Who is Beiwen Zhang?
Name: Beiwen Zhang
Age: 30 years old
BWF Ranking: 15th in Women’s Singles
Born July 2, 1990, in Anshan, China, Beiwen Zhang’s parents might not have known she was destined for greatness, but they knew she had a weak immune system. She was often sick and ran chronic fevers. They encouraged their daughter to go out for a sport to improve her health. She chose badminton and began playing at the young age of 8. She was luckily chosen at 13 to play on a competition team in Singapore and moved there. Zhang moved to Singapore completely on her own. Her parents remained behind in China.
Zhang has talked in interviews about how, as a young girl, she was bullied during her time in Singapore and credits that treatment with the mental toughness she clings to today. In 2004, she joined the Singapore National Team. She made her international debut at the Aviva Open in 2004 and later medaled with Singapore [bronze] at the Southeast Asian Games in 2009. She left that team in 2011.
In 2012, Zhang visited the US and never looked back. She played local tournaments for extra cash and joined a badminton team in Vegas.
Zhang began playing larger international tournaments and made a name for herself representing the United States.
Beiwen Zhang is currently living in Las Vegas and training as often as she can. She even declined an invitation to play for Singapore again, despite the coaching and resources Singapore would provide for her. With a lack of funding to compete internationally, Beiwen utilized popular crowd-funding app GoGundMe to fund her way into the 2018 world championships. Her fans came through in a big way and she exceeded her goal. She continues to show the country that she’s got the drive to compete, regardless of what obstacles stand in her way.
She had high hopes of competing in Tokyo’s 2020 Summer Olympics. The goal was to get to the podium with a first of its kind medal for American Badminton. Her potential success could garner support for women in badminton in our country. It could also bring national attention to the sport of badminton in America. Unfortunately, the novel coronavirus outbreak put those dreams on indefinite hold. In the meantime, Zhang continues to train and prepare. She is ranked 15th in women’s singles by the BWF. Her World Tour Ranking is 26.
Bronze medal at the 2019 Yonex-Sunrise Hong Kong Open
Bronze medal at the 2019 Yonex Swiss Open
First place at the 2018 India Open
Silver Medal at the 2018 Victor Korean Open
Learn a Little More
To learn a little more about Beiwen Zhang, check out Badminton Unlimited’s video profile series with her. They’ve done a three-part video series with her in 2018 and then caught up with her again in 2019. Their most recent (2020) video series gives us a look into Beiwen Zhang’s life in Vegas off the court.