Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai live in the opposite ends of Canada – Tsai in Vancouver and Honderich in Toronto – so the world No.23 duo weren’t able to train most of last year. They only got together for a few weeks before the YONEX Thailand Open.
The Canadians made the most of the time away from competition as Tsai completed her Masters degree in criminology, while Honderich has been taking online classes in kinesiology.
“It’s been ten months since the All England so we were a bit anxious. It’s a long time since we’ve been together, so a lot of nerves and a lot of excitement. It was refreshing to be back there. We saw each other last All England, and we went all the way to December without training together because we live in the opposite sides of Canada. So we only got together for a few weeks before coming here. So we trained hard but separately, so that hasn’t helped.
Ng Ka Long Angus has used the time during lockdown to improve his cooking skills. The Hong Kong China player said competing in the Asian Leg was a ‘precious’ chance to play.
“I really trained hard these last nine months and this is the first time I have stepped on court since March. I am treating these tournaments as a warm-up for the Olympics and many world-class players are here.
“Finally, we are able to come back on court. We have been waiting for this for a very long time. And we are very thankful to Badminton Association of Thailand for organising this tournament very well. They made me feel very safe to play in this tournament.” — Vivian Hoo
“I came with determination to win but also to keep my focus on my game plan. Winning here is what I want. I would like to win a title here. We can’t interact with the other players because of the strict bubbles when we practice and stuff, but it’s so nice to see the players from all the other countries.” — Carolina Marin
“We’ve felt like something has been missing with the disruption of tournaments, but we’re so glad to be back. We’ve been watching lots of action films in the room. It’s been fun.” — Mohammad Ahsan