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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Badminton Analysis- Denmark Open

Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng - End of an era or just a cycle?

It cannot be denied that Cai and Fu have consistently dominated the Men's Doubles badminton scene for the past 2 years. They have been the world number 1 for 13 straight months, and have been almost a household name in many badminton fanatic's minds. However, after a string of defeats, starting with the World Championships, when they were defeated by veterans Choong and Lee, to the Japan Open, Macau Open, Chinese Taipei Open, and finally ending with their exit 15 minutes ago in the hands of veterans Eriksen and Luungard Hansen. While Cai and Fu might be going through a phase, suspicion after their slump is beginning to form: are they a spent force already?

Evidently Chinese coaches such as Li Yongbo and Tian Bingyi, who were themselves Chinese Men's Doubles aces, are concerned. With Cai Yun nearing the 30 psychological age barrier, Li and Tian have begun to look for other Men's Doubles players. With the obvious example being the pairing up of Xie Zhongbo and Guo Zhengdong, and the recent combination of Chen Xu and Sun Junjie, Chinese coaches are no doubt, concerned about the future of China's Men's Doubles.

Evidently, both Tian and Li want to avoid being left in a position where there are no reliable Men's Doubles players. This would leave them in a very vulnerable position, especially for the Thomas Cup. Traditionally, China has been known to fail when they do not have strong Men's Doubles players to back up their traditional depth in Men's Singles, as a lot of pressure is put on all three singles players to win. This is exactly why China failed to win the Thomas Cup in the 1980s even when they had poker faced smashing machines like Yang Yang and Zhao Jianhua.

Although my analysis might be premature, it is best to wait a few more tournaments to draw actual conclusions.

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