Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thomas Cup

Malaysia Against China (Friday 14 May 2010)

The Chinese players were just too strong for our boys at the Thomas Cup semi-finals. Despite all their very best effort to put up a good fight in the court, Malaysia lost in three straight matches that enable China to enter into finals against Indonesia.

The fans at the Putra Stadium, Kuala Lumpur were most sporting. They gave the Malaysian team their utmost support. They roared and cheered with approval with every possible point that favour Malaysia that created an electrifying atmosphere in the stadium.

Clash of the Titans: The much awaited match between Dato LeeCW and LinDan finally took place after Beijing Olympics. No doubt about it, Lin Dan’s pace is just too fast for LeeCW. He hardly smashed hard to win the two straight games.
Please click here to view photos by courtesy of Hon You, who went to Putra Stadium to witness the live action.

11 - 5: This is an interesting number. We only scored 5 points when the Chinese players had reached mid-way of each game. We were trailing all the time, which is bad news for making any breakthrough to win. It was a night of bashing by the Chinese players sending our two exasperated single players sprawling on the floor numerous times. Quite interestingly, Wong Choong Han’s match was lively delivering elegant and accurate cross-court shots. For all the straight games in the three matches, our boys only got half the match points.

We took 25 years to achieve the dream of regaining the Thomas Cup in 1992. Does it mean we need another 25 years? With the defeat, Malaysia's saga on eyeing the Thomas Cup continues...

According to Hon You, who went to buy tickets for this semi-final on Friday 14 May, only the Platinum seats were available. The catch – each ticket costs RM 3,000 !!!

Malaysia against Denmark (Wednesday, 12 May 2010)

While watching Malaysia playing against Denmark last night, Wedn 12 May, I began to know why Malaysia lost to Japan in the Thomas Cup: the Nigerian team was not playing and gave Malaysia a walk-over. Malaysia needs the punching bags as warm up sessions. Obviously, after the frustrating warm up session with Japan (that we lost), playing against Denmark last night finally got the players in top gears.

The spectators who were in the Bukit Jalil stadium definitely got their money's worth on the gate fees when supporting and shouting at the top of their lungs from 6:00 p.m. until 11:15 p.m. when Hafiz, who is playing in the fifth and final match, finally won.

As usual, our favourites, Dato LeeCW and our first doubles performed handsomely as expected. They gave Malaysia a great start with a 2-0 lead. The 3K (Koo Kien Keat - Tan Boon Heong) guy's performance is better now that he did not sit on the court occasionally and play. Besides, he does not look that arrogant anymore. Quite interestingly, LeeCW beat Gade (Denmark first single) at 21-17, 21-17. And our first double won the first game at 21-17 also. The standards to lose are also quite consistent.

I was feeling better when watching Wong Choong Hann last night: I was expecting him to lose and not as in the previous night against Japan expecting him to win -- and he lost. Of course, he lives up to my expectation -- he actually lost. Leading at 20 -17 (with one more point to win), he could also lose.

The second double: BAM or the chief coach made the right move by replacing the other unfortunate player with a Chinese player similar in size with Sammo Hung (when he is young, maybe). This Hoon guy is good, fast and made less mistakes. However, the Zakry guy (original player of second double pair) made a lot of unbelievable mistakes.

Watching Hafiz playing was most satisfying after two roller coaster rides that crashed earlier -- the second single and second doubles. Hafiz was compose, confident and as cool as cucumber (4C) -- just like before -- but this time, he played marvelously with good defense and good smashes with shuttles landed in the correct court. The supporters are solidly behind him with resounding cheers whenever he scored a point. I too cheered from the comfort of my house. The atmosphere then was now-or-never; otherwise, we will have to wait for the next Thomas Cup tournament to cheer.

Million thanks to Hafiz. Now that we will have chance to watch LeeCW against LinDan on Friday evening for a repeat of showdown in Beijing Olympic that favored LinDan.

It was indeed a happy ending last night supporting my home country. I slept well too compared to the previous night.

Malaysia last won the prestigious Thomas Cup in 1992 staged in Kuala Lumpur. Do you think we can go against all odds? Emulating the past Works Minister, Samy Vellu, the distinguished toastmaster from Speaker’s Dream Toastmaster Club, Loghandran, always said, “Where there is a will, there is a highway (way)”.

KC :-)

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