Friday, 14 Jun 2024

Badminton Pan America: A Journey to Tokyo 2020

The Pan Am Championships 2021 in Guatemala (28 April to 2 May) witnessed an intense battle for the men’s singles place at Tokyo 2020. Brian Yang and Jason Anthony Ho-Shue, Canadian badminton players, were deadlocked in the race. Yang, ranked behind Ho-Shue, knew he had to outperform his compatriot at the continental championships to secure his spot. Ultimately, both players reached the final, creating a virtual shootout for the qualifying position. With a comfortable lead of 21-13 18-10, Ho-Shue retired due to injury, granting Yang his first Pan Am Championships crown and the necessary points to surpass his competitor in the Race to Tokyo.

In an exclusive interview with BWF, 19-year-old Brian Yang shares his excitement about qualifying for his first Olympics and sheds light on his preparations leading up to the Games. Let’s dive deeper into his journey and aspirations.

What Qualifying for the Olympics Means to Brian Yang

Qualifying for the Olympics holds significant meaning for Yang, particularly because it was the last qualifying event with crucial points at stake. Being behind Ho-Shue in the rankings, Yang needed to outperform him to secure his Olympic dream. Both players ended up in the final, where Yang knew he had to defeat his compatriot to surpass him. With determination and skill, Yang emerged victorious, clinching the Pan Am title and punching his ticket to Tokyo.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  Badminton Pan America

The Mindset for the Final Showdown

Approaching the final, Yang experienced a mix of nervousness and excitement. Having not faced Ho-Shue in a tournament for a long time, the stakes were high. This match was Yang’s final chance to display his skills and prove himself against his rival. Fueled by determination, Yang gave it his all, resulting in a double victory—winning the Pan Am Championships and securing his place in Tokyo.

Preparing for Tokyo: Training and Focus

With Tokyo on the horizon, Yang’s training schedule remains consistent. He trains twice a day on weekdays and once a day on weekends. However, his coach now emphasizes fitness, endurance, and consistency. Endurance is crucial to compete against top players, as longer matches provide more opportunities to gain experience and sharpen his skills. Maximizing his time in Tokyo is a priority for Yang, with a focus on continuous improvement rather than solely chasing results.

Balancing Priorities amidst Uncertainties

While the pandemic and its uncertainties loom, Yang maintains a focused mindset. He avoids being consumed by news of rising COVID cases and instead hopes for the Olympics to proceed as planned. Control over the situation remains outside his realm, so he chooses to concentrate on his training and performance, undeterred by external factors.

Strengthening the Mental Game

In addition to on-court and off-court training, Yang acknowledges the significance of the mental aspect of his game. During the pandemic, he worked with a mental coach, which greatly enhanced his mental fortitude and consistency. Recognizing the inconsistencies in his mental game, Yang made strides in improving this area, a key component of his growth as an athlete.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  Badminton in Pan America

A Late Goal, But an Unwavering Commitment

Unlike many athletes who have been eyeing the Olympics since their early years, Yang’s decision to pursue Tokyo 2020 came later, around late 2018 to early 2019. Initially, he set his sights on the 2024 Olympics as his first target. However, realizing the possibility of making Tokyo, he committed to the challenge. Despite a disadvantageous ranking and limited international exposure, Yang embraced the journey, appreciating the value of starting from the ground up.

Part 2 of this interview will follow, delving deeper into Brian Yang’s journey to Tokyo and the lessons he has learned along the way. Stay tuned for more insights from this rising star in Canadian badminton.


Q: How did Brian Yang secure his spot in the Olympics?
A: Brian Yang secured his place in the Olympics by winning the Pan Am Championships 2021. The final showdown against fellow Canadian Jason Anthony Ho-Shue determined the qualifying spot for Tokyo 2020.

Q: When did Brian Yang decide to aim for the Olympics?
A: Brian Yang made the decision to strive for the Olympics in late 2018 to early 2019. While initially targeting the 2024 Olympics, he realized the opportunity to participate in Tokyo and committed to achieving that goal.

Q: How has Brian Yang trained for the Olympics?
A: Brian Yang follows a rigorous training schedule, practicing twice a day on weekdays and once a day on weekends. His focus now lies on improving his fitness, endurance, and consistency, enabling him to face top players and maximize his experience in Tokyo.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  News | BWF World Championships


Brian Yang’s journey to the Olympics is one filled with determination, perseverance, and a commitment to growth. Qualifying for Tokyo 2020 at the Pan Am Championships was a major milestone for this young Canadian badminton player. Balancing physical training, mental fortitude, and navigating uncertainties, Yang continues to prepare himself for the ultimate sporting event. Stay tuned for the next part of this interview, where Yang will share further insights and reflections. In the meantime, let us support him on this incredible journey towards achieving his Olympic dreams.

Follow Brian Yang’s progress on for the latest updates and join the excitement as we cheer him on in Tokyo!