One result that stands out in an otherwise modest season for Thet Htar Thuzar is her defeat of Michelle Li at the Korea Masters in April. As the world No.73 prepares for the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2022, she will hope to display the wares that helped her beat the world No.13. In Tokyo, she takes on another Canadian, Zhang Wen Yu, in the opening round.
“After the last World Championships I was training with my father. In April I started going for tournaments beginning with the Korea Masters. I won my first round with Michelle Li, it was a good achievement. My training was good. My body condition was also quite good. I played well and I could beat her,” says the soft-spoken Burmese.
With limited sparring opportunities in Myanmar, Thet has spent frequent training stints in Malaysia, where she is part of a Badminton Asia programme. She also pursues her own training at Serdang BC.
The last couple of years have been challenging, with COVID disrupting the circuit and with a crisis in her homeland. She had had some promising results in 2020 before the onset of the pandemic, with a title win at the Uganda International being a highlight. She played just two events the following year – the Olympic Games in Tokyo and the World Championships in Spain. This year has been better, as she returned to competition in April and played six events in the run-up to the World Championships.
“Badminton Asia have been supporting me for the last few years. The goal is now Paris 2024. For the last two years, I’ve been trying to get my ranking up. Before COVID happened, my ranking was 57, but since then I have dropped to 73, so now I’m trying to get my ranking up and playing well on the World Tour. I get a lot of support from my family and my friends and the people around me, but when I got for tournaments the main challenge is about the funding.”
Despite the challenges, Thet is thrilled to be on the circuit, finding meaning in the places she visits and the people she meets.
“As I go to international tournaments, I meet a lot of people. It’s great to get in touch with people around the world. It’s good for me to communicate with other players, and people in other countries. I have a lot of friends around the world. The lesson that badminton has taught me is that if you can’t achieve anything you want, you just have to try for it again and again.”