At the close of the annual badminton tournament, the press announced that China had dominated by winning 3 out of 5 titles at stake. The Chinese failed to win the men’s doubles and the women singles event.
Nathan Robertson and Anthony Clark were playing at their best level and it is not at all surprise that they were able to win the title this time around in Singapore. Congratulations! The English duo was so happy with the win they thought they had won the Olympic or the world’s title. It is just a Super Series title – that’s all. The news media (mostly from writers who have a fixed Western mindset) praised the players incessantly. But can they repeat the feat in the Indonesian Open or the World Championship in Hyderabad, India? If you asked me, I would say no. It is just that the Asian doubles players are not playing at their best. The top Korean doubles have not been able to settle down since the other half joined serious training after the military conscription late last year. The top Chinese double pair was also absent. The veteran Danish pairs were on the declined and the younger pair was inconsistent. The top Indonesian double pair of Kido and Setiawan has not been able to show the known zeal to win. The Indonesian Open may change things. Doubles play has evolved into accurate and matching reflex oriented moves that the pair which makes less unforced errors will win the match. As such, my reply would still be an affirmative no.
In the women singles event, Zhou Mi beat Xie Xingfang and the press would, once again, extolled the determination of the Hong Kong player and emphasized that Zhou played in a relax mode which actually was the winning factor implying that the Chinese players were brought up like “robots” and could not have gone very far. Just plain jealously, I see it. Let me stressed that Zhou Mi was previously a Chinese player until she was asked to make way for the younger batch of players like Lu Lan, Jiang Yanjiao, Wang Yihan and Wang Lin. She had quit actually but revived her career with the Hong Kong Badminton Association.
In the Singapore badminton draw and probably, in other tournaments as well, there will be many Chinese versus Chinese meetings at the early stages – thus ending a very good player path to the semi or final. A few notable examples were the women doubles of Cheng Su and Zhao Yunlei and women singles player, Wang Yihan and the elimination of Chen Jin in the semis by their colleagues. If these players were to face non-Chinese players in the earlier rounds, do you think that non Chinese player can advance to the semis or finals or we may see more Chinese versus Chinese final like in the mixed doubles? This is the current acceptable draw format based on World Badminton Federation's (WBF) seeding. I do not even relied on the seeding which is clearly not reflective of the rankings. Lin Dan has beaten Peter Gade and Chong Wei more times in the men singles event and yet, he is ranked only as no. 3 after the two non-Chinese players. To be ranked higher and probably get good match up, just play in as many tournaments as possible and score points. Is this a very fair system to use in the future?
At the Open, I also noticed that Singapore is represented by former Chinese based players who have benefited from the “robotic” training programs in China. Why is Singapore so proud – they are not even home grown players? These are imported players like in their table tennis, swimming and diving teams.
In the men singles, Bao Chunlai deservingly beat Ponsana, who as the bias media reported earlier that the Thai should be able to win the title given his strong run in the tournament. What a bunch of crap from these writers? A win is a win and there is no two ways about it.
MS : Bao Chunlai (THA) beat Boonsak Ponsana (CHN) : 19/21 – 21/16 – 21/15
WS : Zhou Mi (HKG) beat Xie Xingfang (CHN) : 21/19 – 18/21 – 21/10
MD : Clark/Robertson (ENG) beat Kido/Setiawan (INA) : 21/12 – 21/11
WD : Zhang/Zhao (CHN) beat Maheswari/Polii (INA) : 21/14 – 21/13
MX: Zheng/Ma (CHN) beat Xie/Zhang (CHN) : 19/21 – 21/19 – 21/11