Photo: Badmintonphoto
Lianne Tan: Making badminton more popular
Date: 5/10/2020 8:02 AM
Published by : BEC staff

The global pandemic made athletes come out of their ‘sports bubble’ says Belgium’s singles star Lianne Tan.

A common point of discussion for anyone affected by the disruption of day to day life, is how it has forced people to reflect on the important things. Tan, 29, shares her thoughts about this and the postponement of the Olympics. 

- I was, like everybody, looking forward to the Games this summer. We were very close to the end of the Olympic qualifying period, so everybody was getting more and more excited. It became clear that there was no chance to organise a safe Games this summer. As a professional athlete, you are mostly very focused in your own sports bubble. You do not think about other things too much. This pandemic made us realise there are other things than sports. Public health is always the priority, sports is a side issue.

At number 45 in the world, Belgium’s top women’s singles player is asked whether this news will affect her thoughts of retirement?

- To be honest it does not really affect my thoughts about retirement. At the moment I am happy with the life I am living now. I am enjoying training and tournaments more than I did before. That is why I did not make any retirement plans yet. As long as I am still passionate about the game and as long as I feel I have the physical abilities to continue I will keep playing.

Tan in her career has picked up nine titles, with perhaps the highlight being her bronze medal at the inaugural 2015 European Games in Baku. Tan throughout this time has been a great ambassador for her sport in Belgium. Commenting on this, she says. 

- I try to be a good ambassador. I have been around for a long time. I am quite sure I played a significant role in making badminton more popular in Belgium, especially together with my brother. We got more media attention in the period around the Olympics or after winning a European medal. We both managed to successfully combine our studies with badminton. Most of the people thought this was impossible. I hope we could inspire the younger generation in Belgium.

Read: Live with Mariya Mitsova

A bright future

Tan speaks about representing Belgium being the greatest honour she could have and when stepping on court she always wears the Belgian colours with pride. But where does she see the future of badminton in her country?

- It is a good question. For a long time, the spotlights were on me and my brother in Belgian badminton. At the moment I see there are some good talents in Belgium, and they could have a bright future if they practice hard, smart and with a good team around them. I am convinced we need to find a way to make badminton more popular in Belgium in order to get more players in the future.

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