Wednesday, August 6, 2008

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

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