Since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, badminton, like many other walks of life, has been on a hiatus. It has been months since the last major international tournament happened and the return of badminton has been having some difficulty as well.
The pandemic break has seen some major players retire from badminton to start a new chapter in their lives.
The following is a list of players who retired during the Covid-19 pandemic.
1. Mathias Boe, 40, Denmark
Mathias Boe announced his retirement from badminton on April 23, on his social media account. Earlier he had said that he planned to play until the Tokyo Olympics, but with the postponement of the Olympics he decided to called it a day. He wrote, “Here some 27 years later, it’s time to retire from the sport.”
Debuting in 1998, Boe has many achievements in major tournaments such as the 2012 London Olympics silver medal, the 2013 World Championships silver medal, the 2011 Sudirman Cup silver medal, and the 2016 Thomas Cup.
2. Tontowi Ahmad, 33, Indonesia
Tontowi Ahmad announced his retirement on his social media account on 18 May. Tontowi prefers to spend time with his family because as a player, he did not have much time for his wife and children.
Debuting in 2010, Tontowi has won many titles namely the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medal, the World Championships gold medal (2013, 2017), and the 2015 Sudirman Cup bronze medal.
3. Mads Conrad-Petersen, 32, Denmark
Mads Conrad-Petersen shared his retirement news on May 20 through his social media. He wrote, “All good things come to an end and now is the best time for me to end my career…So many incredible memories that I will never forget.”
The Dane joined the Danish national team in 2009. Some of his major achievement are the 2011 Sudirman Cup silver medal and the 2016 Thomas Cup.
4. Chau Hoi Wah, 34, Hong Kong
On June 6, Chau Hoi Wah announced her retirement from the Hong Kong national team. She was part of the national team for 15 years and has many achievements under her belt. One of her major achievement is the bronze medal at the 2017 World Championships with Lee Chun Hei in mixed doubles.
The left-hander wrote on her social media, “This year’s birthday is very different…Fifteen years since I joined the Hong Kong team but it felt like it has passed in the blink of an eye.”
5. Jan O Jorgensen, 32, Denmark
June 24 was Jan O Jorgensen’s last day training at the National Elite Training Center where the Danish national team train. Through Badminton Denmark official website, it was reported that he would retire fully after the DANISA Denmark Open 2020.
Jorgensen admitted having to deal with a lot of injuries and that he could no longer compete in the big tournaments. He joined the national team in 2005 and has the 2016 Thomas Cup, the 2011 Sudirman Cup silver medal and the 2015 World Championships bronze medal under his belt.
6. Carsten Mogensen, 37, Denmark
Carsten Mogensen’s last day of training with the national team was on July 2. He had been with the team for 19 years. As per reports by Badminton Denmark, Mogensen said that the new programs introduced by the national team did not seem suitable for him, which was why he decided to resign.
He said, “I cannot see myself in this (new) project. My goal was to play until 2024, but of course that should be in a project I would commit myself to…I am sad to leave, but I will continue to play in the Danish league.”
7. Lin Dan, 36, China
On July 4, Lin Dan announced his retirement from the Chinese national team through his personal Weibo account. Lin Dan was part of the national team for 20 long years. Lin Dan wrote, “At 37 years old, my physical fitness and injuries no longer allow me to fight side by side with my teammates. There is gratitude, reluctance, and frustration.”
Lin Dan is the only badminton player to ever achieve a Super Grand Slam. His major achievements include the Olympic gold medal (2008, 2012), the World Championship gold medal (2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013), the Sudirman Cup (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015), and the Thomas Cup (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2018).
8. Ayaka Takahashi, 30, Japan
Ayaka Takahashi announce her retirement on 19 August after 11 years on the national team player. She started playing at the young age of 7 and has achieved a lot in her long career. Through a press conference held to adress her retirement, she sais that she had hope to win another gold at Tokyo but she found it hard to stay motivated, especially during the pandemic.
Her major achievements include the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medal, the 2017 World Championships bronze medal, the 2018 Uber Cup and the 2019 Sudirman Cup silver medal.