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Badminton: Tale of two countries showing differences between China and Taiwan

Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ying, China's Chen Yufei provided interesting perspectives on the two societies

Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ing and Chen Yufei battled for gold in Tokyo.

Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ing and Chen Yufei battled for gold in Tokyo. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two of the world's best badminton players, Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) and China's Chen Yufei (陳雨菲), battled for gold at the Tokyo Olympics, and in a sense, their opposing personalities and styles of play emphasized the differences between the two countries, Suddeutsche Zeitung has reported.

Chen, who ranks second in the world, is a defensive player who seldom fails to return the shuttlecock. Meanwhile, the "Queen of Badminton" Tzu-ying is known for her varied tactics and switching between offense and defense.

The opposing styles reflect the differences between China and Taiwan, UDN reported. Chen symbolizes the obedience to regulations in Chinese society, while Tai represents the passion and freedom of Taiwan.

The motivations behind the players are also worth noting. Tai told the Badminton World Federation (BWF) that she fell in love with badminton in primary school. Chen, on the other hand, said she was so naughty as a kid that her parents sent her to badminton lessons at the age of six.

When talking about their memorable sporting achievements, Tai recalled the 2010 Li-Ning Singapore Open (World Superseries), which was held on her birthday, and fans celebrated with her. As for Chen, she picked the 2017 World Championships, when she won the bronze medal and saw the "Chinese flag rising," which made her ambitious to get a gold, according to BWF.

China attaches great importance to victory, as China's whole sporting system acts like a gold-medal manufacturer, The New York Times said. Their athletes have made tremendous sacrifices, starting with total immersion training at a very young age and limited academic education.

Even so, Suddeutsche Zeitung reporter Thomas Hahn said that while cross-strait relations are complicated, the sportsmanship between the two young athletes was worthy of more attention.

Updated : 2022-05-29 06:28 GMT+08:00