Living in a generation where badminton legends constantly captivate fans and set records is a privilege. Those with badminton fever crave extraordinary performances in every game on any court. Every serve, smash, and drive is admired, and every rally is appreciated. And when it comes to Women’s Doubles, the world of badminton has been blessed with two great players, Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan.
Representatives of China, Chen and Jia have been dominating the Women’s Doubles world in badminton with their sheer talent. They have a vast array of victory titles, each of which speaks volumes about their accomplishments. They continue to rise to the occasion and inspire awe from their peers, fans, and followers.
Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan have proven themselves game-changers with the shuttlecock. They have been making waves in the badminton world since their debut. Rivals fear them, fans adore them, and peers admire them. Who are these two badminton giants?
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Chen Qing Chen, the Pressure Player
Born on June 23, 1997, in Xingning, Meizhou, China, Chen Qing Chen first tried badminton when she was four years old. She fully committed to the sport when she turned seven and joined Meizhou City Amateur Sport School in the People’s Republic of China. Chen got her first wins under her coach Li Yongbo, Women’s Doubles partner Jia Yi Fan, and Mixed Doubles partner Zheng Si Wei. Her baby steps into the badminton world brought her to even greater heights and propelled her to become one of the best players.
In 2015, the General Administration of Sport of China named Chen Qing Chen an Elite Athlete of International Class and an Elite Athlete of National Class. After years of practice, dedication, and hard work in the badminton circuit, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) named her Most Promising Player of the Year in 2016.
Chen fulfilled her promises in 2017 when the BWF named her the Female Player of the Year. However, it didn’t end there. She continued gaining recognition, countless awards, and winning titles. Now, Chen has played 412 games in Women’s Doubles, winning 332 and losing only 80. For Mixed Doubles, she has won 201 games out of 235. From a four-year-old enthusiast, Chen is now the world’s number one player in Women’s Doubles and the fourth in the world tour.
Chen’s career wins make her a living legend. She brought home gold medals for the 2018 Asian Games, 2019 Asian Championships, and 2021 and 2022 World Championships. Unsurprisingly, she has captivated many fans worldwide, with some wanting to get to know the player more. In 2017, some Indonesian badminton fans gave Chen the nickname “Dora.” The fans found her short hairstyle to resemble the cartoon character, and Chen happily embraced it.
Making Her Own Name
Chen Qing Chen is a true badminton icon. She has taken the world of badminton to greater heights and set records that many badminton players and enthusiasts only dream of achieving. Brands like Yonex proudly sponsor her, encouraging other badminton players to believe they can also shine on the badminton court with their world-class equipment.
Overall, Chen Qing Chen emerged as a powerhouse in the badminton scene. Her unique playing style, dedication to her craft, and resilience made her the extraordinary player she is today. However, she’s not alone in her success. During the 2020 Uber Cup, Chen declared, “I enjoyed playing with my partner. I want the trophy so much; it keeps me fighting till the end.”
In her journey to becoming the badminton champion she is today, Chen Qing Chen had a great partner in Jia Yi Fan.
Jia Yi Fan
Born on June 29, 1997, in Tianjin, China, Jia Yi Fan began the sport at the age of five. She moved to train in Yiyang at seven years old, honing her skills and growing her love for the sport. When she turned 20, the General Administration of Sport of China named her an Elite Athlete of International Class. Award after award and medal after medal, Jia Yi Fan kept pushing her limits and rediscovering her potential.
Now, Jia is the world’s number one player in Women’s Doubles, along with her partner, Chen Qing Chen. She’s also fourth in the World Tour, having 340 career wins since joining the Badminton World Federation (BWF). Jia has had 394 games in Women’s Doubles, winning 320 of them, and 34 games in Mixed Doubles, winning 20. She won gold medals at the 2017, 2021, and 2022 World Championships and the 2018 and 2019 Asian Championships. She was also a silver medalist for Women’s Doubles at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Becoming a Living Legend
Jia’s identity as a badminton player may always be linked to Chen. Still, she has also distinctively created her own place in the sport. Jia has held a rank for 41 consecutive weeks and partnered with brands such as Yonex. In the court, she is known for her smash and love for getting a hard flat rally going. The left-handed player also possesses the ability to play a mix of offense and defense, giving her an edge in any match.
As a partner, Jia is supportive and a great encouragement. Her passion resonates in her words: “We trust each other and never retreat or surrender. No matter if it’s 100 minutes or 200, we never give up a single shot.”
Rivals find it difficult to compete against Jia and her partner on the court. Looking beyond their formidable partnership, Jia as an individual is also a formidable force. She plays to her potential, fearless in the face of any challenge on the court. No wonder she’s deemed one of the leading badminton players in China!
A Phenomenal Partnership
When you put a pressure player and a player who plays to her potential, the results are truly amazing. Chen and Jia have a dynamic partnership that has brought them to where they are today. Badminton fans have enjoyed watching them on the court, and many more are inspired by their journey to the top. How do the two complement each other? What do they have in their partnership that made them the badminton giants they are today?
On the one hand, Chen Qing Chen plays like a busy bee. She’s always full of energy but never loses focus. Her height doesn’t hinder her agility, and she’s able to outsmart her opponents with excellent techniques. Chen and her superior cross-court smashes give her an edge in any match. She’s ferocious and accurate with every move, ensuring points for her team.
Chen is known to play against men, which influenced her technique and her playing style. She has a never-give-up attitude which serves her well in the court. So, when rivals give her a tough time, Chen digs in deeper and dominates the match however she can. Anyone who watches her play will see her game’s undeniable braveness and resoluteness, making her an elite badminton player.
On the other hand, Jia Yi Fan balances Chen’s energy with a more strategic approach. She takes on any challenge with a cool head, and not a single stroke goes to waste. Her decisiveness allows her to smash, follow up, and bury for points. Her flat drives and delicate net touches are also applauded by badminton fans and players alike.
Chen currently focuses on Women’s Doubles, and with Jia, their abilities and personalities create a unique chemistry on the court. Their years of experience in the Badminton World Federation have polished their techniques and strategies, mastering rotations and mutual support. Chen and Jia’s movement together is smooth, each one anticipating the other’s next move. Both their serves are reliable, always giving them control of the shuttle. The two make a formidable team, dominating the court with impressive speed and power.
Struggles as Athletes
Like any athlete, Chen and Jia have also had their share of struggles. They lost a few games throughout their career due to injuries, including the 2021 Uber Cup, Denmark Open, and 2022 All England Open. Chen has also gone through controversies that reminded her of humility and determination. In Olympic Games 2020, South Korea filed a formal complaint regarding Chen’s swearing during a badminton match. Though other countries shared the sentiment, Chen explained that she was only trying to lift her and her partner’s morale.
The controversial phrase Chen repeatedly mentioned during the match was an expression of astonishment or amazement in China. Other Chinese sports representatives were also heard using the phrase. In the end, Chen guaranteed that she would adjust her pronunciation.
In 2019, Chen also provoked headlines when she cut short her celebrations and avoided the media. Some criticized her for not being a good sport, but she explained that she only wanted to keep a low profile to help her friend and teammate Chen Yu Fei avoid distractions before going to the Women’s Singles final.
Despite the criticisms, Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan have earned the respect of fans and opponents alike. Their partnership is one for the books, a combination of strength and strategy, passion and composure. Their respect for each other and their teammates have made them one of the best duos in badminton history. Their hard work on and off the court, lack of ego, and the amount of trust they share have pushed them to achieve greatness in the sport.
Holding the number one rank in the BWF Women’s Doubles, Chen and Jia have faced a few powerful rivals throughout their career. Currently, the second rank is held by the Japanese duo Nami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida. Other top pairs include South Korea’s Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong, Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan, and Jeong Na Eun and Kim Hye Jeong. Thailand’s Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai have also been challengers of Chen and Jia.
Chen and Jia have gone face-to-face with powerful pairs in various tournaments. Some they have won, and some they have lost. Perhaps one of the most notable duos that Chen and Jia have competed against is the likable pair Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota. “FukuHiro” is also known as two of the best players on the circuit and has had multiple battles with Chen and Jia.
In the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Badminton Women’s Doubles, the two powerful duos faced off in a thrilling match. In the end, Chen and Jia triumphed and took the time to comfort their opponents. Sayaka Hirota had just had knee surgery, and as she recuperated, Yuki Fukushima played with others to continue her badminton career. The loss was difficult for FukuHiro, but Chen and Jia’s gesture was a reminder of sportsmanship.
The Legends Now
The two have come a long way from their humble beginnings. Badminton fans and players alike watch in awe as Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan take on their rivals with a whole new level of skill and determination.
Undoubtedly, Chen and Jia’s legacy will continue long after they retire, inspiring others to reach greater heights. There will be more games to come, and new generations of badminton players will have the privilege of watching the two master their art. Chen and Jia’s journey is nothing short of remarkable and an example to aspiring players worldwide. Even though they have already achieved greatness, the road is still far from over.
The pair competed in the HSBC BWF World Tour 2022 and has emerged victorious in the Women’s Doubles category. Aside from this, the duo has already won several games earlier this year and still have many tournaments and competitions lined up for the rest of their careers.
Badminton will remember them as two of the most successful doubles players in history. Now, they just dominated the Women’s Doubles category in the 2022 BWF World Tour and have again proven that they have what it takes to be BWF legends. Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan — the names that badminton fans will never forget.
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