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Friday, April 18, 2008

Asian Badminton Championships - Day 3 Analysis

Yesterday has been a extremely good day for Malaysia, except for a minor hiccup. But lets focus on the good things:

Hafiz Hashim managed to beat World Number 3 Bao Chunlai in 3 sets. This is extremely significant because 1. he is in the quarterfinals, a first in a long long long long time 2. he beat Bao 3. he won in 3 sets. Hafiz Hashim's usual weakness is his stamina, lack of confidence and lack of focus. However, he has managed to overcome all of these weaknesses to gain a timely confidence boost ahead of the Thomas Cup. This certainly spells good things for the Malaysian contingent. Hafiz faces Sony Dwi Kuncoro today, and while I agree that Sony is a formidable opponent, I think Hafiz, having overcome all his weaknesses, would be able to - seize the day.

Wong Choong Hann was impressive in his dismissal of the slumping Chen Yu. I have nothing against Chen Yu, but I think he, together with Chen Hong, will be slowing fading into the scenes. Choong Hann was extremely impressive, especially in the second game, where he dictated complete pace and won 21-9. He faces world number4 Chen Jin today, and you can read my predictions in the predictions post.

Wee Kiong and Khe Wei failed yet again to win in a major match. It is time these guys started to step up, and I hope they do it soon.

On another note, a badminton record has been set. A Singaporean Women's Doubles team has managed to beat a Turkmenistan team 21-0 21-0. I think the Singaporeans should have at least given a few points, maybe 5 each game. Don't be so kiasu lah :D ! The Turkmenistan girls are new to the scene and need encouragement. What would happen to badminton in Turkmenistan now that you have dealt such a big confidence blow to them?

Both Koo/Tan, Choong/Lee and Zakry/Fairuz expectedly came through. All six of them broke no sweat in sweeping past their lesser opponents. At least their opponents got points :P.

Chong Wei was beaten by Boonsak. Boonsak is an extremely well rounded player, and the only thing he lacks is his offense. However, think might be a blessing in disguise for Chong Wei, as he himself was reluctant to participate in this tournament, and now he can have his badminton free weekend.

The other question to ask is will his (girl)friend Wong Mew Choo join him? Mew Choo has been unconvincing for the past few days, being stretched into 3 sets yesterday. Mew Choo seems to have a problem against Thai players. Hopefully, she can pull through against Wang Lin today, but if she doesn't no harm done!

Day 3 has been a day of bullying, with the famous and powerful names killing and massacring the lesser known Asian players. (ahem, Turkmenistan) Hopefully this will not discourage these players. Badminton needs to grow.

Malaysian WS youngsters Lydia and Julia, who were expected to win against their lesser known opponents, were both defeated. Malaysia really lacks depth in WS. Although they have Mew Choo, it is not enough. Once Mew Choo is gone, who is going to take over?

Thats all for today folk! Stay tuned for more news from The Badminton Blog

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