The Tokyo Olympics in 2020 was a showcase of the best athletic talent worldwide. Among them, the Hong Kong badminton mixed doubles team repeatedly set records on the field, and the rise of Jordan Tang Chun-Man cast an international spotlight on the young player. But despite his soaring popularity, he keeps a humble identity as a professional athlete. We were delighted to interview the incredibly talented badminton player.
Jordan Tang Chun-Man is currently World #2 in Badminton.
This article is also available to read in Chinese (HK).
Why did you start a career in badminton?
I chose a career in badminton because my dream expanded from a small one to a big one, the latter being to be able to participate in the Olympic Games. I love this sport so much, so I wanted to make myself better and get better results, so that's how I became a professional badminton player first.
What do you think is required to become a professional badminton player?
I think it is very important for partners to have good communication (for doubles especially), or else there will be difficulties in training. There must be good communication to solve problems first. Have a mentality that is not afraid of hard work because to be an athlete you must go through a lot of hard training.
Can you briefly describe what a day in your training life is like?
I basically start training every day from 9:00am to 12:00pm (technical training), then have a four-hour rest period, and then train again from 4:00pm to 6:30pm (physical and strength training).
What is your proudest game to date?
The game that impressed me the most was the 2020 Tokyo Olympics because it was the last game that our doubles head coach, Coach Chen Kang, took us on. In the end, we could only finish the race in fourth place, but they all told us that they were satisfied. Seeing our growth along the way has been a big reward for him.
What is the hardest or most difficult thing for you to become a badminton player?
The hardest moment in being a badminton player is when we have to increase our training intensity every winter. I am afraid of running, so I want to run away every once in a while, but my coach told me that I must practice. Hard work will lead to good results. The saddest time for me was when my partner was injured. At that time, I would feel so helpless and hopeless. Luckily, I had a coach by my side to comfort and guide me all the way.
How do you prepare physically for competition?
We usually carry out high-intensity training every month and a half so we can achieve the best state of our body. It helps us strengthen our physical fitness and strength. In addition, adequate rest is the most important thing for us, because if you don't recover fast enough from high-intensity training, you can injure your body.
How do you manage stress? Do you have any other hobbies?
Usually, when I'm stressed, I choose to listen to music and eat, because eating is my second favourite activity after badminton. As long as I eat what I like to eat, I will feel much better.
What goals have you set for yourself in 2022?
In 2022, there are two goals for the Asian Games and the World Championships. We hope that we can win medals in these two competitions.
All images courtesy of Jordan Chun Man-Tang.
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