Huang quits S'pore team

Huang quits S'pore team
Huang Chao is expected to remain in Singapore and has not ruled out the possibility of working with the Singapore Badminton Association in future.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

National badminton player Huang Chao is hanging up his racket for good, having played for Singapore since 2010.

The 22-year-old, whose resignation has been accepted by the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA), will leave the national team at the end of this month.

A dislocation to his shoulder this year - which took Huang out of participating in June's SEA Games - had contributed to the decision.

He could not be reached for comment yesterday, as he is currently on leave in China.

It is understood that the China-born shuttler's struggle to reach a breakthrough in his career had also been a factor.

Huang, who is ranked world No. 180 and reached a career high of No. 121 in 2011, had been in discussion with the SBA over his future.

SBA director of team administration Chew Keet Hou told The Straits Times yesterday that while Huang has recovered from his shoulder injury, it remains a concern for the powerfully-built, 1.84m-tall player.

"The doctors have told him that there's a chance of him dislocating his shoulder again if he uses too much force," said Chew.

"That is quite a blow to him because his game is largely built around his strong offence, and if he can't do hard smashes, he loses the ultimate weapon in his game."

It is understood that Huang aims to remain here. While nothing has been finalised, he is open to contributing to the SBA in the future.

Huang, who is a Hubei native, came to Singapore at the age of 12 in 2004 under the Foreign Sports Talent Scheme.

The three-time provincial junior champion, whose father Huang Kai was a national player for China in the 1980s, became a citizen in 2010. That year, he was Singapore's lone badminton representative at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

He made it to the quarter-finals, upsetting India's second seed B. Sai Praneeth along the way.

The YOG remains the biggest highlight of Huang's career.

Said Chew: "Huang Chao hasn't had a breakthrough in the senior circuit since then.

"It's really unfortunate that he's injured his shoulder, and that's had a huge impact on his game.

"He is still very young so, in that sense, he's unable to go on further to really fully realise his potential."

Huang was part of the squad who won men's team bronzes at the 2009 and 2011 SEA Games.

He also played a part in the mixed team bronze at last year's Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Meanwhile, Singapore's squad - including men's singles player Derek Wong, women's singles player Chen Jiayuan, doubles players Vanessa Neo, Shinta Mulia Sari and Danny Bawa Chrisnanta - will be competing at the world championships in Jakarta from Aug 10.


This article was first published on Aug 01, 2015.
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