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China eyeing badminton women's singles gold at Tokyo 2020, says coach Luo

2020-06-21 14:12:00 Xinhuanet

BEIJING, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese national badminton coach Luo Yigang is aiming for gold in the women's singles at next year's Tokyo Olympic Games, with current world No. 2 Chen Yufei the ace in his team.

"I have to say it will be highly competitive in the women's singles in Tokyo, as each top 10 player has a chance to win the title," Luo told the Chinese Badminton Association's official website on Saturday.

"Our goal is also the gold medal," the 35-year-old coach said.

There are two players from China now ranking among the world top 10 - second-placed Chen and No. 8 He Bingjiao - and Luo considers 22-year-old Chen to be the team's best hope.

"Chen won seven BWF World Tour titles in 2019, including the Finals in December and the All-England Open in March. She has become a more experienced player after steady performances throughout the whole year," Luo said.

The 2019 Finals winner ever surged to the top of the world rankings with the title in Guangzhou last December, where she recorded five straight wins, including a tough three-game victory over Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu-ying.

However, Tai took revenge in the All-England final this March, before all badminton competitions were suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tai's win also saw the two players swap places in the world rankings.

"Tai is a powerful player who played very aggressively. She is one of the biggest gold medal candidates in Tokyo. Other players like Spain's Carolina Marin, Sindhu Pusarla from India and Japanese duo Akane Yamaguchi and Nozomi Okuhara are also very competitive," Luo added.

China won four consecutive Olympic golds in women's singles from 2000 to 2012, before Marin snapped the country's dominance at Rio in 2016.

The Tokyo Olympic Games have been postponed for one year to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Enditem

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