Written by Julia Cheunkarndee
Senior Terrence Wu represented the United States at the Pan American Junior Badminton Championships and BWF World Junior Championships last year. Today, he is ranked as the best badminton player within the under-19 age division in the U.S.
Wu moved from China to California in 2016. He picked up the sport at an early age, and when Wu was seven, his parents noticed his enjoyment in the sport and signed him up to play in a club. “Every time, even if it [was] rainy and I had some excuses, my mom would just push me to go to the team and train,” Wu said.
Wu placed second at the 2014 China National High School Tournament. Last year, Wu and the national team also placed third at the Pan American Championships in Peru, and 14th at World Junior Championships in Spain. Now, Wu is preparing for the upcoming Junior International Trials (JITs) in April. He will be competing in the trials to try out for the U.S Junior National Team.
Wu practices badminton everyday and every week. This commitment has lasted since he was in elementary school. Often, he plays an average of 18 hours per week. Wu also plays on both the Gunn badminton team and an outside club team, where each training can last for two or three hours. Despite the long hours, however, he feels that the best thing about these badminton practices are enjoying the training and making friends.
Adjustment to the Gunn team was stressful for Wu at first, since he didn’t know anyone on the team. However, coach Marc Tsukakoshi and the rest of the team helped him settle in. “Ever since I joined, everyone has been very nice to me,” Wu said. “If I don’t know something, they try to introduce it to me.”
Wu’s club team coach Holvy de Pauw also began coaching Wu this year. Under de Pauw’s training, Wu has placed first in both the under-19 Boys’ Singles at the Bintang Regional Tournament and the Open Men’s Singles at a tournament in UC Berkeley. “I’m very proud of him,” de Pauw wrote in an email. “He’s very committed and passionate to everything that he does.”
For Wu, his ranking as the number one player in his age division doesn’t change his mindset. “I just keep going,” he said. “I don’t care about being number one, because in badminton you won’t always win. Sometimes you’ll lose. It’s not the important thing to show your level.” Rather, he believes that winning every tournament he can is of higher importance.
Moving forward, Wu hopes to finish his last year at the Junior International Trials and then compete at the Olympics if given the chance.