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Monday, February 8, 2016

Badminton 2016-Grand Prix Gold

The major series of badminton in Asia kick off with Malaysian Masters 2016 in Penang Malaysia.

It was held in the new stadium called the SPICE formerly known as PISA (Penang International Sports Arena) from the 19th to 24th January 2016.

I almost went to watch, but owing to change of plan, did not go there.

The main sponsor was Victor, the grand prix Gold tournament was renamed 

Surprisingly, many international players turn up notably Japanese, Koreans and Indians.

Lee Chong Wei the hometown player won the men's singles against his junior fellow countryman Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin. 

While the women's singles was won by PV Sindhu of India.

Best match in the finals was the Indonesia pair of Markus Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya defeating local favourite and veteran pair of KKK/Tan Boon Heong.

Next nearby Grand Prix is in Bangkok Thailand today the 8th February till 13th February held at downtown Bangkok, a wonderful location.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Yonex Japan Open 2015

Yonex Japan Open begins this week.

The location of the stadium is the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

In addition, as per tradition, a new racquet is launched, the Duora 10.

Quote,"With DUORA’s cutting-edge technology, command the court with every single shot.
Huge forehands. Quick backhands.
The DUORA lets players do both with one revolutionary design."

The concept behind the design...

It's a shame I did not plan to visit Tokyo to watch Japan Open, seems like it's very well organized according to my friend who visited Japan Open.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Badminton Holiday World Championships in Jakarta 10-16 August 2015

I was at the quaterfinals of the BWF world championships in Jakarta Indonesia.

However, I did not fly to Jakarta directly but flew to Bandung Indonesia and drove from Bandung to Jakarta to catch the quaterfinals.

The tickets were bought from blibli.com at Indonesian Ruppiah 150,000.

At Istora Senayan Stadium.
The stadium is blacked out just like All-England. The major sponsor of the event is Li-Ning.

Booths of sponsors outside the stadium...
Having an Indonesia Nasi Goreng with Indocafe coffee during lunch time at Istora Senayan.
Lee Chong Wei back in action after almost a year of suspension. He was sporting a blue dyed hairstyle.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Badminton Holiday-Malaysia Open 2015

Last month, in early April, I went to Kuala Lumpur to watch the Malaysia Open at Bukit Jalil. The stadium is the Putra indoor stadium
 Watching the quaterfinals between のぞみ奥原 of Japan vs  王适娴 of China.
 The ever popular 이용대 and his partner 유연성. 이용대씨 is very popular amongst the female supporters, owing to his K-Drama/K-pop good looks.
 A few Japanese supporters cheering for のぞみ奥原さん.
The match of Carolina Marin versus a lesser well known player from Hong Kong.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Yonex Nanoray900 Review

Review Date: 14 December 2014
Racquet Type: Yonex Nanoray900 SP version
Specs: 3UG5
Flex: Stiff+
Balance: 285 mm (Head Light Balance)
Strings: Yonex BG66 Ultimax
Tension: 25lbs, pre-stretched using Yonex ES5PROTECH
Grip: Yonex cushion wrap+ original grip 
Technology: Nanometric, X-Fullerene, Super HMG etc.
Shuttles used: Yonex AS50

First Impression: 

This racquet made its debut early this year around May and was the main racquet of choice by Muhammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan. A successor to Nanoray 800 and arguably the Nanoray Z-Speed. It occupies the niche of a fast attacking dooubles racquet. The colours and physical shape can be found in Yonex website and reviews by other badminton reviewers. 

Final comprehensive review

I played mostly doubles (and half court singles)

TOC (time on court) when making review:

total of 20 hours of game play.

Warm Ups:
Warming involves baseline to baseline forehand clears.
Clears are long and far owing to the aerodynamics of the racquet and how fast the racquet swings.
If one word is to describe this racquet is 'sharp-shooting'. My reason is it's stiff yet fast owing to the repulsive nature of the frame, with a unique frame design, which claimed to create steeper angle of smash.

When contacted on the sweetspot, the force imparted on the shuttlecock can be felt acutely on your hands, i.e. the repulsion. Although, these could also be attributed to the strings you used.

Drives are pretty fast owing to the 'aerodynamic' slim frame and shaft. The racquet is very manoeuvrable and hence very good for fast reaction.
The racquet shaft is similar to Nanoray Z-Speed and felt that the stiffness is the same. However, Yonex claimed to make the frame of the Nanoray 900 different which will give the smash steeper angle. I do feel that the racquet cuts differently when slicing the shuttle or hitting downwards. Eventhough, Yonex specification gave me the hindsight, the frame definitely feels different when I perform an overhead stroke.
Perhaps it's the effort of the designers to improve the power of a headlight racquet. The 'kickpoint' is move higher up to the frame,

Game Time:
I won't go into detail each and every shot tried.
Generally since I am playing doubles, receiving of serve and serve are great as expected for a fast and light racquet.
The headlightness of the head of this racquet is apparent, as one can comfortably and easily whip the racquet to hit shuttle comfortably with the backhand strokes for fast jabs.
Owing to the head lightness, this racquet is very easy to handle, easy to go short handle grip to long handle grip.
Not much fatigue felt on my hands after an hour of game.

Front court: Aerodynamics of the racquet and the slim shaft of the racquet allow quick and fast reaction to perform netshots, netkills and crosscourt net shots. Racquet cuts very fast through the air.

Midcourt: This racquet plays good in the mid court range area as it is both good in attack and jabs. The fast handling and aerodynamics allows fast reaction. As for drive shots, this racquet can rival the best headlight racquets, that I have used particularly Nanospeed 9900. Backhand drive is excellent. A smash at midcourt is almost a guaranteed kill; especially when connected on the sweetspot, one can feel the repulsion and the focus of the impact on the racquet driving the shuttle to the floor.

Back court:
Basically smashes, drops and clears in backcourt. This racquet is great at the back, pumping smashes and full length clears. However, I feel a lack of momentum compared to headheavy racquets when doing the full swing. Extra pronation of the wrist needed to generate power.

Control is excellent, slicing (normal and reverse) and checked drops are precise, fast and relatively accurate. However if the pace is faster, control suffers owing to smaller sweetspot and mistiming issues (racquet swings too fast). This is a common issue among the latest model racquets with smaller frame.

An improvement to Nanoray 800 with more repulsion more aerodynamic slimmer frame. A head light racquet with a better handling compared to other models. Good for fast strokes, but control is sacrifice at a faster pace (owing to smaller head and timing issues: fast swing).

Feel: 9.0/10

Control: 9.0/10

Power: 9.5/10

Defence: 10/1

Maneuverability: 10/10

Pros: Maneuverability on the defence and very fast swing.

Cons: Hard to connect the sweetspot consistently (perhaps improve over time) and control is not as consistent with my other racquet owing to timing issues (racquet swings too fast).

Suitability: intermediate/advanced players 3U and 2U

Player type: Fast racquet for defence and counter-attacking.

Footnote: this review was done as a hobby and as an interest to inform fellow badminton enthusiast. This is my personal opinion and in no form to promote this racquet.

Conflict of interest: None

Reference: Yonex website (accessed @ 17/1/15)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Voltric Z-Force II, Lee Chong Wei version

I finally played enough hours to write a brief review.

This is a 4UG5 JP version.

There is a serial code written near the T-joint, stating JP Pat. No. 5281767.

Compared to the 4UG5 SP normal version, this LCW JP version felt head heavier a bit but less stiff.

Overall dimensions are the same, materials in the shaft and frame the same.

Appearance-wise this racquet is in a cacophony of colours with dark pink (as Yonex calls it).

Owing to the less stiff  shaft and head heavier specs, the racquet felt easier to whip for overhead shots.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Badminton Holiday in Osaka, Japan

Although I did not have time to play badminton in Osaka, I managed to get my shopping in on badminton stuff.

Staying at a Hotel in Namba, Shuttlehouse, the online badminton store is only 200meters away on foot.
Unfortunately, the store is rather small and the main focus is online business. Hence there is not much choice for those who walk in and shop. Shoes are pretty limited in stocks and sizes.

No deterred, I went to a larger sports shop called Spotaka.

The badminton and racquet sports are all located in one level, I believed it was level 8 or something.
There is also a tax rebate for tourist at level 6.
Spotted a pamphlet highlighting Japan's recent victory in the 2014 Thomas cup.
The pamphlet highlights the news of Japan's victory over China in the semi finals and over Malaysia in the finals.
Got my hands on a Wilson catalog as well.
As usual, Japan's Misaki Matsutomo graces the catalog together with Sho Sasaki.
A poster with Misaki Matsutomo using the Fierce 2 BLX, Japan Limited Edition.
Here, Sho Sasaki is using the Recon 2 BLX, Japan Limited Edition.

Spotted some school girls with a Yonex bag waiting for the bus.
Seems like badminton is a popular sports for school students, but haven't spotted adults playing badminton.