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Monday, August 11, 2008


Defending his title here in Beijing, Taufik Hidayat walked into the stadium expecting Malaysian super veteran Wong Choong Hann to put up a good fight. No one expected him to lose. Perhaps a close game, but Taufik definitely would win. Taufik didn't lose his game today. Choong Hann won it.

All throughout this match Choong Hann played like a man possessed, a skilled swordsmen weilding his sword, a conductor waving his baton. His sheer skill, coupled with experience and a whole lot of gut made him come out as the convincing victor of this highly anticipated match. Many have commented that Choong Hann appeared to be playing out of the ordinary, out of his league. I would be inclined to say that Choong Hann is finally playing back inside his league, that is, of the very top level.

Taufik played his usual brilliance and talent, but Choong Hann was just too accurate, just too good, just too hot for Taufik to handle. Taufik tried to burst past him, but Choong Hann held his ground steadily. There was once where Taufik managed to reverse a 4 point deficit to lead by 1, scoring 5 points in a row. However, Choong Hann, in his usual poker faced demeanor, simply brushed off Taufik, and steadily marched on towards the gates of victory, upsetting the defending champion, and continuing on a trend where no man has ever defended his title in this event.

A fitting victory for a Malaysian hero playing in his last Olympics. Watch out Chen Jin. You don't stand a chance.

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