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Thread: Li Li quits national squad
01-31-2008, 03:50 AM #1
Li Li quits national squad
The Straits Times
January 31, 2008
By Jeanette Wang
Singapore's top woman shuttler, Li Li has thrown in the towel for good.
A Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) official yesterday confirmed with The Straits Times that the 24-year-old player tendered her resignation form the national tieam "late last week".
Said the official: "Li Li cited personal reasons. The SBA respected her decision and has accepted her resignation.
"But, if she finds her desire for active competition again, the door is always open."
Yesterday morning, Li Li returned to her native Wuhan in China's Hubei province to spend Chinese New Year with her parents. Whe could not be reached for comment.
Zhang Quigwu, who had coached the shuttler to her biggest win - the 2002 Commonwealth Games title - was surprised when told of the news.
He said: "With the Olympics coming up this year, she had no reason to quit."
Li Li, the world No 27, was on course to qualify for one of the 38 berths at
August's Beijing Games.
She was part of Project 0812, the Singapore National Olympic Council initiative launched last January with the goal of clinching the Republic an Olympic medal at the 2008 or 2012 Games.
The project is armed with a war chest of about $7 million and comprises athletes from sialing, table tennis, shooting and badminton, including Ronald Susilo and Li Yujia (and her WD partner Jiang Yanmei, I believe).
No doubt, Li Li's resignationa is a loss to the SBA.
She was an integral member of the gold medal-winning women's team at the 2003 South-east Asia Games and the 2006 Asian Games runner-up team.
But the SBA official added: "When the player really feels tired and needs a break, continuing is not something you can force her to do. We wish her good luck and we hope she has a good break."
Known for possessing the heart of a lion within a pint-sized 1.60 m frame, Li Li came to Singapore in late 1997 and received citizenship in 2002. (She was from a pioneer batch of 3 or 4 girls from China.)
She rose to prominence after stunning home favourite Tracey Hallam of England in the 2002 Commonwealth Games final in Manchester. It was the Republic's first Commonwealth Games badminton gold.
But, since then, the Singapore Sports Council Hall of Famer has been plagued with knee injuries and has struggled to find her form.
At the 2006 Commonwealth Games she made an early exit after falling to India's Aparna Popat in the round of 16.
Her most recent tournament was the Malaysia Open Super Series a fortnight ago, where she crashed out in the opening round.
01-31-2008, 04:06 AM #2
Oh no wat a sad news anw hope to c u again li li best wishes & all the best
01-31-2008, 04:07 AM #3
01-31-2008, 04:16 AM #4
Is there anything got to do with her quitting the nationals team??? there's are players with always up & down situation can u reach up to the top national team??? or can u even beat her...
01-31-2008, 04:17 AM #5
Li Li needs a little private time to herself to sort things out and perhaps a psychologist to help her at this crucial time of her life. Hopefully she could return to do what she is best at at least three months before the Olympics to gear herself up again.
01-31-2008, 04:21 AM #6
Yeah hopefully she can return to team singapore soon good luck li li...
01-31-2008, 04:57 AM #7
Another article on yesterday's TODAY newspaper:
TIRED LI LI QUITS PROJECT 0812
By LOW LIN FHOONG
SIX years ago, at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, Li Li was the toast of the badminton world when the then 19-year-old upset England’s Tracey Hallam in the women’s singles final, to win Singapore’s first ever Commonwealth badminton gold.
Yesterday, Singapore’s No 1 women’s badminton player told TODAY that her love for the game has dried up () and she has decided to quit Project 0812, the Singapore National Olympic Council’s (SNOC) $7 million programme which aims to provide elite athletes with all the support they need for a shot at an Olympic medal in 2008 or 2012.
“Yes, I’ve quit Project 0812,” said the 24-year-old yesterday.
“I just don’t feel like playing badminton and want to take a break to rest for a while.”
Although Li Li’s best showing last year was a semi-final spot at October’s Dutch Open Grand Prix, her world No 27 ranking will most certainly qualify her for one of the 38 berths at this August’s Beijing Olympics.
But the 2003 SEA Games gold medallist (women’s team) and 2006 Asian Games silver medallist (women’s team) is now unlikely to feature in the Olympic event.
“I don’t know if I will continue with badminton,” said Li Li, who received her Singapore citizenship in May 2002.
“Right now, I’m planning to return to Wuhan to spend Chinese New Year with my parents. I need time to think about my future in the sport.”
Li Li informed the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) of her decision on Monday, which the association’s chief executive officer Kelvin Ng confirmed.
“Li Li said that she’s tired and wants to take a break for personal
reasons,” said Ng. “She was quite insistent on quitting.
“But if she wants to come back, our door is always open.”
Li Li is Project 0812’s third casualty since the programme was launched a year ago.
Last March, table tennis player Zhang Xueling parted ways with her association and left the country, saying she wanted to join her husband in Shanghai — she got married in September 2006.
In November, sailor Maximilian Soh withdrew after disagreements with SingaporeSailing on training requirements, travel and management issues and coaching choices.
The 22 remaining athletes in Project 0812 are from sailing, table tennis, shooting and badminton, including shuttlers Ronald Susilo, Jiang Yanmei and Li Yujia.
Li Li shot to fame at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, when hardly anyone gave the then world No 51 a chance in the women’s singles final against Hallam, who was 32 places above her and playing at home.
She stunned Hallam in four games and took home another silver medal in the mixed team event.
Since then, plagued by knee injuries, the Singapore shuttler has struggled to find her form at major international competitions, while registering wins in smaller events.
She sent notice of her comeback in 2005 at the Malaysian Open, a four-star Grand Prix event, when she defeated world No 1 Xie Xingfang in the opening round, making it to the semi-finals before falling to China’s Zhu Lin.
At the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Li Li failed to defend her crown when she lost to India’s Aparna Popat in the round of 16.
01-31-2008, 05:03 AM #8
what a shame, i would have thought she'd quit after the olympics at least.
01-31-2008, 05:50 AM #9
Singapore won a silver medal in the Asian Games women's team event?
01-31-2008, 05:59 AM #10
hmmm, i thought china took gold, japan took silver, KOR and SIN took bronze?
01-31-2008, 06:03 AM #11
01-31-2008, 06:07 AM #12
Thats a sad news for Singapore. Feel bad for her. Hope she can come back.
01-31-2008, 06:56 AM #13
Another one bites the dust....
Not a good motivation to the juniors...
01-31-2008, 07:44 AM #14
its a very sad news to hear that Li Li had quit!...
01-31-2008, 11:57 AM #15
i was surprised to read this
it is olympic year and Li Li is still young
anyway hope things will go well for her
01-31-2008, 07:56 PM #16
if not mistaken, she used to beat WMC quite frequently when they meey right?
01-31-2008, 09:05 PM #17
she's just like the older sis of the ladies singles for team sin,hope sin will still be able to continue to do well now hope left with xing aiying gu juan n fu mingtian...
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