Renowned badminton coach Wang Wenjiao, who helped China win four Thomas Cup titles and produced 56 individual World Champions, has died at the age of 89.
Wang, who is considered a pioneer of Chinese badminton, passed away in Beijing on Sunday night. He won several national titles as a player in the 1950s. After retiring, he coached Fujian provincial team and the national team, mentoring a host of star shuttlers including Yang Yang, Zhao Jianhua and Tian Bingyi, reports Xinhua.
During his tenure as head coach, China won four Thomas Cup titles, five Uber Cups, and produced 56 individual world champions.
In 2015, Wang received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and was granted the "People's Role Model" in 2019, becoming the first sportsperson in China to receive the national honorary title.
"Tribute to beloved coach Wang Wenjiao. Without you, Chinese badminton couldn't be where it is. Without you, I couldn't be who I am," said Li Yongbo, former head coach of the Chinese badminton team.
"Wang Wenjiao has made remarkable contributions to Chinese badminton. As a trailblazer of Chinese badminton, he dedicated his whole life to the development of the sport. His death is a great loss to Chinese badminton," read a statement from the Chinese Badminton Association.