Pictured: Richard Wong (line judge), Australia.
Oceania Line Judge, Richard Wong (from Australia) is attending his first Olympic Games in Tokyo as a line judge.
His past experience at major sporting events around the world has built up to this moment – a pinnacle in any technical official’s career.
Listen to what Richard has to say about his upcoming Olympic and Paralympic experiences in this Q+A:
What was your initial reactions after receiving a letter of position at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?
My first reaction was just… wow, yes yes yes! I went over to officiate at the New Zealand Open soon after my Olympic appointment, which would not then be known to those other than Oceania/BWF level officials. On the first day of umpires briefing, I heard a voice beside me – “Congratulations”. After a short conversation about my appointment, its initial nomination, vetting process, I just came away from the event thinking – “Hey, that email from BWF is no fake news, you are really on your way to the Games!”
What are you most looking forward to when line judging in Tokyo?
I’m mostly looking forward to being close to the courtside action, renewing, and making new friendships with other sports-minded personnel.
Which other tournaments have you been a line judge at?
I have been a line judge at previous World Championships, Sudirman Cup and SuperSeries Finals, Commonwealth Games , World Senior Badminton Championships and the VICTOR Oceania Para Badminton Championships 2019.
How do you maintain your focus when judging a line and not get distracted?
Upon sitting down, I ensure that I am relaxed and have a good posture. I mentally work out my area and line of responsibility and focus completely on that area. I turn my “blinkers” on and bascially, nothing else matters thence forth.
Are there any interesting facts about line judging that the ‘average joe’ might not know?
If you happen to know the language of the players/coaches, you would be surprised by the type of insights/exchange as the match progresses. You would also find why some players are more combustible than others.
For example, I would make a line call which the player(s) might think otherwise; some coaches would immediately tell their charges – “never mind that, next point now”; some would “incite” the player, and all hell breaks loose over my call. In other words, some coaches can keep their players nice and calm, others not so much. Perhaps its their style. I reserve my judgement.
Officiating at badminton events is my way to put back into the sport that has given me much enjoyment. It can be hard yakka; but it also brings insights into areas about myself, players, and other things which I will not otherwise be across.
The new friendships and places are a bonus.