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 bbc.co.uk) 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! :)
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!