Badminton star Tai Tzu-ying wins All England Open title

World No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying from Taiwan clinched the women's singles title at the 2017 Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships by defeating Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon March 12 in Birmingham, becoming the first Taiwan athlete to win the title and taking home US$45,000 in prize money.

The tournament, held from March 7-12 at the Barclaycard Arena, is a Badminton World Federation-sanctioned Superseries Premier event. First held in 1899, the All England Open is the sport's oldest competition.

Speaking to her fans via live streaming video on Facebook, Tai said after winning the first game she started to fall behind in the second, but that she kept pushing herself because she really didn't want to compete in the third game and didn't want to lose. After 51 minutes, Tai defeated Intanon 21:16, 22:20.

I've competed in this tournament for many years now, Tai said at the arena after winning the finals. I'm very happy that this year I can win it to the sound of cheers and support from so many people.

Tai returned March 14 to Taiwan, and was greeted with applause and flowers at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. My strategy was to take it one match at a time, and try to do my best for each, she said. The result isn't always the most important thing. It's how you get there that counts.

After hearing of Tai's victory, President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President Chen Chien-jen, Premier Lin Chuan and Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung sent congratulatory messages to the young athlete. The Sports Administration under the MOE said in a statement that it will continue to foster young talent as well as hire outstanding international coaches to help Taiwan athletes realize their full potential.

In November last year, Tai was catapulted to No. 1 in the world under the BWF after she secured the 2016 Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open Badminton Championships women's singles title. Tai first made a name for herself in 2011 after becoming the youngest ever top-ranked player in Taiwan at the age of 16.

At the 2014 Asian Games, she earned a third-place finish. Later that year, she became the first Taiwan player to win the women's singles event at the BWF's Destination Dubai World Superseries.

Source: Taiwan Today