Monday, May 19, 2008

Badminton Sports: Slaying of the Chinese Dragon is not that easy

By China Watcher

Two days ago before the finals of the badminton “World Cup” for Women – The Uber and the Men – Thomas Cup, the press in Malaysia were supporting the theory that the Dragon can be slaughtered due to the slight hope created by the other teams in the earlier rounds in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Chinese invincible shield can be penetrated, another press exclaimed.

Another false hope initiated by the influential media. Luckily I have my own views. It was never easy for the teams to live up to the tag of “Dragon Slayers” and as such, the results proved, once again, China dominance in this particular sports event.

China’s women team trooped out easy winners against Indonesia at 3-0 and the China’s men’s team yesterday shattered the South Korean dream of claiming a first Thomas Cup team championship with a 3-1 victory.

I was of the opinion that the other people – journalists, officials, some commentators - in the sports are just too unhappy that the Chinese had dominated this sport for the past one decade, more so, in the women event. But I also noticed that some of the teams and its players are closing the gap in standard between the Chinese and themselves. Even the Chinese coach has commented that Chinese dominance in the sports is not healthy for badminton. The rest of the teams must work extra hard, develop the sports at the grassroots and should not blame it squarely on the Chinese who has a bigger pool of talents to draw from. Anyway, I believe that a team cannot be at the peak forever and there will be lull period when another stronger team or player takes over.

China should note the development of the other countries to try to deter them from winning Olympic gold medals in the individual events especially with all the teams’ single and concerted mind to defeat the Chinese. Some of them have already made it their personal objective and a benchmark to beat any one of the top Chinese players. Getting a good result against them is a sure sign of a winning place on the podium.

Two such badminton players who may have the potential to destroy China’s hopes which the Chinese should take caution are Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei (who defeated China’s number 1, Lin Dan, in the semi-final) and Denmark’s Tine Rasmussen who always have a well planned winning strategy against the Chinese women players.

Now, let us wait for the Olympics and see what happen in the sports of badminton.

Thomas Cup final

China 3 South Korea 1

Lin Dan (CHN) bt Park Sung-Hwan (KOR) 10-21, 21-18, 21-8
Jung Jae-Sung/Lee Yong-Dae (KOR) bt Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng (CHN) 25-23, 21-16
Bao Chunlai (CHN) bt Lee Hyun-Il (KOR) 28-26, 21-11
Xie Zhongbo/Guo Zhendong (CHN) bt Lee Jae-Jin/Hwang Ji-Man (KOR) 21-12, 19-21, 21-12

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