Pictured: Wendy Chen (Australia). Photo credit: Badminton Photo
With the pandemic-related restrictions starting to ease across the Oceanic region, Badminton Oceania caught up with Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen (reigning six-time Women’s Singles Oceania champion and two-time Australian Olympian) to find out on her recent happenings and preparation for upcoming events. Could she extend her history-breaking record at the upcoming VICTOR Oceania Championships 2022, to seven consecutive wins?
This year’s edition of the Continental Championships will be the first time that prizemoney will be awarded to the winners and runners up of each discipline: $650 for the winner, $350 for the runner up in men’s and women’s singles; $325 for the winners and $175 for the runners up in men’s, women’s and mixed doubles (prize money in Australian dollars) and it will be held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre from 28 April – 1 May.
Read more about what Wendy had to say about the upcoming Continental Championships:
Recently, you competed in your second Olympics. What has your journey looked like since then – are you aiming for a third in Paris?
“The journey after the recent Olympics has been fulfilling, started to travel for tournaments around the world again and some experiences were very insightful. I am happy to keep on playing at this stage, as I enjoy playing badminton and the growth it brings me, Paris is definitely in the picture.”
This year, you are aiming for your seventh consecutive women’s singles Oceania title. What does this mean to you?
“The Oceania Championships has always been quite meaningful to me ever since I was a kid, I remember holding onto the engraving plate, looking through the names of winners for each year and thinking that I want to have my name on there one day. It will be incredible if I could have my name on there seven times!”
You have been the favourite/top seed for Women’s Singles title for many years, how do you handle this pressure?
“I have to admit for the past few Oceania Championships, I felt quite stressful because of the expectation to win, especially from myself. But this year, I have a different perspective, treating every match as an experience, always something to learn from whether it is a win or loss. I am motivated to defend my title but have loosen up the pressure I put on myself.”
What have preparations for the ‘return to badminton’ looked like following COVID?
“It is very interesting to return to competitions, a lot of protocols to follow (vaccination, health declaration, masks, covid tests) in traveling between countries and tournaments. Definitely too much nose poking (PCR tests) but other than that it s all pretty much back to normal.”
The Commonwealth Games are coming up soon, which tournaments/trainings do you have planned to prepare for this (if you are aiming to qualify/compete that is?
“The schedule is quite busy leading up to Commonwealth Games, there is Australian Nationals Championship, Oceania Championships, Uber Cup and more tournaments back in Europe again in June. I am excited to play in Uber Cup with my fellow teammates.”
What sacrifices did you find the hardest to make your career in sports?
“There are too many sacrifices that I can not pick out which one is the hardest. I have stopped keeping a tab of sacrifices and start looking at the positives – Badminton has given me many opportunities and special experiences that other career pathways can’t. I have learnt so much from Badminton so I am grateful even with many sacrifices.”
Written by Alex Deng