Given his eclectic background, Wong Wing Ki Vincent reckons he can leverage his experiences from diverse worlds as he embarks on a new journey as coach.
The Hong Kong China player hasn’t yet officially retired, but he has a new role within the team, to work with other top men’s singles players like Lee Cheuk Yiu and Ng Ka Long Angus. Alongside, he’s building his business – WWK Club – which provides high level training for about 60 amateur trainees.
Growing up in Hong Kong as the child of Indonesian-origin parents who lived briefly in China, Vincent had access to all three worlds. He trained in Indonesia under Mulyo Handoyo, coach of Taufik Hidayat, and in China under Tang Hsien Hu, coach of Lin Dan.
“It’s quite interesting,” Vincent says. ”Because I’ve never followed one coach, I’m quite special in that respect. When I was young I spent a lot of time training in Indonesia. I trained with the coach who taught Taufik and the coach who taught Marcus Fernaldi. My parents are related to his (Marcus’) parents. My father connected with Lin Dan’s coach Tang Hsien Hu; he inspired me the most. I used to spend two-three weeks with him before every major event. Hong Kong (association) supported me, they let me to go other places to train.”
Vincent now wants to share the knowledge he gained, because he senses the demand for quality training, but insufficient expertise to cater to that demand. To that effect, his club offers training with coaches who have all been in the Hong Kong China team. In the team of six coaches and four assistants are internationals such as Chan Kaka Tsz Ka (also his wife), Lee Chun Hei and Tam Chun Hei.
Vincent started the club three years ago but it’s only now that he has been able to dedicate time and energy to it.
“My club is like a platform for those who want to play high level,” Vincent says. “I can share my experience. All my coaches have played for Hong Kong. It’s important for beginners to learn the right things. A lot of players want high intensity training, but they don’t know how to train. We know how to train and protect the body at the same time.”
Vincent was invited to Canada to take part in the Markham leg of the Viktor Axelsen tour. Having played several time against Axelsen – he’s 3-4 in career meetings – Vincent was impressed by the Dane’s evolution into the top player he is now.
“I was surprised that I was invited. It was very meaningful for me,” he says. “Axelsen is different. I’ve played against him for many years. Now he’s different, especially in mental strength. He knows what he wants. His training is short duration but high intensity, it’s very difficult.”
Spending a couple of days on the tour with the world champion, he says, has influenced his own immediate goals.
“His time planning is very good. Athletes spend time training but don’t get the best efficiency, but he’s very good in that respect. I might quit the national team next year and become an independent player. Playing with him has inspired me.”