Sat, 25 Sep 2021

TOKYO, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, the second seed in badminton women's singles, said here on Saturday that her goal for the Tokyo Olympics is to clinch a medal, no matter what color, after she routed Swiss Jaquet Sabrina 2-0 in the opening round of group play.

Tai, the world's No.1 shuttler, snatched the gold at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. However, she has yet to claim a medal at the World Championships, nor on the Olympic arena. She was eliminated in the round of last 16 both in London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Asked what her goal was for the Tokyo Olympics, Tai said in a candid manner. "I want to better my record and grab a medal, no matter if it is gold or not."

"I have to win all games in the group play round to reach the quarterfinals," Tai said after she breezed past her opponent. "Up till now I feel okay and didn't make a lot of mistakes except for the second set. I hope that I can improve that in the next match."

In regards to the mistakes she made in the second set, Tai noted that may owe to less control of on-field wind direction. "It feels a bit different from that in my training over the past few days."

Tai said that she must get herself into play as soon as possible, after she watched women's doubles athletes battle each other intensely. "Singles' games might not be as fierce as the doubles from the start of the tournament, but when group play comes to an end, each and every game afterwards will be extremely tough."

The Olympic badminton tournament kicked off Saturday at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, yet in an almost "empty" stadium without any spectators in the stands because of COVID-19.

"I feel quite accustomed to it (the empty stadium), because we played in the Thailand Open in January this year exactly like this," Tai said.

Still, she admitted that many athletes will bring more enthusiasm into the game when they play in the court hearing spectators cheering for them, and she is no exception.

Because of the similar experience in the Thailand Open, Tai said she has adapted well.

"But it still takes a longer while for me to fall into sleep at night because of the one-hour time lag," she noted.

At 22, Tai ascended to the top of the women's singles rankings in December 2016, and holds it for the longest period of 148 weeks in the history of the Badminton World Federation.

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