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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Yonex French Open

The name French Open conjures up the famed Roland Garros tennis (Grand Slam) tournament.

Unlike the clay court of Roland Garros, Yonex French Open is played indoors on rubber mat courts.

Winnings by Champions are so little compared to the amount earned at Roland Garros.

Singles winner of Roland Garros takes home 1.8 million Euros, whereas men's singles in Yonex French Open get paid  US dollars 40,000. 

Linked here as of last year, Lee Chong Wei took home USD 40,000. 

Location of Yonex French Open is in Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Paris. Nearest Paris Metro is Porte de St Cloud. 

I was in Paris 2 years ago, I remember the metro is pretty easy to navigate. I bought a Mobilis day pass and could cover the main tourist sight in Paris in one day.

However, beware of pickpockets though, I saw many suspicious kids/teenagers in the metro. 

Also better to ask someone in French 1st if you got lost and need help before switching to English.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Denmark Open Finals

The Denmark Open finals was held at Odense Sports Park.

Surprisingly, not located in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark.

The sports complex looks great and well kept. There's a football stadium nearby called the TRE-FOR park, home to Danish soccer clubs.

Let's say I visit Denmark during Denmark Open, any Danish people would recommend me where to visit?

My 5 days  plan in Denmark is as follows: 1 day dedicated to watching badminton in Odense, another day of exploring Odense city.  Then 2 days in Copenhagen and 1 in Aarhus.

Is 2 days in Copenhagen and 1 in Aarhus and 2 in Odense enough? Is renting a car better or just take the train?

I may visit Denmark one day and drive across the Øresund Bridge to Malmo Sweden. My Swedish friend told me many Swedes go to Denmark for cheaper groceries and shopping.

The city of Odense is famous for the storybook writer, Hans Christian Andersen. Hence during the prize ceremony, the girl presenters wore colorful and fair-tale like costumes.

Ok back to business...

The biggest casualty in Denmark open where Lee Chong Wei lost to Brice Leverdez of France 21-17, 20-22, 21-19 in the quaterfinals.

The womens doubles was won by the reigning Olympic champions, Takahashi/Matsutomo defeated Koreans Jung/Shin in rubber game 19-21, 21-11 and 21-16.

The Thai player Tanongsak won the men's singles who beat the Korean Son Wan Ho in straight sets, 21-13, 23-21. Tanongsak carried the photo of the late Thai monarch, king Bhumibol Adulyadej during the prize ceremony as a sign of respect.

Mixed doubles won by Danish fan favorite, Christina Pedersen and Joachim Fischer 21-16, 22-20 vs a teenage Chinese pair of Zheng/Chen.

Olympic silver medalist Tan Wee Kiong/Goh V Shem won a hard fought battle against the super vocal/loud Bodin Isara/Nipitphon Phuangphuapet 14-21, 22-20 and 21-19.

The women singles won by the Japanese Akane Yamaguchi who beat Taiwanese star,Tai Tzu Ying in rubber game, 19-21,21-14 and 21-12.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Is Badminton a Spectator Sport worth paying a premium?

I was wondering about this question, given the lack of popularity of Badminton as a spectator sports in North America.

Having lived for a while in Canada and California, I come to appreciate the sporting culture of North America.

The most popular sport in North America is American Football, MLB, NBA and NHL.

Granted the above are team sports, held outdoors in stadium that can house tens of thousands spectators particularly football and baseball. Hence, it's not a comparison.

Even indoor sports like NHL and NBA, can attracts thousands of spectators.

A more fair comparison is Tennis, eventhough tennis is an outdoor sports.

Given, the advertisements, sponsorship, TV rights and most of all ticket paying spectators; these sports have customers willing to pay high priced tickets to watch these games.

Granted Badminton is not a team sports that generate hype, news, playoff  standing watching and rivalry and most of all story. Sports story that sells...

Sports network like ESPN, TSN, etc have stories that sell.

In addition, there is no industry of sports memorabilia that can sell for thousands for example rookie cards, jerseys and autograph stuff. An All-Star player  autographed shoes or Jersey can sell for a small fortune.

How much can an autographed Lin Dan Jersey fetched?

Would you pay a 100 bucks to watch a badminton game?

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Excellent explanation on generating extra power on the backhand

Really works, coach Lee explain this technique in a clear manner with demo.

The wave technique.
Recap: 1. set the backhand
            2. supinate the wrist
            3. lead with elbow
            4. hit

Monday, October 17, 2016

Carlton Optimax Venom 15 photography

Shot in JPEG without post processing.
Racquet is all white...

The frame is unique, which is oversize, compared to regular racquets.

Painted on the frame is the word, "Oversize".

The racquet has unique stringing pattern, with an extra grommet to increase the number of vertical & horizontal strings intersect, therefore increasing the sweetspot. However, the stress point also increases at the place of the extra grommet. My stringer was telling me about this rare stringing pattern. Rather innovative design.

Badminton Racquet photography

I was just testing photographing my racquet using a F4 Zoom lens at wide focal length of 35mm using APS-C or 50mm on Full frame camera.

I was researching whether to get a dedicated macro lens or just use a potrait lens with 50mm, F 1.8?

Perhaps instead of natural light, I could use better lighting equipment.

Jetspeed S 12 under natural light.

Handheld shot without tripod, shutter speed auto, low ISO and aperture of 4.

Close up frame hand held, although lens has optical stabilization.
Whats setup you use for badminton racquet photography?

Curious to know

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Resale market of used badminton racquets

I used to buy 2nd hand racquets and sell my used racquets. But recently, racquet prices has plummeted and used racquets have little or no value. Even branded and new models.

In economics, it's called devaluation.

One website wrote that racquets have about 20% annual devaluation at least in the United States, perhaps used badminton racquets are less advertised in market, hence not much market data or analytics. Link here.

But in other countries where badminton is the national sports, consumers in the resale market have more choices as there are more people playing and collecting racquets. In addition, many fell for the marketing gimmick where they see their favourite players using the racquets.

I remember a few years back when the arcsaber 10 was released, I overheard an Indonesian boy telling his father,'Taufik raket! Taufik raket!'. With the constant persuasion by the boy, the father bought his son a Taufik racquet.

Furthermore with online shops selling discounted, clone or older model racquets for sale, market is flooded with too many racquets. Too many people ended with too many racquets.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Thailand Open 2016

BWF just launched a new look website.

The BWF events website did not do a good job listing the venue of the tournament.

Link here.

 For example, although on the top left side of the website, it says Nimibutr Stadium, clicking the link 'venue' gives the venue as Bangkok and not the stadium. See below

Before this new website, I was in the dark as to which city, the Thailand Open will be held? Is it Chang Mai, Pattaya etc. The BWF calender was not updated even today when the tournament starts...

Worse of all, clicking the link official website gives the link below, a...facebook page.

Actually upon further research, Nimibutr stadium is non other than the National Stadium near MBK complex.

 I could have made plans to visit Thailand Open, but given the lack of information, I was in the dark about the location and could not buy the plane ticket and hotel room in time.

I believe fans are also a source of revenue for BWF but it seems like BWF do not help fans who wish to travel internationally to watch the games in the stadium.

The stadium is in the best location possible for badminton tourist like me. There's the row of Badminton shops, MBK and Siam Paragon nearby and BTS station nearby e.g. National Stadium.

Poor marketing decision by BWF. I could have fix this problem but let's leave to another day...

Victor Korea Open 2016

The just concluded Korea Open 2016 was held in Seoul at the Seongnam Seongnam Gymnasium
(경기 성남시 성남실내체육관) in Seoul (서울).

The finals feature Korean players in every single discipline: MS, WS, MD, WD and XD.

Korea players won the XD, MD and WD.

The Japanese WS player, Akane Yamaguchi beat Sung Ji Hyun in a thrilling rubber set to win 20-22, 21-15 and 21-18.

Similarly, the Korean MS player, Son Wan Ho,  lost in a rubber game to the Chinese player Qiao Bin who won 21-11, 21-23 and 21-7.

The biggest news is that Lee Yong Dae is no longer with the Korean Badminton association, in fact Lee Yong Dae is retiring from international badminton.

Source here: link and here.

This Victor Korean Open victory is the swan song of Lee Yong's illustrious career.

He won the last game of his career with his partner Yoo Yeon Seong.

'The 28-year-old Yong-dae partnered Yoo Yeon-seong to beat Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen of China 16-21, 22-20, 21-18 in a thrilling 85-minute men’s doubles final in Seoul on Sunday.

It was Yong-dae’s 43rd Superseries title, making him the most successful men’s doubles player on the Tour.' ...Quote the Star 2016.

Surprisingly Lee Yong Dae is still in his badminton prime and could have played for another 5 years. There leaves a void in today's men's doubles. It's like the men's doubles  game lost a superstar...

Wait a minute...

["Lee will complete his four-week basic military training in Gwangju City in November after playing at the Korean National Sports Festival. Thanks to his gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, he is exempted from his military duty and is only required to complete the basic military training. He has been too busy to complete his basic training as he had to play in many international games.

Lee will start writing a new chapter of his life as a badminton player in 2017. After his retirement from the national team, he is still qualified to play in overseas leagues as an individual player. He also has a plan to participate in games in Southeast Asia, while he may find a new position at his sponsor, Samsung Electro-Mechanics. “Whatever path I will choose, I will try my best on badminton court," Lee said. "I will play badminton until I reach 35 years old."]

Reference: from a Korea news website.

The story is somewhat similar to his ex partner Jung Jae Sung who has to complete his military service, which interrupted his badminton career.

On the flip side, the absence of Lee Yong Dae will give new opportunities for new stars to emerge.