The Australian Olympic Committee officially announced the four athletes headed to Tokyo for Badminton on Monday.
Despite Wendy Chen being the only team member with Olympic experience, the four member team boasts a strong record internationally, sharing 30 Oceania Championship gold medals between them.
This record allowed for all members to qualify based on their international rankings in singles (Chen); doubles (Mapasa and Somerville) and mixed doubles (Leung and Somerville), rather than going through qualifying events in the months leading up to the Olympics.
Gronya Somerville is the only team member competing in multiple events, Women’s Doubles with Setyana Mapasa and Mixed Doubles with Simon Leung, upon the announcement she was enthusiastic to represent Australia in Tokyo.
“It feels unbelievable, very surreal still, but it’s a dream come true,” Somerville said.
“The last few months have been a roller coaster, so to be secured in the team is such an honour but also a relief. I’m going to enjoy it as much as possible and celebrate getting here.
“When things have gotten tough during this time I just remind myself to be grateful that the Olympics is happening at all, that I will get to call myself an Olympian and represent my country at the greatest sporting event.
“I can only control what I can which is how hard I train right now. We just can’t wait to step out on court and perform on the worlds biggest stage!
“I hope when Aussie fans see us competing on TV they are inspired to get active, and that little kids witness some amazing athletic feats that spark a fire in them to want to become an Olympian like what most of us experienced when we were younger.”
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Chen stated she’s going to Tokyo with a different mentality than Rio.
“I feel so honoured to be able to represent my family, friends and community over in Tokyo,” Chen said.
“Going into my first Games was a different experience, I’m going into Tokyo with a different mentality, knowing what to expect and ready for any challenge.
“We’ve all worked so hard over so many years to reach this point to represent Australia at the highest level, it’s such a relief to know we’ll be there in Tokyo.”
Australian Badminton Team
|Wendy Chen (Hsuan-Yu)
|Doubles; Mixed Doubles
The Badminton competition will run from 24 July to 2 August at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza.