Updated: Jan 6
I hope everyone is doing fine! During this pandemic, as you have probably already read in my previous posts, I am constantly finding new routines. This includes exercising in the new gym I have established in my room and a quite structured training schedule with whatever resources I have available. But now the badminton clubs are open again so we are finally able to train on court and that’s something I have truly missed! I’m thrilled and grateful to be back on court.
These past months I guess most of us have spent much more time online on different platforms than what we usually do. Personally, I have joined lots of meetings through different types of video calls - anything from meetings, podcasts, interviews, to a virtual birthday party of a good friend - and I guess this will be somewhat part of our future lives as well. Partly for convenience, and partly because it’s actually a fun way to meet with our friends from far away.
The Early Night Show
So in these digital times I also had my debut at a live talk show on Instagram and decided I wanna share some of it with you here. A couple of weeks ago I joined “The Early Night Show” hosted by The Real DKLo (@therealdklo), a Toronto based food writer/speaker-presenter/marketer. We talked for around an hour and 15 minutes and we touched on topics like my badminton, the pandemic and how it impacts training, tournaments, and the Olympics, and of course food… 🙂
Below I’m sharing first part of the looong talk with The Real DKLo. This part of the talk show was mostly about the current situation, badminton tournaments, and the Olympics. Instead of converting everything we talked about into an article style of writing, I simply give it to you as it was. And then I leave a cliffhanger for you at the end… 😉
Enjoy reading and be sure to stay tuned for second part coming up soon!
Talk to you later!
DKLo: How’s training going, and how has this pandemic effected your schedule?
It’s going pretty good actually. It was definitely a change of pace when everything was kind of out of bounds and everybody was pretty much stuck at home. But we recently opened all the badminton clubs, so we can go back to training now.
Even though clubs are open now, there are still social distancing regulations in effect. Even though we are separated by the net, we still need to be careful. And currently only singles training is allowed (no doubles) which I guess is still ok for me.
DKLo: Obviously your 2020 plans have been postponed now, especially with the Olympics 2020 that will be in 2021 now. What are your thoughts and feelings about that something your worked on for so long got cancelled and postponed to next year?
At first it was like I had a direction. This summer I was going for the Olympics and everything was going as planned. Then all of a sudden we were pushed back a year and there were no tournaments and everything was put on hold. There were so many uncertainties, it was hard to adjust because it all came so suddenly. For a while it felt like I wasn’t sure what my direction was anymore. But with time I found a new routine, made new goals and just taking it day by day.
DKLo: Now that the Olympics have been pushed to 2021, do you feel this is good and the stuff you worked for isn’t for nothing, or do you wish you could have competed in Tokyo this year because you maybe felt you were reaching your peak?
It’s the same for everybody so many of us are in the same situation. There is always good and bad. Obviously, I felt I was going in the right direction during this season… But at the same time this postponement also gives me more time to prepare and more time to strengthen other areas I never really had time to. Allowing me time to recover my body and start fresh. A lot of situations really depend on how you see it.
DKLo: Of all the tournaments you have played, you won the Macau Open 2018 and 2019 and you were runner-up in Chinese Taipei Open 2019 as well. But which is your favorite tournament, and why?
It’s hard to say which is my favorite tournament because I think I have more than one. There's always something unique about each one, but off the top of my head. Istora in Jakarta stands out for sure, the interaction with fans there is amazing. I’m always excited to play in the All England. There is just something about the All England that makes it epic. And the competition there is always at its highest. The most recent tournament that I really enjoyed was China Open 2019 in Fuzhou. That was right after winning Macau Open and I very rarely play till I am crouched over on my knees.
I really enjoyed it because after playing in Macau I was exhausted from all the matches, but I was still able to fight during China Open and I don’t think I’ve ever fought that hard in a semifinal before. I was really proud of myself for being able to put it all out there and make it to the semis and still go down with a fight… so that is one of the more memorable tournaments for me. It was at the Fuzhou China Open 2019 that I played an epic 72 minutes match against Chen Yu Fei that BWF chose to make a recap of for their Badminton Unlimited series. In case you missed it, you can watch it on their YouTube channel right here.
DKLo: And for your Indonesian fans who are watching tonight; how do you feel about playing at Istora Senayan in Jakarta?
That is also a great tournament to play. All England, Indonesia Open at Istora Senayan… There are so many tournaments every year so it’s hard to just pick one. There’s something about each tournament that makes it so special. I like the Istora Senayan arena, the fans, the atmosphere. Everything is just amazing! All tournaments are amazing!
DKLo: If you look at All England, China Open, Indonesian Open, and Denmark Open, what would you say is the biggest distinguishing feature at these tournaments?
There’s also Hong Kong Open. You can’t forget Hong Kong Open, you can’t forget Macau Open. Even Canada Open and US Open, even though the level of these tournaments are different. These tournaments are in totally different locations with totally different settings, and there’s just a different atmosphere at every tournament. Even though sometimes the players are the same, but the hotels that you stay in and the stadium you play in are all different, so each individual tournament has its own flavor.
DKLo: With regards to these various tournaments, is there any of them you find particularly challenging? It could be because of the climate, the crowd, a difficult seed in the tournament…
Well, I always struggle with the venue at Hong Kong Open but I still love to play there. It’s special for me, because I was born in Hong Kong but I moved to Canada with my parents when I was six. Even though I don’t remember living in Hong Kong, I still have family there so most years my mom comes to Hong Kong with me and she will watch the tournament as well. And I always hope to do well there.
DKLo: Have you ever had any thoughts of representing Hong Kong?
Actually, since I was 16 or 17 there has always been that option to represent Hong Kong because I do have the Hong Kong passport and I’m a citizen of Hong Kong. But because I learned badminton in Canada and I grew up in Canada and I trained in Canada, I wanted to represent Canada.
A lot of people say that I wont be able to compete with the top if I play for Canada, but I guess I wanted to be the exception.
To be continued… 😉