Feathers set to fly on Australian soil for historic first time – May 21-28, 2017 with Australia’s Sawan Serasinghe and Wendy Chen 

Gold Coast, October 5: Sawan Serasinghe and Wendy Chen who recently represented Australia in badminton at the Rio Olympics; and one of China’s best and dual Olympic gold medallist Zhao Yunlei will all come together on Surfers Paradise beach on the Gold Coast this Thursday, as the countdown begins to the world mixed team championship of badminton – the 2017 Total BWF Sudirman Cup.

Sawan Serasinghe now has the Sudirman Cup competition firmly in his sights and is back on track with his health and fitness regime after a now infamous overindulgence with McDonalds food following his performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Sawan, who made his Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio Olympics, competing in the Men’s doubles, celebrated his oust by ending months of ‘eating clean’.

He indulged in a massive McDonald’s feast totalling more than 8,000 calories after being knocked out of the competition. He posted a picture of his Maccas food on Facebook, writing:

Sawan Serasinghe and his Maccas' in Rio Olympic village
Sawan Serasinghe and his Maccas’ spread in Rio Olympic village

“Wow what a week it has been in Rio! Have to say I am disappointed about the match today.

“We definitely had a good chance to stretch the match to three sets towards the end of the second set but couldn’t close it out. We would have loved to end our first Olympic campaign with a win against a much higher ranked pair.

“Although having said that, there are lots of good things to learn from the matches in the last three days playing against more experienced pairs.

“Can’t wait to go back home to start training and keep on improving! Just want to say thanks again to everyone back home for the ongoing support.

“Definitely motivated me to fight hard on court everyday!

“Now it’s time to eat some junk food after months of eating clean!”  His end of competition dinner included six burgers, six chocolate brownies and six large fries. 

Sawan’s post became a social media viral sensation with thousands of likes and re-posts of his junk food photo, along with media attention across Australia.

But badminton is Sawan’s first love, partnering with Matthew Chau in Men’s doubles; the paid had earlier won Championship titles both in 2015 and 2016.

22-year-old Sawan has also won the 2014 Sydney International Challenge mixed doubles challenge.

Sawan, born in Galle, Sri Lanka, moved to Australia when he was 11-years-old, but his love for badminton started much earlier and he has played since the age of five. He has been Keysborough club’s badminton player.

Off court, Swan is studying for a Bachelor of Business Information Systems at the Monash University.

Queenslander Wendy Chen – who trains on the Gold Coast, is looking forward to a home town advantage when the tournament kicks off next year.

Born in Taiwan, twenty-three year old Wendy now lives with her family in Queensland.

In 2012, Wendy went on to win both titles of women’s singles and doubles in the Australian Title. In 2015 Wendy won the X-TRM Oceania in Auckland and more recently took out the women’s singles event at the 2016 Oceania Champion which secured her spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Zhao Yunlei, who has won Olympic Gold, and recently picked up Bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is one of the best female badminton players in doubles in the history of badminton. 

She is holidaying on the Gold Coast and will join Sawan and Wendy in celebrating the 2017 Sudirman Cup coming to Queensland.

Gold Coast will host the prestigious Total BWF Sudirman Cup next year from May 21-28 – being a first, upon Gold Coast being selected as the Australian destination to host the global event since it was founded in 1989.

The 2017 Total BWF Sudirman Cup is representing as the next big tournament on the badminton world calendar.

Darren Parks, Badminton World Federation (BWF) Director of Events and Loke Poh Wong, Sudirman Cup Tournament Director; along with the star badminton players will smash a shuttlecock over a pop up badminton net at Surfers Paradise Beach with the Gold Coast city skyline as the backdrop.

Vir Rajendra

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