Shuttler Wei Han faces shoulder surgery
Mixed doubles player, who carried the injury at the Commonwealth Games, considering operation
National shuttler Tan Wei Han had planned to break into the world's top 10 with her mixed doubles partner Terry Hee this year.
Unfortunately, that may have to wait for the pair, who are ranked world No. 21.
Tan, 24, told The New Paper yesterday that she has been playing with a shoulder injury picked up before the Commonwealth Games, where the pair reached the quarter-finals and lost 21-17, 21-13 to England's eventual silver medallists Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith.
Yesterday, Tan said that she is considering surgery on her shoulder.
She was speaking on the sidelines of a sponsorship-signing ceremony at the Chinese Swimming Club, where it was announced that apparel giant Li-Ning will extend its sponsorship by pumping in $5 million to the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) over five years.
Said Tan: "Before I went for the Games, I actually got quite a serious injury on my shoulder, so I wasn't at my best to compete.
"But personally, getting into the quarter-finals was still quite an achievement for me and my partner.
"It's just a pity we couldn't play to our maximum (potential)."
Tan, who suffered the injury in December, has been coping with physiotherapy and rehab.
She added: "I've also spoken to a few doctors and most of them advised me to go for surgery, and I might consider that.
"And if I do go for surgery, that will put me out for up to five months, so we'll probably have to put the top-10 target on hold."
With Li-Ning's long-term commitment to shuttlers - it has been sponsoring the SBA since 2009 - Tan's comeback will be made slightly easier.
As part of the sponsorship deal, which runs till March 2022, the apparel giant will continue to be SBA's key sponsor for national players and the Singapore Open, which is from July 17-22.
Said Tan: "Li-Ning's support is very important for us because of all the equipment and apparel they provide and also the world-ranking incentive.
"It is definitely a huge boost and encouragement for me and Terry to maintain our ranking or climb even higher."
Also hoping to rise in the rankings is men's singles player Loh Kean Yew.
The 20-year-old national serviceman, who was also at yesterday's ceremony, had a creditable outing at the Commonwealth Games, where he lost to eventual champion Lee Chong Wei in the quarter-finals.
In the team event, he came close to beating England's world No. 22 Rajiv Ouseph and also played against India's world No. 1 Srikanth Kidambi.
Loh said: "We may not have won a medal (at the Games), but we got to play with top players and put up a good fight.
"Playing against top players like Srikanth and Chong Wei, it was a good experience for me to gauge how far I am."
Loh, who has seen his world ranking drop from his highest of 111 to 227 due to a lack of international participation, can't wait to play against the world's best shuttlers again.
"I'm looking forward to training full-time. Hopefully, one day I can meet Srikanth again and beat him this time," Loh, who completes his NS in October, added with a chuckle.
That would certainly be music to the ears of Mahender Kapoor, director of Li-Ning distributor Sunlight Sports.
Said Kapoor: " I would like Singapore (shuttlers) to show that we are capable of achieving results just like our national swimmer Joseph Schooling.
"And now that we've got the best coach available in the singles division today, Mr Mulyo (Handoyo)… I hope our players will buck up and show that we are hungry to win."
SINGAPORE BADMINTON OPEN
- When: July 17-22
- Where: Singapore Indoor Stadium
- Tickets available on www.sportshub.com.sg/SBO2018, with early-bird promotions ending on May 18.