In April, Nathan Tang proved he was a force to be reckoned with at the VICTOR Oceania Championships 2022. The 32-year-old was celebrating his tenth anniversary at the Continental Championships and it proved to be one of his best yet.
The men’s singles specialist ousted the top seed on route to his first final and was delighted to end up with a silver medal after Edward Lau reigned victorious.
Despite being a highly experienced player on Oceania’s scene, it transpired that his parents had never watched him play live before as they ‘did not want to add any pressure or deter from his aspirations as an athlete’.
However, elated by his selection for a Commonwealth Games debut, the family are preparing to break tradition. His mother is embracing the opportunity to see her son represent Australia with her own eyes, on one of the world’s biggest stages.
Learn more about Nathan’s journey and preparations in his Q+A:
In April, you said your family has never seen you play before. Has this stance changed at all?
Yes! My mum will be travelling all the way to Birmingham to watch me play live. I’m sure this is her first time watching any sports live in person and she gets to watch it at the commonwealth games!
Can you describe the emotions when being handed that Yellow and Green kit?
Safe to say it was a emotional roller coaster for me. When I received the call, I thought the worst, it wasn’t the first time I missed a major so I prepared for bad news, then when it wasn’t I had goosebumps run down my whole body and I was in a state of shock.
After all that, tears of joy came down. Making this Commonwealth Games team validated everything that I have lived by for the last 11 years. Hard work, tenacity and belief.
What are you hoping to get out of the Commonwealth Games experience?
This will be my first and maybe last Commonwealth Games, so I just want to perform at my best and soak in the whole experience. Really enjoy the game and create some ever lasting memories.
How have preparations for this tournament been different to any other tournaments?
The preparation has been great. Badminton Australia hired a Danish coach for us (Niclas Nohr) who helped us prepare for the Games and he has been a great addition to the team.
We also increased our training sessions a fair bit incorporating afternoon sessions, which we haven’t had in sometime. I also had to cut down on my coaching (my main source of income) in order to train at a full time capacity for the Games. It was a tough decision leaving my students behind but I’m sure they will understand.
Nathan will join his teammates to open Australia’s campaign in Group 1 of the Mixed Team competition from Friday 29 July, where they have been drawn against top seeds India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. He will then compete in the Individuals tournament from Wednesday 3 August.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games takes place at The NEC from 29 July – 6 August 2022.
You can follow the schedule and results on the official website here.