Sophomore ranks sixth in country for badminton


Submitted Sitan Zhan

Sophomore Sitan Zhan practices at Boston Badminton in Westborough. Zhan ranked sixth in the nation at the Junior level.

Holly Cavanna and Amelia Sinclair

Sophomore Sitan Zhan used his passion for badminton to achieve a sixth place nation-wide ranking.

Prior to quarantine Zhan’s placement varied between sixth to tenth, with sixth being his personal best. Zhan plays in the National Badminton League under Boston Badminton in Westborough.

When Zhan was an active player, he recalls the scoring being a result of his accumulated record. His impressive record was what earned him a spot as one of the nation’s fiercest competitors. 

“I was pretty excited, but also kind of disappointed [when he found out he was ranked sixth in the country],” Zhan said. “I definitely could have done better if I had a better mindset.”

He’s also found a connection in the badminton community itself. He reflects on being around badminton throughout his life and connecting to the overall cultural aspect of it.

“What drew me to badminton is the speed of the game. And more or less just the cultural aspect of it. In China a lot of people play badminton, so I grew up seeing a lot of people play it.”

Due to a car accident in April keeping him out of the Regional tournaments in Chicago, Zhan has been more focussed on coaching the next generation of badminton players.

“If you’re good at a sport, you should coach. It’s fun,” Zhan said.

Despite his accident Zhan plans to continue playing badminton into the future, with hopes of making it into the World College Games. The World College Games in essence are a difficult compilation of games played between eligible collegiate players. Zhan aspires to such incredible feats due to his enjoyment of several aspects of badminton, with this passion translating into an unwavering dedication to the sport. 

“I like the speed of it and the quick pace,” Zhan said. “It gets your adrenaline pumping really well. The other part I really like about it is that it’s a good way to get away from other stuff and just be somewhere where me and my friends can play and not worry about too much. It’s like a private environment.”