Chinese badminton star Wang Yihan hangs up her racquet following disappointing Rio showing

The 28-year-old thanks her fans for their support on Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo as she announces her departure from the sport

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 September, 2016, 5:17pm
UPDATED : Friday, 16 September, 2016, 11:04pm

Former badminton world champion Wang Yihan of China announced her retirement after a sub standard performance at the Olympic Games in Rio this summer.

The 28-year-old Shanghai native called it a day on her over a decade international career on Weibo saying, “Thank you for giving me wonderful experience for 12 years of my life. I have to say goodbye to the familiar corridor (of the national team training hall) to start another chapter of my life. Bless me, my friends and I look forward to meeting you again from any place outside the venue.”

The 2011 world champion has won the most number of Superseries titles at 19 and was the silver medallist at the 2012 London Olympic Games after losing to fellow teammate Li Xuerui in the final.

She was seeded second for the Rio Olympics, but was surprisingly eliminated in the quarter-finals by P.V. Sindhu of India, in what would be her last appearance.

Wang was first selected for the national team in 2004 and was promoted to the senior squad two years ago. She reached the world number one spot in late 2009 after clinching four super series titles during the year.

Fit-again Wang Yihan sets sights on London Olympics

She was a favourite for the London Games but lost the crown to compatriot Li after three tough games in the final. Wang has been hit by a serious back injury in recent years and was once considered an outsider for making it to the Rio Games. But she stormed back this year and was just ranked behind favourite Carolina Marin of Spain in qualification.

But she faced tough competition from teammates Li and Wang Shixian as China could only send a maximum of two women’s singles to Rio.

Wang reacted philosophically when asked by the SCMP about the tough internal competition.

“This is normal in team China and we always have to face strong competition from our teammates,” she said.

“It’s the dream of any player to go to the Olympics, especially to make a second appearance in a row if I get selected, but life still has to go on if I am not. Someone will be disappointed.”