Taiwan’s top badminton players advance at Yonex Thailand Open

Focus Taiwan
Date: 01/13/2021
By: Lung Po-an and Kay Liu

World No. 2 Chou Tien-chen. Photo courtesy of the Badminton Association of Thailand

Taipei, Jan. 13 (CNA) Taiwan's top ranked badminton players entered the round of 16 at the Yonex Thailand Open in Bangkok on Wednesday, after winning their opening match.

World No. 2 Chou Tien-chen (周天成) had a rough start against Thailand's Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (No. 29), losing the first game 16-21, but he rallied 21-10, 21-14 to win the match.

Chou will face Shesar Hiren Rhustavito of Indonesia (No. 18) next.

Meanwhile, world No. 12 Wang Tzu-wei (王子維) had a close match against Brice Leverdez of France, each winning one game, before the Taiwanese went on to clinch victory 21-12, 14-21, 21-16.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan takes three wins at Thai Open

WORTH WATCHING: Spain’s Carolina Marin sailed to victory, while Malaysia’s Liew Daren, ranked world No. 41, was thrilled to beat third seed Anders Antonsen

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 14, 2021

Taiwan’s Wang Chi-lin, left, returns as his partner, Lee Yang, watches in their All England Open men’s doubles semi-final against Indonesia’s Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo in Birmingham, England, on March 14 last year.
Photo: Reuters

Taiwan’s Chou Tien-chen, the world No. 2, was yesterday forced into a three-set decider by Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk at the Yonex Thailand Open.

The local, who ranks 39th worldwide, came out firing in the first game 16-21, but quickly lost momentum going down 21-10, 21-14.

Wang Tzu-wei, the world No. 12 from Taiwan, took three sets to beat France’s 37th-ranked Brice Leverdez 21-12, 14-21, 21-16.

In the doubles, Taiwan’s Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin easily beat Denmark’s Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen 21-13 in the first set, before clinching the match 21-18 in the second set.    [FULL  STORY]

World No. 1 Tai returns with a victory

VIRUS RISK: India’s Saina Nehwal tested positive for COVID-19 at the Yonex Thailand Open, while three other players were being retested after receiving conflicting results

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 13, 2021
By: Staff writer, with CNA and AFP, BANGKOK

Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying returns a shot to China’s Chen Yufei during their All England Open women’s singles final in Birmingham, England, on March 15 last year.

Taiwanese badminton star Tai Tzu-ying yesterday returned to international competition after an eight-month break with a victory at the Yonex Thailand Open in Bangkok.

Twenty-six-year-old Tai, 26, the top-seeded player at the tournament, met 18-year-old Thai player Benyapa Aimsaard in the opening round and narrowly won 21-18, 26-24.

Her previous tournament was the Yonex All England Open in March last year, where she won the women’s singles title, before the BWF World Tour was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Benyapa was a last-minute replacement after another Thai player pulled out of the event.

Taiwanese badminton players prepare for events in Thailand

Focus Taiwan
Date: 12/27/2020
By Lung Po-an, Huang Chiao-wen and Kay Liu

Tai Tzu-ying. CNA photo Dec. 27, 2020

Taipei, Dec. 27 (CNA) World No. 1 female badminton player Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) said on Sunday that she will compete in the Badminton World Federation's (BWF's) first three events in 2021 to be held in Bangkok in January, even though she will have to spend the Lunar New Year holiday in quarantine upon her return to Taiwan afterward.

The YONEX Thailand Open, which takes place Jan. 12-17 will be Tai's first appearance in the the HSBC BWF World Tour since she clinched the title in the United Kingdom in March before the international sporting body's calendar was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will be followed by the Toyota Thailand Open Jan. 19-24, before the HSBC BWF 2020 World Tour Final Jan. 27-31.

Taiwan's top two male players, World No. 2 Chou Tien-chen (周天成) and No. 12 Wang Tzu-wei (王子維), have also said that they plan to travel to Bangkok for the BWF events.

Tai said it will be the first time she has spent the Lunar New Year holiday, which falls in February next year, not competing, even though she will have to go into mandatory quarantine up    [FULL  STORY]

Kenyan, Ethiopian runners dominate 2020 Taipei Marathon

Focus Taiwan
Date: 12/20/2020
By: Kay Liu

At the starting line in front of Taipei City Hall. CNA photo Dec. 20, 2020

Taipei, Dec. 20 (CNA) Paul Lonyangata of Kenya broke a four-year-old record to win the men's division of the 2020 Taipei Marathon, while runners from Ethiopia clinched the top three spots in the women's race.

Lonyangata finished the 42.195-km run in 2 hours, 8 minutes and 26 seconds, besting the previous record of 2:09:59 set by countryman Sammy Kitwara in 2016 by more than a minute.

For setting the new record, he earned an extra NT$1 million (US$35,463), on top of the first place prize of NT$800,000, according to organizers.

"I feel so happy," said Lonyangata when receiving the prize, noting that he was satisfied with his finishing time considering the rainy weather in Taipei.    [FULL  STORY]

Park project sees cricket bosses eye ACC affiliation

Taipei Times
Date: Dec 22, 2020
By: Grant Dexter / Staff reporter

Cricket officials yesterday outlined plans to build cricket grounds as part of a leisure park project in Yunlin County as administrators of the sport eye a return to international affiliation.

Taiwan has one venue dedicated to the sport, the Yingfeng Cricket Ground in Taipei’s Songshan District, and if the Yunlin plans are completed as scheduled in 2022, the nation would have three.

To gain Asian Cricket Council (ACC) affiliation, the pathway Taiwan faces to gain International Cricket Council recognition and to play on the global stage, two cricket grounds are required.

Although advice from experts says that the ACC rules regarding grounds can be filled using non-dedicated venues, those that would qualify — for example, the Yunsan baseball fields in Chiayi City, which Taiwan Cricket use for matches outside Taipei — are rented baseball grounds that are unsuitable for regular cricket due to their lack of availability and facilities, which make matches a challenge to stage.    [FULL  STORY]

Taipei Fubon Braves win first game of newly established P.League+

Focus Taiwan
Date: 12/19/20207Listen
By: Huang Chiao-wen and Kay Liu

The Dreamers’ Yang Chin-min (right) scores the first points. CNA photo Dec. 19, 2020

Taipei, Dec. 19 (CNA) The visiting Taipei Fubon Braves won the first game of Taiwan's newly established professional basketball league — the P.League+ — beating the Formosa Taishin Dreamers 89-86 in Changhua County on Saturday.

The game in Changhua was the official opener to the four-team league's inaugural season, which will run through April next year, and drew over 6,000 spectators, according to the league.

League founder and CEO Blackie Chen (陳建州), a television host and former professional basketball player, choked back tears at the opening ceremony before the game and simply said, "Thanks everyone for coming. Thank you."   [FULL  STORY]

LPGA unveils schedule, Taiwan event in October

Taipei Times
Date: Dec 20, 2020
By: AP, NAPLES, Florida

An LPGA flag waves at the Drive On Championship in Greensboro, Georgia, on Oct. 24.
Photo: AFP

LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan no longer measures success by making it to the end of a year disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic: A schedule for next year he released on Friday suggests that the LPGA Tour came out stronger than ever.

The Tour has added two tournaments and did not lose any of the ones that had to cancel because of the pandemic shutdown, including the Taiwan Swinging Skirts event.

Whan left little wiggle room for more interruptions with a schedule that is to start on Jan. 21 in Florida and end 10 months later with consecutive events in Florida.

The first seven tournaments are all in the US, with the Asia swing moving to the spring, including the US$2.2 million Taiwan event from Oct. 28 to 31 at the Miramar course in New Taipei City’s Linkou District.      [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan weightlifter to receive Olympic gold, years later

Taipei Times
Date: Dec 16, 2020
By: Staff writer, with CNA

Hsu Shu-ching reacts during the Women’s 53kg Group A weightlifting event at the London Olympic Games in England on July 29, 2012.
Photo: EPA

Weightlifter Hsu Shu-ching is to receive the gold medal she was awarded in 2016 for her performance at the 2012 London Olympics sometime next year after the gold was confirmed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Hsu won a silver medal in the women’s 53kg weightlifting event, finishing behind Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan.

However, three weeks before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, the International Weightlifting Federation announced that the Kazakh weightlifter had failed her drug test and that Hsu would replace her as the gold medalist.

The IOC formally confirmed Chinshanlo’s disqualification from the London games on Oct. 27, 2016, giving Hsu first place and her second Olympic gold. She also won one at the Rio games.    [FULL  STORY]

Taiwan sports body preparing for Olympics’ breakdancing debut in 2024

Focus Taiwan
Date: 12/12/2020
By: Lung Po-an and Kay Liu

Chien Chia-Cheng, aka KennyG, competes at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 12 (CNA) The Chinese Taipei DanceSport Federation said it had been making preparations to send a team to the 2024 Paris Olympics, even before the recent announcement that breakdancing will be introduced then as a sport.

Mary Yeh (劉渼麗), head of the federation, said it had been expecting the announcement, particularly after breakdancing became a competitive event at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires for the first time.

Breakdancing is a form of street dance, officially called breaking by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which announced on Dec. 7 that the dance would be included in the 2024 Summer Games as a new sport.

However, baseball and karate, which will be part of the Tokyo Games in July 2021, were dropped when the IOC unveiled the list of sports for the Paris Games.    [FULL  STORY]