Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

Badminton Pan America: A Journey to Tokyo 2020

Going into the Pan Am Championships 2021 in Guatemala (28 April to 2 May), Brian Yang and Jason Anthony Ho-Shue were in a close race for the men’s singles spot at Tokyo 2020. Yang, ranked behind Ho-Shue, knew he had to outperform his compatriot at the continental championships. Both players reached the final, making it a virtual shootout for the qualifying spot. Yang took the lead with a score of 21-13 18-10, and Ho-Shue retired due to injury, granting Yang his first Pan Am Championships crown and the points he needed to overtake his compatriot in the Race to Tokyo.

In this interview with Badminton World Federation (BWF), the 19-year-old Canadian, Brian Yang, expresses his joy of making the cut for the Olympics and discusses his preparations leading up to the games. Let’s dive into the interview and get insights into Yang’s journey and aspirations.

What Qualifying for the Olympics Means to Brian Yang

Qualifying for his first Olympics held immense significance for Brian Yang. As this event was the last chance for Olympic qualification, securing a strong performance was vital. Jason Ho-Shue was ahead of Yang in rankings, and Yang needed to perform better than him to surpass him. Both players made it to the final, and Yang knew he had to beat Ho-Shue to secure his spot. With determination and skill, Yang emerged victorious, securing the Pan Am title and a ticket to Tokyo.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  BWF News

Overcoming Nervousness and Focusing on the Final

With the Olympic spot at stake, Yang experienced mixed emotions on the eve of the final. He felt relieved after reaching the final but also experienced nervousness and excitement. The tournament marked his first encounter with Ho-Shue in a long time, adding to the anticipation. Yang recognized this as his final opportunity to showcase his abilities to his competitor. He gave his all and emerged triumphant, achieving both the Pan Am title and Olympic qualification.

Preparing for Tokyo: Training Schedule and Goals

With Tokyo as his main focus now, Yang has structured his training schedule accordingly. He trains twice a day on weekdays and once a day on weekends, focusing not only on technique but also on his fitness, endurance, and consistency. His coach aims to ensure Yang can compete for extended periods against the top players in Tokyo. Maximizing his time on court will provide valuable experience and an opportunity to refine his skills. Yang aspires to gain more than just good results; he wants to extract valuable takeaways from the Olympic experience.

Handling Uncertainty: Shutting Out the Noise

While the pandemic and its uncertainties loom, Yang maintains a strong mindset. He does not obsessively follow COVID-related news or the rising number of cases. Instead, he chooses to remain focused on his training and hopes that the games will proceed as planned. Yang acknowledges that certain factors are beyond his control, and his priority is to stay mentally prepared and continue perfecting his game.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  BWF News

The Mental Aspect: Working with a Mental Coach

Recognizing the importance of mental strength in his game, Yang sought support from a mental coach during the pandemic. This decision has significantly impacted his performance, as the mental aspect was previously inconsistent and sometimes lacking. Through working with his mental coach, Yang has developed greater mental resilience, which has proven instrumental in his journey. He values the progress he has made and appreciates the impact it has had on his game.

A Late Goal: From 2024 to Tokyo 2020

Surprisingly, Brian Yang only decided to aim for the Tokyo Olympics in late 2018 to early 2019. Initially, his sights were set on the 2024 Olympics as his debut, but he realized in 2019 that his strong performance could secure him a spot in Tokyo. Starting with a low international ranking, Yang had to work his way up by participating in smaller tournaments and playing qualifications. Despite the initial disadvantages, this journey has become all the more valuable to him, and he appreciates the challenges he has overcome.

In the next part of the interview, we’ll explore more about Brian Yang’s journey and aspirations. Stay tuned for more insights from this rising badminton star.


Q1: How did Brian Yang secure his spot for the Tokyo Olympics?

A1: Brian Yang secured his spot for the Tokyo Olympics by outperforming his compatriot, Jason Ho-Shue, in the final of the Pan Am Championships 2021. Ho-Shue retired due to injury, granting Yang the victory and the necessary points to overtake his ranking.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  News | BWF World Championships

Q2: What is Brian Yang’s training schedule for Tokyo?

A2: Brian Yang trains twice a day on weekdays and once a day on weekends. His focus is not only on technique but also on improving his fitness, endurance, and consistency. He aims to maximize his time on court to gain valuable experience against top players.

Q3: How did Brian Yang handle the uncertainties of the pandemic?

A3: Brian Yang chooses to shut out the noise and focuses on his training. He does not obsessively follow COVID-related news or the rising number of cases. His priority is to stay mentally prepared and maintain his training regimen.


Brian Yang’s journey to the Tokyo Olympics has been one of determination and skill. Qualifying for his first Olympics, Yang showcased his abilities and overcame challenges to secure his spot. With Tokyo as his focus, Yang is dedicated to maximizing his training and gaining valuable experience against top players. Amidst the uncertainties of the pandemic, he remains mentally strong and committed to his goals. The next part of the interview promises to reveal more about Brian Yang’s inspiring journey.

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