Badminton: Six months out after surgery? No problem for Tan Wei Han, who goes on a winning run

Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Tan Wei Han in action during the mixed doubles final of the Singapore National Open Championships at the Singapore Badminton Hall last Friday.
Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Tan Wei Han in action during the mixed doubles final of the Singapore National Open Championships at the Singapore Badminton Hall last Friday.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

After 4 wins in 5 outings following return from surgery, she and partner eye Olympics

After being out for six months owing to a labrum tear, the last thing Singaporean shuttler Tan Wei Han expected when she stepped back onto the badminton court was to go on a winning run.

The odds were also stacked against her because she had a new mixed doubles partner, Danny Bawa Chrisnanta.

"I tried not to put any added pressure on myself," said Tan, when asked about her expectations on her return to action last December.

"I felt that being able to recover and get back into the game was already an accomplishment on its own."

The 26-year-old injured her shoulder in December 2017 but held off surgery because she wanted to play in last April's Commonwealth Games. She finally underwent surgery a month later.

"I knew that I couldn't go on without fixing it, so I didn't have a choice," she said, though she acknowledged that surgery was not necessarily a cure-all.

But since her return, she has partnered Chrisnanta to victories in four of five tournaments.

Their latest conquest came last Friday at the Singapore National Open Championships, where they beat Rizky Hidayat Ismail and Shinta Mulia Sari 21-19, 21-10 in 31 minutes.

Before that, it was last year's Turkey International and this year's Estonian International and the Swedish Open.

The latter two events each had US$10,000 (S$13,500) purses and were part of the Badminton World Federation's international series, a level below the world tour.

"The partnership is good so far though we've just started and Wei Han just got back from her injury so we have to start slow," said Danny.

Tan agrees, adding that they are aiming for bigger tournaments like the US$25,000 Austrian Open and the US$150,000 German Open.

"Aiming for bigger tournaments means more challenges, so we will have to continue to prepare ourselves," she said.

Tan and her previous partner, Terry Hee, had aimed to break into the world's top 10, but he had to enlist for national service.

The most important goal for Tan and Chrisnanta now is Olympic qualification. The pair also hope to win a medal at the Philippines SEA Games.

"We are fighting to get into our best shape as a pair, Danny and Wei Han, and then the results will come," said Chrisnanta.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 05, 2019, with the headline 'Shuttler Tan in winning comeback'. Print Edition | Subscribe