Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lin Dan wins Badminton Olympic Gold

World No. 1 Lin Dan crushed Malaysia’a Golden hopes by trashing World No. 2 Lee Chong Wei 21-12, 21-8 to win the Men’s Singles Badminton Olympic Gold.

There were a lot of buzz and hype about the finals, but to me the game ( I mean Chong Wei) did not live to the expectations. Lin Dan proved his dominance with very forceful strokes and with his lightning court coverage. He studied every move Chong Wei made and he was quick to react to every shot to his advantage. Lee Chong Wei did not have any answers to “Super” Dan on that day.
“I felt a lot of pressure playing in front of my home crowd,” said an exhilarated Lin. “I thought it would be difficult to play the match and the pressure of the crowd might even be to my disadvantage, but I played well.” All credits to Lin Dan for that superb performance and for rising to the occasion. This is what makes him a world champion.

Lin Dan winning the gold medal

On the other hand, if we look at Lee Chong Wei, when he was entering the court, he had that nervous look on his face. In my mind I asked the question, “A world No. 2 showing his nervousness before the game? How can this be?” We were always thought to enter the court like a Tiger (Like what Lin Dan did).

“I suffered a lot of pressure tonight but I do not want to use it as an excuse for my defeat,” Chong Wei said. What a statement… To me, I think Lin Dan had more pressure on his hands than Chong Wei did.

“I have tried my best but Lin Dan played perfectly tonight,” said Malaysian sport icon Lee. “I couldn’t match his shuttle speed. He was much stronger than me and controlled the whole match.” That’s a good thing, he gives praises when its due.

“At the end of the match it is not who is playing at a higher level, it is all about who is mentally stronger,” Lee commented on his loss. Again, why isn’t Chong Wei mentally stronger than or as strong mentally as Lin Dan? After all he’s the world no. 2. I can’t recall if I’ve seen Nadal never looking nervous when he played Federer and neither should Chong Wei. It shows what kind of mental strength the Malaysians have. To me, they can’t handle pressure, hence why we only managed 1 silver.

I would like to end on some reason’s on Why Lin Dan had more pressure on his hands:
1. China’s target was to get 3 gold medals. Less than that it would be a failure. If Lin Dan lost, it would be a failure for China.

2. Lin Dan had 6,800 supporters in the stadium watching and expecting him to win. On top of that, I dont know how many million Chinese were watching the game supporting Lin Dan.

3. Lin Dan lost to Chong Wei in the Thomas Cup, more pressure for him to win.

Ciao da mao

Lee Hyo-jung and Lee Yong-dae grabs South Korea’s Badminton Gold

South Korea’s Lee Hyo-jung and Lee Yong-dae won Korea’s only Badminton gold medal in mixed doubles badminton. They defeated Indonesia’s Liliyana Natsir and Nova Widianto 21-11, 21-17.
The Korean’s were seen playing some good defence as the Indonesian’s found it hard to gain points through smashes. On top of that the Korean’s played a good mix of speed and intelligent net play which contributed to their victory.

Lee Hyojung and Lee Yongdae celebrating

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan wins the Men's Doubles

Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan won Indonesia's first gold medal in the Men's Doubles of the Beijing Olympics 2008. They put up a fantastic display of badminton doubles silencing the Chinese supporters in the second and third game to win 21, 21-11 and 21-16 over Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng.

This was one of the best doubles matches I've seen Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan play as they had a very good understanding between them and they played a very very very attacking game. The Indonesian's started off slowly losing the first game with the Chinese crowd behind the Chinese pair at every point. However in the second and third game, the Indonesians pulled themselves together and decided to push the game to 6th gear by playing an agrresive attacking style all the way. The indonesians fed each other from the front of the net, forcing the Chinese pair to lift the shuttle allowing the Hendra or Markis to produce hard smashes to win.

I felt that the key element which contributed to the success of the Indonesians was the fact that they did not lift the shuttle much and they were much faster in fornt of the net. When Hendra was playing in front of the net, he anticipated every shot that the opponent hit and covered the front very well. He droved many shots to the opponents body and empty court spaces which lead to the Indonesian's winning a lot of shots from the front of the net. They took the third set with ease to be crowed the Badminton Doubles Champion in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

South Korea's Lee Jae Jin and Hwang Ji Man won the bronze medal.

Hendra Setiawan and Markis Kido with the gold medals (Photo credit: Getty Images)

If you've missed the game, you can catch it here.

Mens Doubles Gold Medalist: Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan
Mens Doubles Silver Medalist: Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng
Mens Doubles Bronze Medalist: Lee Jae Jin and Hwang Ji Man

Zhang Ning retains Beijing Olympic Singles Gold

We don't find many people defending their Olympic Badminton titles. "Smashing" Zhang Ning, now 33 years of age, defended her Olympic Singles title as she managed to beat current world no.1 and fellow Chinese star Xie Xingfang 21-12 10-21 and 21-18.

Zhang Ning in action against Xie Xingfang (Photo credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Xie Xingfang in action against Zhang Ning (Photo credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Zhang Ning celebrates her victory. (Photo credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Zhang Ning poses with her gold medal. (Photo credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images)

It was Zhang's final Olympic appearance and she produced a remarkable game to overcome her younger competitor. Zhang looked tired after losing the second set; however she showed some great mental strength to maintain her focus in the game and to produce some great badminton display throughout the game. It was one of those days where both players were fighting each other, point for point and in the final set and the game could have gone either way. In the final few points of the game, we could see Zhang's tiredness showing but her determination to win was stronger than Xingfang as she maintained her composure and continued to play more aggressively with attacking lobs, chops, smashes and sharp net plays which lead to her crowing of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Badminton Women's Singles Champion.

"After Athens I didn't think about participating in Beijing," said second seed Zhang following her victory.

"I'm 33 years old and I made it to the finals - I believe it was tenacity that got me this gold medal." said Zhang. Personally I admire people like her as role models to the sport. She has great sportsmanship and a humble personality. She reminds me of Andre Agassi who proved that with determination and the right mind, age is just a number.

Credit to Xie Xingfang too for producing a fine display of badminton throughout the tournament. It is Xingfangs first ever Olympics and I'm not too sure if she will still be playing in the next Olympics in London. In an earlier interview Xingfang has said that she wants to retire from badminton one day to live a normal life, "cooking soup" for Lin Dan when get gets back. :) however I'm not too sure when.

China missed a clean sweep of the women's singles medals when Indonesia's Maria Kristin Yulianti took bronze. Congrats to Maria for the bronze! She had a great tournament with a great run; upsetting the many seeded players who came in her way.

Womens Singles Gold Medalist: Zhang Ning
Womens Singles Silver Medalist: Xie Xingfang
Womens Singles Bronze Medalist: Maria Kristen

Check out Zhang Ning's road to Beijing here.

Catch Zhangs victory thanks to BBC UK.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Lee Chong Wei smashes into the finals

WEI TO GO - Our young “Skywalker” Lee Chong Wei brings smiles and hopes for all Malaysians as he carries our flag to the finals of the Men’s Singles in the Beijing Badminton Olympic Finals.

He marches on with a smashing win over Lee Hyunil 21-18, 13-21 and 21-13. Lee Chong Wei in on top form with that steady win in the Semi Finals. Overall you can see that Chong Wei has been preparing well for this tournament; you can see it from his fitness (how he is able to take every shot) and the confidence he has to play every stroke that comes to his mind. I think Chong Wei has a better chance of winning the finals compared to Lin Dan as Chong Wei looks to be in a better shape overall. To all those reading this, do post a comment on the finals and how do you think Chong Wei will do.

I’ve found a YouTube clip of Chong Wei’s Beijing Dream for you Badmiton and Chong Wei fans out there.. If you want to see him training, check out my earlier post

No matter what happens, Chong Wei is bagging RM 300,000.00 from the government for a Silver and RM 1,000,000.00 for the Gold. That’s a lot of money and it would be a motivation for Chong Wei to win. However I know that Chong Wei wants to create Malaysian History as the first Malaysian Gold Medalist and the money reward is just a bonus to winning. I just hope he manages to take the pressure mentally and overcome the Chinese supporters in the finals!

C ya in the finals!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Badminton’s billionaire fan

This is quite suprising to me that this man knows and watches badminton? Have a read!

By the Associated Press
Posted Monday, August 11, 2008 1:27 PM ET

Getty Images
Bill Gates enjoying badminton and a badminton fan

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates took in a little badminton on Monday. Gates sat in the VIP seats at Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium with his wife, Melinda, and watched the second round of men’s singles when China’s
Bao Chunlai defeated Guatemala’s Kevin Cordon 21-17, 21-16 in the second round of men’s singles.

“It was great, I was very impressed,” Gates told reporters afterward. Asked if he was a fan of the game, Gates said: “I am now.” During the match Gates wrote in the Badminton World Federation’s signature book: “Badminton is great.”

On Monday the Gates’ also attended the third day of swimming events at the National Aquatics Center on Monday, where they sat directly behind President George W. Bush. The President was there with his wife Laura, daughter Barbara and entourage of Secret Service agents posing as fans.

Sitting directly in front of the Bush family was Mitt Romney and his wife Ann. Before serving as Governor of Massachusetts , Romney ran the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Bao Chunlai and Gail EMMS / Nathan ROBERTSON journey in Beijing ends..

Being the 3rd seed in the Men's Singles, I expected Chunlai to take on Chong Wei in the Semi's. This will not happen as Bao Chunlai lost in the quarters to Lee Hyunil of Korea 23-21 and 21-11. Looks like there would only be 1 Chinese player who will make it to the Men's singles finals as Lee Hyunil will take on Lee Chong Wei in the other Semi's. Bao Chunlai again fails to impress me as his style of play seems to be very safe game play and it is less aggressive compared to Lin Dan and Chong Wei game play. I think with Chunlai out of the scene now, Chong Wei will have a easy passage to the Finals..

In the Mix Doubles, Great Britain’s hopes for a Gold vanished when Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson lost 21-19 21-12 to Lee Hyojung and Lee Yongdae of Korea in the quarters. Looks like the Koreans are going on strong this competitions with a couple of semifinals entries. The funny bit is that we have 4 Lee's in the Semis :) Lee Chong Wei, Lee Hyunil, Lee Hyojung and Lee Yongdae (Are they family or something??).

The semis will be an exciting one for sure. Do catch the semis via my links to live badminton streaming.

Adios dudes and dudettes!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Malaysia’s Olympic Success Depends on Lee “Skywalker” Chong Wei

Looks like all our hopes for Malaysia's 1st Gold Medal lays in the hands of our beloved Lee Chong Wei. Can this dude from Penang rise up to the occasion to prove to the world that he's the "Luke Skywalker" who brings a new beginning and glory to Malaysia's badminton?

Well I see a ray of light through our Malaysian Skywalker as he makes it to the Semi's after defeating Sony Dwi Kuncoro 21-9 and 21-11. I believe Chong Wei is in great form and confidence looking at his results against Sony. I think he will meet Bao Chun Lai in the Semi's and it will be a difficult game for Chong Wei to overcome. May the force be with him! I believe that playing Chun Lai in the Semi's would be a good warm up for Chong Wei's finals against Lin Dan. His Semi’s game would help him adapt to the Chinese crowd who will be against him during the game. I’m pretty positive that Chon Wei can win Chun Lai. What is important is for Skywalker to remain focused in the final game against Lin Dan and he should not let the crowd and the pressure gets to his head. Playing Lin Dan is never an easy task for any player, it is like playing Federer in a Tennis finals. But saying that, with the new points system, anything can happen; it’s not an easy task but I believe he can do it. If he does that I think young Skywalker will win our first ever Gold Medal and restore glory to the Malaysian Badminton team.

As much as the "force" tells me that there is a strong chance Lee "Skywalker" Chong Wei to win, there are questions running through my head. Why is there only one Malaysian player in the Semi's? Look at China; they have 2 men’s singles, 2 men’s doubles, and 2 women’s singles that have a good chance for the gold. Indonesia too has a good Men's Doubles; Mix Doubles & Women's singles players lined up for medals this Olympics. I think our Sports Minister or BAM should really look at our current system we’re implementing. We can learn a thing or two how China and Indonesia run their badminton programs so that we can learn a thing or two and prepare for the coming Olympics. We should also learn from the international professional football teams or professional tennis players on how they develop and manage talents in their countries. Let’s hope that there would be a re-structure happening soon in BAM to address these matters. On the other hand, do feel free to post comments on how Malaysia should move forward in Badminton..

Don’t forget to catch the
LIVE badminton action here.

May the force be with you!

Taufik goes out with pride..

I did a post on Taufik’s lost to Wong Choon Han recently. Even though he lost the game, I take off my hats to Taufik for being present at the games despite being admitted for Dengue and for giving everything he had against Choon Han. Its not easy for anyone to come back from Dengue and play against top class players; Taufik did just that and it proves that he has matured and he’s truly a professional in the sport… He gave Choon Han a run for his money in the first set however it wasn’t enough to win. He went out with style and gracefully. In my mind I thought that if Taufik were to win the first set, then he would get thru to the next round. Anyhow, I do hope to see Taufik playing more this year and I do hope that he shows us more of his talent in the future tournaments.

To those who missed out on the game, here’s some highlights I managed to get from youtube.. you can also check the Badminton Olympics LIVE here.

Robertson and Emms (Great Britian) battle on

One of my favorite upsets came in day 4 of the tournament. Great Britain’s Badminton Olympic team pulled one of the most unexpected upsets when Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson, pulled off a fantastic comeback and became the first members of Team GB to truly silence a Chinese crowd with a win over number two seeds Gao Ling and Zheng Bo.

I managed to watch the game and I thought Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson played a fantastic attacking game compared to the Chinese who were more defensive. Gail Emms played very aggressively in the front of the net, anticipating her opponent’s shots and countering them with hard driving shots to the Chinese players which created many openings for Nathan Robertson to play his hard smashes.

In mix doubles, it's very important for the lady to cover the front of the net well and to create opportunities for the male partner to attack and. Whoever who does this well normally ends up winning the game. Gail and Nathan did just exactly that, coming from 17-12 down in the final game to surprise the Chinese opponents and snatch a dramatic victory to enter the quarter finals.

This must be a shocker to Li Yong Bo as his hopes of 3 gold medals looks faded as the days goes by.
Robertson said: "We were so determined that this was not to be our last game together but at 17-12 down in the third we were just fighting for our lives.
"It so difficult to get a run of points against Chinese pairs but we managed it."
Emms said: "In the first game we just came out and we were blinding. And in the second we weren't doing anything wrong but they just came at us.
"In that third game we just had to keep fighting. You just keep sticking in there. You just don't want to give up."

It takes a lot of mental strength to do what they did.. Keep it up guys! Hope we'll get to see you play in the finals!

Looks like one of my predictions came true :)

If ya wish to catch the action do click below:

Click here to watch the highlights of the game..

Ciao da mao!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Badminton Day 2 & 3 - Wong "CHUN" Han and Maria Kristen does the unexpected

Hey Folks,

Sunday was the second day of the Badminton competition with the early rounds of the Women's singles and doubles. Top-seeded Xie Xingfang and Athens gold medalist ZHANG Ning, won their opening matches in women's singles with little struggle. Not much talk about the Sunday's game.

Let's talk more about today's games in Day 3. Most of the seeded Men's and Women's players entered the courts today. To my surprise, we had 4 upsets today. Firstly one of my predicted finalists in the Women's singles, Tine Rasmussen; she went down to Maria Kristen in three games. Maria once again used her fighting spirit to come back from a game down to win 18-21, 21-19 and 21-14. Looks like we have a new contender in town… Maria will be climbing the ranks faster than I thought.

In another Women's singles match, World No. 15 Saina Nehwal of India beat sixth seed Wang Chen of Hong Kong in the Badminton Women's Singles round of 16. Saina lost the first game 19-21, however came back strong in the second and third to win 21-11, 21-11. I think its Saina’s first ever win over Wang Cheng.

The third upset is more of a shocker as the defending Olympic Women's Doubles Champion China Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen were upset by unseeded Japan's MAEDA Miyuki and SUETSUNA Satoko 21-8, 21-23 and 14-21. Looks like Yong Bo’s chances of more than 3 Gold’s looks slimmer…

Next, we had the defending Olympic Men's Singles Champion Taufik entering the court in his first match against Wong "CHUN" Choon Han. Taufik, didn't look himself (well I dont think anyone can recover from dengue that fast) in the game while Choon Han looked determined and fully fit to take on Taufik. The opening game was a point to point fight whereby Choon Han came out tops at the end. There were some debatable line calls however, non of the players really made a fuss. Taufik gave his best in the game however it was not enough to stop Choon Han from causing the fourth upset of today.

To me, Choon Han dominated the rallies and he was fighting for every shot (Even made a few dives to save some of Taufik’s smashes – not bad for a 31 year old chap). Taufik however looked weak and we could see that his concentration wasn’t fully focused on the however, he managed to create some good moments in the game with some good trick shots and some good defense. Choon Han however played a more consistent game; hitting some very good net plays and some powerful and played a more aggressive game to win 21-19 and 21-16.
The third upset is more of a shocker as the defending Olympic Women's Doubles Champion China Yang Wei and Zhang Jiewen were upset by unseeded Japan's MAEDA Miyuki and SUETSUNA Satoko 21-8, 21-23 and 14-21.

Besides all the upsets, the favourites managed to cruise thru to the last 16 with ease. I've selected the top pix from day 3... I'll let these pix tell you the story.. Images are from Getty Images, for more of these fantastic images visit

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

(Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

(Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo by: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

In my opinion, you should expect more upsets to come in day 4.. Till then do come back to my blog for more updates...

Ciao da mao..

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Olympic Journey with Zhang Ning

Hey fellow Shuttle freaks.. How's it going? Hope all you guys are having a smahing weekend and you all had the chance to watch the best opening ceremony in an Olympic Games yesterday.

I was surfing you tube for some badminton videos and I found this video of Zhang Ning's preparations for the Beijing Olympics. She amazes me as a player and as a person. At 33 she's still playing the game she loves and she is still giving more than 100% in hopes to defend her title she won 4 years ago. To do so, it takes a lot of hard work in training to be in the competitive condition.

This video is amazing as it shows you the insights of a Chinese badminton player... It also shows you how Zhang Ning started her career in badminton and what badminton means to her. The video also gives you an insight of player preparations before her game and her life besides badminton. You can also see a clip of Zhang Ning playing a game with Mew Choo (M'sia) and during the 11 point break, you can hear what Li Yong Bo's advice to her was. I always thought Yong Bo was the kind of coach who would use forceful words to motivate you but this video shows otherwise.

In Badminton you start playing at a young age which is before 11 years old.. by 12-13 years old you normally start dedicating more time training and you’re playing district and small club competitions. By 18 – 21 you would already know if you have the chance to represent your country and if you are a world contender. Not everyone make it thru to this stage. When you start playing for your country, you will want to be No. 1 and it takes a even harder job to become No. 1. At the end of the day, not everyone can achieve what Zhang Ning has and this video shows your what exactly it takes to be No. 1.. This video is great stuff and I'm sure you'll enjoy it...

Ciao da mao!

Badminton Day 1 - Maria Kirsten advances

Maria Kristen Yulianti of Indonesia kept the Indonesian hopes alive in the Women's Singles competition as she fought hard in her opening round againts Juliane Schenk of Germany.

Image source: (Getty Images)

Maria lost the first set but managed to pull herself together to win 18-21, 21-13, 22-20. It's never easy for a person to play their first round first olympics and especially when you are down the first set, it's never easy to come back. Well done to Maria who remained mentally focused to stay and win the game. Maria reminds me so much of Susi Susanti; She has similar styles of stroke play, footwork and movement around the court. However Susi was at her peak when she won the 1992 Olympics. I'll give Maria a couple of years to grow and I'll bet she'll be challenging the Chinese women's players for the singles tittles.

Here are some other first round matches:

Women's Singles:
Eriko Hirose of Japan defeated Iceland's Ragna Bjorg Ingolfsdottir 21-6, 19-7 (retired).
Larysa Gryga of Ukraine defeated Italy's Agnese Allegrini 21-15, 21-11.

Men's Singles:
Przemyslaw Wacha of Poland defeated Estonia's Raul Must 21-14, 21-15.

Marc Zwiebler of Germany defeated Ireland's Scott Evans 21-18, 18-21, 21-19.

Stay tuned for more updates to come..

Friday, August 8, 2008

Overall Badminton Olympic Medal Tally

I found some interesting statistics on the overall Badminton Olympic medal tally since1992. It was no surprise to me that China was leading the pack followed by our neighbor Indonesia. What surprised me most is South Korea and Denmark who are ahead of Malaysia in the overall standings. What's so surprising to me is that Malaysia, who spends loads of $$$ and effort on development/building/maintaining the team are ranked 5th in the overall medal tally. South Korea and Demark on the other hand, has a smaller base and badminton following compared to Malaysia has a more balanced (Men’s and Women’s) team. Malaysia on the other hand depends too much on its Men's team to deliver the goods compared to the other nations

In the Men's medal tally, Indonesia leads the pack with the likes of Alan Budi Kasuma & Taufik Hidayat among the gold medalist... South Korea has been doing fairly well in the past collecting the second highest medals followed by China who are 3rd overall.

Most of China's overall medals came from their Women's team. They lead the Women's Badminton Olympic tally with 5 gold, 3 silver, 7 bronze followed by South Korea and Indonesia.

I predict China will climb to 2nd spot in the Men's medal tally while their Women's team will continue to dominate and lead the pack.

Ciao da mao

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Anticipation, Predictions and Forecast

Anticipation, Predictions and Forecast: The 3 important key elements I've learnt from a former great player who I had the honor to learn from when I was 15 years old.

During one of our regular training (normally on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday) sessions at the Selangor Badminton Hall (SBA), a 50+ year old man came by to pay my coach CIKU a visit and to have a have a workout while he was at it. We were doing our regular drills and sparring before we played a game or two.

After our drills and sparring session, our coach requested us to play a doubles game with this 50+ year old man. My partner Gnana Easwaran and myself went straight into the court to play the game and in our minds, we thought it was going to be an easy game. During the game we found it amusing that we had to struggle at the start of the game. This 50+ year old man was actually giving us difficult game... He took all our shots and he returned the shots to difficult places to retrieve. We had a good game and even though we won, this 50+ year old player thought us these 3 words as per the topic says. After the game he taught us the key to playing against us was to anticipate, predict and forecast our next shots.

We anticipated and moved to the spots the opponents would hit as they hit the shot; we predicted the shots they would use and we always did a forecast of our next opponents. It’s like a guessing game of poker too which is why I feel badminton is a complete sport. The advice he gave us helped us change our game which led us to win the Under 15 MSSD & MSSS (the state and district) doubles titles. At that year I partnered Chan Chong Ming at the MSSM (Malaysian Schools Meet) and surprisingly we won the MSSM too.

You must be wondering who this player is as much as I wondered when we played against him. This veteran player is Tan Aik Huang (picture on the right; source the former Malaysia great who won the All England in 1966 and many other tournaments during his peak.

With the long and winding intro to the story, it brings me to who do you think will reach the Men's Singles, Men's Doubles, Women's Singles, Women's Doubles & Mix Doubles Finals? My predictions are as follows what are yours? Would be great to see how many of these 10 predictions are spot on! :)

SmashingMark's Predictions

Men's Singles: Lin Dan (Chi) vs Lee Chong Wei (M'sia)

Men's Doubles: Koo Kien Keat, Tan Boon Heong (M'sia) vs Fu Haifeng, Cai Yun (Chi)

Women's Singles: Xie Xingfang (Chi) vs Rasmussen Tine (Dmk)

Women's Doubles: Yang Wei, Zhang Jiewen (Chi) vs Du Jing, Yu Yang (Chi)

Mix Doubles: Widianto Nova, Natsir Liliyana (Ind) vs Robertson Nathan, Emms Gail (Eng)

As you can see, I've predicted that there will be a Chinese player in all finals except the Mix Doubles. From a newspaper I read today which Li Yongbo has said that (the head coach of China), if China doesn't win 3 gold’s out of the 5 means they have failed. I bet that helps ease the pressure to the players and adds more egos to his name. I do hope to see the rest of the world give China a run in all badminton events and I’ll be so looking forward to see Yongbo's face when they don't win 3 gold medals. After all, they are the favorites and they have the home crowd behind them, but in the new 21 points system, anything can happen.

Do share with me your predictions...

Ciao da mao!

The Badminton Battle Dome

Two days to the start of the Biggest... I mean BIGGEST, badminton tournament ever in 2008... With a total of 172 players (86men and 86 ladies) registered for this coming tournament, I believe this time around there would be tons of exciting and memorable moments for us spectators and for the players.

Many of you have already seen how the Football, Aquatic and basketball stadiums look like. Since there is not much seen or heard about the badminton stadium, I figured why not just talk a little about the badminton arena where the badminton warriors clash head to heads for the ultimate badminton glory.

Venue: Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium
Location: Beijing University of Technology
Total Seating: 6,900 pax
Total land surface: 22,269 sq m

3D Birds eye view.. Looks very impressive for a badminton stadium.

Inside view of the courts, seating area and the ceiling.

The stadium looks really huge from the outside; however it’s sad to see that only 6,900 people can watch the finals in there. I was hoping that, from the outer look of the stadium, it would fit 10,000 - 15,000. Well, good side about the 6,900 seating space is that when Lee Chong Wei plays any Chinese players, the taunting will not be that bad :) The rubber courts should be the standard one used for all major tournaments and so would the shuttles. The only thing that the players should worry about would be the lighting and the wind.

According to Rexy Minaky (Malaysia's doubles coach) in the NST, "The players are fine with the lighting and were only little concern with the wind. BUT all players will face similar conditions so we all just have to accept these things." I do agree that wind would be a factor in any big stadiums plus it will be even a bigger factor since it’s a new stadium. I like what Rexy said about all players will be facing similar conditions... This reminds me of what we were taught before by CIKU and my dad - "your opponents will play in the same courts as you and in the same conditions, so if you want to win, stay focused on the game and not on the excuses."
Will we see the winds change powers away from China at the badminton courts? We'll just have to wait and see who will be Kings and Queens to rule the Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium.
Ciao da mao

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Badminton Live Streaming - Olympics

Like any other Malaysian, I bet you're looking for a website to watch the badminton live feed while u're at work.. As they say, "All work and no Badminton makes Jack a Dull boy"..

Thanks to these sources: Simply Badminton, you can watch it on (I hope it streams fast) and for p2p live streaming (TVAnts Sopcast TVU).

Hope you guys enjoy it and be smart while doing this at work :) If ya have more feedback or ideas on where to find badminton live streaming for the Olympics, do feel free to postit here. Sharing is caring.

Ciao da mao

Taufik fights back..

Taufik Hidayat: One of my all time favourite badminton singles players. This player is one of the most gifted players to have been in the circuit. Playing with a very natural style, Taufik the former Olympic and World champion is back in training to prepare himself for the Olympics..

From the Associated Press, Jakarta: "He's already back to training," Christian Hadinata said of the former world champion. "He will definitely go to the Olympics."

Fighting back is never easy.. Fighting dengue is worst than being 10-0 down because when you have been struck with dengue, all you can do is sit in the room and do nothing while but stare at the four walls but on the otherhand, if you are 10-0 down, you can push yourself to elimate your opponenet. I'm not too sure to what extend his dengue was.. however, I do know that once you're in the hospital for dengue treatment, you'll lose loads of energy and strength. In the past couple of years, Taufik has lost some kind of form due to his lack of training and conditioning. Even with the lack of conditioning, he still manages to play some decent games. However, he has yet to win a challenge against Lin Dan or even Chong Wei.

I do hope he gets back his form so that it would bring us one of the most exciting singles tournament to watch. Will it be a Tau-fufah-Fik or a Tau-Kay-Fik.. What do you think? Memories of the 2004 finals below peeps! Enjoys!

Ciao da mao..
*Source of Picture's above: Thank you

Malaysia, Badminton and the Olympics

What's with Malaysians, Badminton and the Olympics?

The Olympic Dream = Badminton, badminton, badminton.. To the world, badminton may seem to be just another small time sport and many I bet do not know what badminton is... To us Malaysians, badminton is a game widely played and followed... It is like football to Brazilians and NBA to the Americans. To me, badminton is one of the most exciting sports in the world; I think it’s great as it involves mental and physical strength which has various elements such as smashes, drop shots, net plays, and trick shots. I love this game..

I grew up playing the game and when I was a kid. I had a dream - like any other kid, I wanted to represent Malaysia (well as I said I had a dream :P ). Growing up playing the game, I have learnt many things and had so many wonderful experiences (I grew up playing with some famous players you might know: Chan Chong Ming, Wong Mei Choo, Woon Sze Mei, Ong Soon Hock, Gnana Easwaran, Ho Sze Ken and many more). There were many parts in this journey which I will share and relate to in today's game.

What I'm looking forward is the badminton Beijing Olympics 2008 which would start on the 9th of Aug. This time around, Malaysia seems to be well prepared and it looks like there is hope for GOLD... Yes there is hope people!! I believe there is a strong chance for us to win Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. If not 2 medals the least. I believe it’s time we move from silver and bronze medal achievement of Razif and Jalani Sidek, Soon Kit and Kim Hock to the new heroes of Malaysia.

As my coach (CIKU as we all call him) would always say, “train hard, smart and train yourself for the most extreme situations you may or may not face for the tournament”. This is what the Malaysian team have been doing. In preparation for the Olympics, our Malaysian team had spent many weeks and months training to win the Gold in China... I've managed to find some clips of training done by our Malaysian players on you tube which I think may interest ya (some videos are from 07 and some from 08).. enjoys!

Wong Mew Choo – Defensive training drill against 2 players. A routine done whereby two opponents on the opposite site, drill down the shuttle (either a smash or a drop) to Mei Choo who then has to defend the smash/chop/drop and put the shuttle as close as possible to the net. She then practices her net shots which will help her change the defense to attack. Check it out... Some pretty good net shots and defense from her..

I think she stands a good chance for the Semi's and hopefully help Malaysia bring back the Bronze medal.

Tan Boon Heong-Koo Kien Keat - This is a 2007 video whereby you can catch the Malaysian team practicing their doubles play against 3 players. This routine is done with the objective of improving the pairs attack, defense and speed as the pair has to try to win as many rallies againts their opponents.

I think they stand a good chance to win the Gold if they play like how they played in the early 2007. However looking at their recent form, it has dipped due to lack of confidence or lack of mental strength. I would pick them for Silver this time around.

Lee Chong Wei - Our best bet for the Gold. He's in superb form these days with Misbun doing a great job in training him. He's mentally focused, physically fit, has accurate strokes, plays with loads of brains, great movement around the court and he has won Lin Dan in the past 2 outings. History in the making for Malaysia if he's on form. Check out his video to see how he pushes himself during training.

I will be posting more lining up to the Olympics and more insights on the Badminton Journey in China. So Stay Tuned peeps! Till then..

Ciao da mao
*Source of Picture's above: Thank you