would be good if I could play until next year, but the East Asian Games start in December and I really don't know at this stage,' she said.

'Indeed, the competition is always tough at the highest level, and with more and more good players coming through the ranks, it makes it more difficult on all fronts.'

The former world junior championship runner-up is keen to stay with the sport after her playing days.

'I wouldn't mind becoming a coach to pass my skills and experience to the next generation. But it is too early to say anything as I am still a player,' she said.

Wang has only entered two tournaments after the Olympics, losing in the early rounds of the Japan and China Super Series. She will compete in upcoming tournaments in Denmark and France.