Badminton Life

Hong Kong's Yip Seeks Spiritual Fulfillment

While Olympic medals are an obvious goal, Hong Kong's Beijing Games hopeful Yip Pui-yin prefers to wallow in the spiritual side of things.

In a recent interview with a government publication, Yip said titles and fame are only part of the deal. She is also looking to set an example as an upstanding athlete who adheres to the Olympic spirit of sportsmanship.

She said that as long as she does her best, the results will come.

"Just being part of the Games is my dream and I am really looking forward to participating," she said.

"Playing badminton involves many aspects - fitness, technique, flexibility and reflexes. Speed and strength are my advantages but my technique and rhythm needs improvement and I am working on these."

Yip is still awaiting the official rankings from the Badminton World Federation to see if she will qualify for the Games. She needs to be in the top 16 in the world at the end of April to be assured of a spot in the women's singles draw.

Her cause was helped after she reached the semi-finals of the recent Asian Championships in Johor Bahru.

Yip has already tasted success at a major multi-sport event, taking the silver medal at the 2006 Doha Asian Games.

Her rather eccentric style of play has been criticised as too awkward to win major matches but Yip is determined to maintain her style. More than how she holds the racket is how she performs as a role model.

Yip and Wang are among Hong Kong's best hopes for medals at the Beijing Olympic Games, which has the added incentive of being held in China. Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 after 150 years of British colonial rule.

She said: "Having the Olympics means a lot to the Chinese because it is the first time China has hosted it. I am looking forward to participating in it and will help promote the event.

"It is also a great honour for Hong Kong to host a leg of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay. The May 2 Hong Kong leg of the relay has become a hot topic in town and will help build the Olympic atmosphere in Hong Kong."

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