Olympic champion Chen Yufei had posted on Weibo candidly about her “burnt out” body and mind after winning the Olympics which had created a stir in the badminton world. The world No.4 told Badminton World Federation (BWF) she was now hopeful of a fresh start after expressing all that she was going through.

“I think that is a way of expressing, to unload my pressure. This is a new year, I would like to look ahead, take a fresh start,” Chen told BWF, after her opening round win at All England.

The candid admission had come in a Weibo post on her birthday earlier this month, where she spoke of her struggles to cope with the demands of the sport after her Olympic victory

“It all came from a busy 2021 – first was the Olympics, followed by the National Games and the Sudirman Cup, then the Uber Cup,” she was quoted as saying by the BWF. “My body was totally burnt out, and my mental state was the same.

It also led to sleep and eating disorders. “Then came all the disorders in my body. I could not sleep well or eat well, and my mind was heavy and I had little energy.

The pressure of being an Olympic champion took a toll. “But because of responsibility and because my name is Chen Yu Fei, I took my tired body to the courts and kept playing. However, I didn’t enjoy any of my matches nor did I look forward to them.”

It was after a holiday in Bangkok before the beginning of this season, Chen told BWF that she felt much better before the first tournament, the Malaysia Open.


“I told myself I could start the tournament in a happy mood. I approached the game in a different way than I used to. Indeed, it was the first time after the Olympics, after the National Games, that I approached the games differently and surprisingly the result was not too bad,” she added.

To a question if putting all her troubles out on social media would help her play better, Chen was quoted by BWF as saying, “It’s not about whether it helps or not. I see it as a way of expressing my emotions and thoughts. It does not really do anything about my performance. The fans were all very positive and cheering for me and encouraging me.”

The 2019 champion and twice finalist said she was refreshed now and looking forward to doing well at the All England.“I’m excited to be back in Birmingham. The All England has a rich history and I feel very honoured to participate and I hope I can be at my best here.”