Six consecutive championships, 30 consecutive victories, returning to the world's No. 1...

  National feather mixed doubles ace Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong will start their second career climbing journey in the spring of 2022.

  In the past year, the Tokyo Olympic Games regretted losing gold, the World Championships one round trip, and faced the dismantling and reorganization. What is more difficult than breaking through the obstacles is the courage to choose to start again.

  The previous defeat was bitter. They did the process well, but did not wait for the desired result.

The two experienced struggle and hesitation, and even thought about leaving for a while.

  Overcome the troughs to reach the peaks.

The short separation allowed them to find a better version of themselves in the unknown variables, and they were more determined to accompany each other again, and spent a long period of time.

back to world number one

China-Singapore Sports: Congratulations to the two of them for returning to the world No. 1. To sum up, what is the reason for regaining top form and playing such a dazzling record in the recent period?

  Zheng Siwei: We have become more focused on each game and will be very well prepared.

In the past two years, we missed a lot of competition opportunities due to the epidemic, and now we cherish every opportunity very much.

Through this series of competitions, we have grown a lot, and our mentality and technology have become more stable.

  Huang Yaqiong: We didn't have too many games last year, and we have been playing since the first European tournament this year.

I think last year's training has played a crucial role in giving us a good support both physically and technically in the game.

China-Singapore Sports: "World No. 1" and "World No. 1" are different. What is the difference in the mood between the two partners' first time on the world No. 1 and their return this time?

What does it mean to you to be number one in the world this time?

  Zheng Siwei: Returning to No. 1 in the world is a bland thing for me, but the more important thing is to win every game.

This has brought us a lot of help, and our confidence has been greatly improved.

As for the points, we don't care if we return to the world number one.

  Huang Yaqiong: I also think that the points ranking is of little significance to the two of us. Returning to the world number one proves that the results we have achieved in normal competitions can be verified.

Data map: Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong in the game.

Photo by Li Nanxuan

China-Singapore Sports: Once again joining hands to compete in the world arena, from the first victory to the 30th consecutive victory, what changes have you felt from the opponent?

  Zheng Siwei: Yaqiong has improved significantly during this period of time. I will feel at ease with her on the court.

Many times I feel helpless when I encounter difficulties. She always stands up and encourages me, which is very helpful to me.

  My state this year is also slowly supported by Yaqiong.

In fact, my performance was not that ideal, but she encouraged me every game and helped me a lot.

Now when we play the game, our mentality is relatively stable. We don’t think too much about winning this game. We just want to show our best state.

  Huang Yaqiong: Indeed, as I said, when we split up at the beginning of the year, his condition was not very good, and he obviously felt that he would not be confident on the court.

Now that I have cooperated slowly, I think he is more mature and stable on the court than in previous years.

  This kind of stability is more of a mentality.

Because he did not allow himself to make mistakes on the court before, or was a little aggressive or anxious.

Now on the field the whole state will slowly advance, we play point by point.

In the Tokyo Olympics badminton mixed doubles event, Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong took the podium together.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Du Yang

Breaking through Tokyo's "obstacle"

China-Singapore Sports: After the Tokyo Olympics, the two experienced a long period of competitive state and psychological adjustment. How did they face it positively?

Do you have a lot of pressure inside?

  Zheng Siwei: When we play with other partners, we can better examine our own shortcomings or deficiencies, because these can be obviously magnified.

During our cooperation (with Huang Yaqiong), there were actually many problems that we could not see. After we got out of it, we would find that each of us had some big problems. If we cooperated again, we could understand each other better and complement each other better.

  Huang Yaqiong: With other partners, I can clearly understand my problems on the court.

Working with different partners requires a lot of different styles of play, and what I do on the court is also different. This is what I have gained after separation, and it is better than the feeling that the two have been together forever.

China-Singapore Sports: Going a step forward is a step forward. The Tokyo Olympics has been over for nearly a year. After this period of precipitation and experience, what kind of gains have you gained?

  Zheng Siwei: It was a tough time during that time. My competitive state was not very good, and my injury did not fully recover.

So I held on to one belief at the time: keep doing the right thing, train, heal, and improve your technique every day.

It’s also because of the accumulation at that time, I didn’t give up on myself, and kept doing the right thing, so the results are good now.

  Huang Yaqiong: The first period was very difficult for me. My mentality was not very stable and I was in a relatively low state, but we chose to continue fighting.

Thinking told me that there will be many difficulties to face.

At that time, I didn't really understand the meaning of this sentence. It was not until some problems occurred that I realized that I hadn't fully come out.

  Until the first round of the World Championships, I thought a lot during the isolation period after returning to China, and I repeatedly asked myself whether I should continue or retire, but after the 21-day isolation period, I figured it out and left by myself. Out.

Data map: Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong in the game.

China-Singapore Sports: The two are now in a hot state, are they more determined to join hands with each other to hit the Paris Olympics?

In the past period of time, the injury recovery of the two players has also affected the hearts of fans. What is the current physical condition of the two?

  Zheng Siwei: I think all athletes in the Paris Olympics will actually set it as the ultimate goal, and we are no exception.

As for my physical condition, I am getting better and better now, and my entire competitive condition, including my physical condition, is ok.

  Huang Yaqiong: The ultimate goal of every athlete is definitely the Olympics. The most important thing now is that the two of us didn't get injured during the process. I haven't had too many injuries before, and I think I'm still well protected on this point.

Hand in hand with the Paris cycle

China-Singapore Sports: How is the current IELTS combination different from the Tokyo Olympic cycle?

  Zheng Siwei: My mentality has changed a lot in the new cycle. Before, I would want to prove myself by winning the championship. In the new cycle, I think this is not the most important thing.

Don't care about the final result, we will go all out, and if it really doesn't reach that height, I can accept it.

  Huang Yaqiong: In the last cycle, the results were more important than the process, and the results were also needed to maintain confidence. I think this is necessary.

But many times winning makes us ignore the process, and we only focus on the process after losing.

  It is very important to improve ourselves in the new cycle. We don’t care so much about whether we will win or not. What we need to do is to make ourselves more comprehensive and resolve any problems we encounter on the court as much as possible.

Data map: Zheng Siwei/Huang Yaqiong in the game.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Jiang Qiming

China-Singapore Sports: The challenges of competitive sports are dynamic. Although the IELTS team achieved a near-smashing victory in the mixed doubles in the first half of the year, the opponents are changing, their state is changing, and the arena environment is also changing. Entering Paris After the Olympic cycle, what kind of challenges do you feel in the mixed doubles arena?

  Zheng Siwei: The situation in the mixed doubles is different now. Now, as long as you relax a little in a certain link, you may lose to any opponent.

Unlike in the last cycle, we were relatively stable and felt that a game had a high probability of winning.

Now everyone's strength gap is not so obvious, so it needs to be more rigorous.

  Huang Yaqiong: Now some young players are also trying to keep up with the world-class level, so they need to be treated more rigorously.

If we're not that organized, we're going to have a very tight game and it's not that easy to win.

China-Singapore Sports: From the unprecedented five-year preparation for the Tokyo Olympics cycle to the fast-paced three-year period, how has the change in the preparation cycle affected the two of them, and what preparation plan will they have next?

  Zheng Siwei: We played too few games in the past two years, and we participated in all the games we can currently participate in.

Moreover, our age is gradually increasing, and the preparation cycle is one year shorter than before. I think it is very good, and I hope to participate in the Olympic Games as soon as possible.

  Before the Tokyo Olympics was postponed for a year, I felt it was difficult, and I had to adjust my mentality and state in all aspects.

Compared to three years, I like the fast pace.

Every moment is a sprint, because only by playing well in the moment can you accumulate enough self-confidence and your state will get better and better.

  Huang Yaqiong: I think every game is more important. Different opponents have different changes. If we can win the game with changes in every game, this is very important.