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Monday, July 14, 2014

Lack of major badminton tournament in the month of July and August

There is a noticeably a lack of super series games in this two months.

Owing to major sporting events like the FIFA world cup and the coming Commonwealth games in Glasgow Scotland, badminton may struggle to compete for viewers and TV ratings.

The next major badminton competition is the World Championship held in Copenhagen Denmark, looking forward to it.

Should I plan a badminton holiday to Denmark? I never visited Denmark before...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Badminton Holiday in Jakarta: Outside the entrance of the Istora Senayan Stadium 2014.

The scene outside the entrance, there's live band, cut-outs of famous Indonesian players for photo taking and various booths.
                                           Ticket touts/scalpers waiting outside the entrance to sell to those last minute fans who wanted to watch the games.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Badminton Holiday in Indonesia - BCA Indonesia Open 2014 at Istora Senayan, Jakarta Indonesia

Just came back from Jakarta after watching the BCA Indonesia Open 2014 live in Istora Senayan Indoor Stadium.
Istora is a huge complex of sporting facilities, including the Bung Karno football stadium.

That day, there's a huge political rally in the stadium, here are the buses bringing the political party supporters to the stadium.

It is my first time in Jakarta, although I visited Indonesia before, particularly Bali.

Now, I can say that I have watch Indonesia Open at Jakarta.

There any many festivities outside the stadium, felt like a carnival.
This year, the Indonesia Open is sponsored by BCA or Bank Central Asia instead of Djarum.

The courts are blacked out, just like the All-England.
It was raining heavily on the 21st June 2014, a mini flood occurs at the main entrance.

Managed to stay a hotel very near Istora Senayan, which is within walking distance.

The crowd support is very partisan, bordering on nationalistic fervor.
The crowd support to the local players is much stronger than those of Malaysia or Singapore, places where I watched live badminton before.
The crowds began singing and chanting some Indonesian songs.
There were some famous Indonesian actresses in the stadium, and the cameramen kept zooming in on them.

Below a match between Wang Shixian vs Ratchanok Inthanon, with the crowd behind Inthanon.

Below is the match between Cheng Xu/Ma Jin vs Local favourites Tantowi Ahmad & Liliyana Natsir aka Butet. Unfortunately for the vocal crowd, Ahmad succumb to the pressure of expectations and lost to the Chinese pair.
After the game, I managed to sample some of the local Indonesian food.

Tried the Indonesian Nasi Goreng (Fried rice) from their kaki lima (hawker) stalls.
And the Indonesia Sate (BBQ skewered meat) with lontong in a restaurant near the FX mall, Senayan.
I didn't managed to buy a lot of stuff at the booth. Managed to get a Djarum shirt...

I didn't watch the finals live, but watched in the hotel Tv channel Trans 7.

Overall, it was an eye opening experience watching live in Indonesia.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Badminton Holiday

Watching badminton live in another country is a very different experience.

This week is the Japan Open which will be held in the Tokyo's metropolitan gymnasium at 1-17-1 Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0051 Japan.

Owing to lack of planning, I would not be watching Japan Open live, but will be going to Indonesia to watch the Djarum Open.

Looking forward to my badminton holiday in Jakarta.   

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Yonex-Sunrise warehouse sales

The warehouse sales has just finished.

It was held at the Jalan Pemimpin warehouse in Bishan.

The layout was better than last year, with the cashier moved to the back of the warehouse instead of the entrance.

Prices are the same as last year.

Absent from the list is Arcsaber 11, selling for SGD 150.

I didn't buy anything this time around as I was hoping to get Arcsaber FB or Nanoray 900.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thomas cup 2014-post mortem Finals - Japan 3 Malaysia 2

The Thomas cup finals 2014 is one of the most exciting and nail-biting badminton tournament in recent history.

Held in New Delhi, this is neutral ground for the two opponents.

The game between Malaysia and Japan was very competitive, stretching the teams to the limit.

With the tie at 2-2, the decider fell to the 3rd men's singles, pitting Darren Liew (ranked 66th) vs. Takuma Ueda (ranked 25th).

Takuma played very calmly with minimal errors.
Takuma took the 1st game easily (21-12) as Darren committed many errors by playing passively.

Darren finally woke up in the 2nd game with a display of very good jumpsmashes which he used to win in 2012 France Open finals.

Takuma had no answer to Darren's attacking play and crosscourt net shots, with Darren taking the 2nd set 21-18.

The decider game was like a game of chess, each player played very cautiously. 

Takuma played a safe game and prevented Darren from setting up his deadly jumpsmashes.

Darren Liew possessed a very good attacking play and was overcame by his numerous unforced errors.

At a crucial point with Takuma leading 17-15, Darren allowed a high lift to land at the baseline, thinking it was out.

This unforced error allowed Takuma to lead 18-15. 
Above is the eagle eye replay of a misjudge by Darren Liew, where Takuma's lift landed on Darren's baseline giving the Japanese 18-15. 

The difference between Takuma and Darren, is the number of unforced errors.

The 1st singles was between Lee Chong Wei and Kenichi Tago, which saw the Malaysian taking the game easily in straight sets, giving Malaysia the lead 1-0.

The 1st doubles was a critical game. The Japanese top doubles pair of Endo and Hayakawa won 12-21, 21-17 and 21-19. 

The scratch pair of Tan Boon Heong and Hoon Thien How put out a tough fight, stretching the game to rubber set. 

The energy sapping 3rd set maybe a bridge too far for the Malaysian pair especially given the high BMI of Hoon Thien How, which affects endurance.

The third tie was 2nd singles between rising star Kento Momota vs Chong Wei Feng. 

Momota easily took the game 21-15, 21-17, giving Japan a 2-1 lead.

The 2nd doubles was perhaps the most nail biting, with Japan poised to eliminate Malaysia. 

Japanese supporters celebrating.

The Japanese took the 1st set 21-19, putting enormous pressure on the scratch pair of Tan Wee Kiong & Goh V Shem.

The Malaysians held their nerve and won the second set 21-17 giving Malaysia a brief lifeline. 

The 3rd set, the Japanese caved in due to perhaps to excitement of finishing off the Malaysians quickly. 

The attacking play by Goh V Shem was pretty deadly with Tan Wee Kiong controlling the net.

The Japanese tried to prevent the Malaysian's attacking play by playing drive or flat shots, but the Japanese committed errors owing to their tactic of not lifting with little margin of the shuttle clearing the net chord, hitting the flat shots into the net instead.

The victory by the 2nd Malaysian doubles set up perhaps one of the best Thomas cup ever.

The margin of victory by Japan was very small, winning by 21-17 in the rubber game of the 5th tie.
Japanese team members celebrating the win.

But at the end of the Day, Japan became the fourth country to ever won the Thomas cup. 

おめでとう日本 。

Friday, May 23, 2014

Japan upsets China in Thomas Cup semi-finals

Wow!huge upset. My prediction was wrong.

Japan have just beaten China in 3 games.

Nobody would have believe it! What happen?