Wang Wenjiao: the founding father of Chinese badminton

gofujian.com.cn | Updated: 2024-04-26

图片1.pngWang Wenjiao. [Photo/WeChat ID: fujiantv8]

Wang Wenjiao, the first head coach of China's national badminton team, had a remarkable 21-year coaching career, guiding the team to 56 individual world champions and 11 world team championships. His influence on China's badminton legacy is immeasurable.

In 1953, after triumphing at the National Games of China in Tianjin, Wang, an Indonesian Chinese player whose ancestral home is Nan 'an, Fujian, saw how underdeveloped badminton in China was. This experience motivated him to return to his ancestral homeland, intent on elevating the sport.

In 1954, Wang overcame opposition from Indonesia and his own family by committing to never return to Indonesia before boarding a ship back to China. This pivotal decision not only altered Wang’s life but also catalyzed the transformation of badminton in China from a nascent sport to a thriving industry.

Wang's efforts were pivotal in establishing China's first provincial badminton team, the Fujian team, in late 1956. Despite the challenging training environment, with limited facilities and cramped living quarters, he meticulously designed training programs and organized exhibition matches in factories and schools to expand the base of badminton enthusiasts.

In 1965, Wang led the Chinese badminton team on a successful European tour, achieving notable victories against Danish and Swedish teams, earning global acclaim within the badminton community.

In 1982, in a pivotal moment at the prestigious Thomas Cup Badminton, Wang's guidance and tactical adjustments led the team to a resounding 5-4 victory over the Indonesian team in a major world badminton event, marking China's formal return to international tournaments after a 33-year absence from the International Badminton Federation.

Wang's return and unwavering patriotism have profoundly influenced his successors, with athletes such as Tang Xianhu, Hou Jiachang, Han Jian, Yang Yang, Zhao Jianhua, Xiong Guobao, Li Yongbo, and Tian Bingyi—all of whom Wang mentore—emerging as stalwarts in the badminton arena.

In 2019, Wang was honored with the title of Model of the people, expressing his deep gratitude for the nation's recognition. "I have devoted my entire life to my homeland, and I have no regrets."

Wang's lifelong dedication to his country and the sport of badminton serves as an enduring inspiration, illustrating the profound impact of his commitment to Chinese badminton.

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