World Badminton News Today 12/2/2012
Badminton World News Today
Prior to the preparation in the Thomas Cup Qualifying rounds for Malaysia Team. The Malaysian team received a big boost when second men’s singles Hafiz Hashim stuns Lee Chong Wei in a simulation match, a day before leaving to Macau at Juara Stadium on Wednesday night (8th Feb).
The tall lad and who rise to fame after winning the prestigious All England Championship in 2003; Hafiz Hashim took control as soon as he steps in the court with furious attacks and great control of the game, easily won a lopsided first game 21-10.
Chong Wei showed more urgency in the second game but Hafiz staved off his challenge to take the game 23-21. “I was expecting a tough contest from Chong Wei and to be honest I did not imagine myself winning at all, and in such fashion,” said Hafiz.
“I could tell that he was not really playing at full level and was following my rhythm a lot, which allowed me to dictate play and deliver more killer shots. Overall, I’m quite pleased with my performance but I still need to work on my physical fitness, especially my recovery after matches.
“This win, however, has boosted my confidence and I am now prepared to step up in the crucial second singles role and take Malaysia to the Thomas Cup Finals,” said Hafiz.
In the Uber Cup department, India received a big blow when their star women’s singles player Saina Nehwal suffered from a severe sore throat. Saina, who will be spearheading Indian campaign in the Uber Cup, is unwell. In the event, the women's team who created history by reaching the knockout stage (Uber Cup Finals) in the last edition, will wait for the update on Saina with fingers crossed.
As it is, the road ahead is tough for them, having been clubbed with China and Malaysia in Group W. Their chances of progressing into the next round largely depend on Saina and the doubles duo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa.
Even if Saina recovers from the sore throat, it would be difficult for her to give her best in the tournament.
In Indonesia, despite the country’s struggles to make an impact at the highest level, badminton is still seen as Indonesia’s best hope for a gold medal at this year’s Olympics.
With that in mind, lawmakers in House of Representatives Commission X, which oversees sports affairs, pledged ample funding for the badminton team’s preparations ahead of the Games.
“Badminton should get special attention during the preparations, compared to other sports. If necessary, we can disburse lots of money because what is important to us is to regain Indonesia’s glory in badminton,” Zulfadli, a Golkar Party legislator, said on Wednesday at a hearing with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs.
Hadi Nasri, an Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) official, said he welcomed the support, adding, “we look forward to that being realized.”
It was agreed at the hearing that every effort must be made to maintain the country’s “golden tradition.” Indonesia has won at least one gold medal in badminton at every Olympics since the sport’s introduction in 1992.
Hadi said the PBSI would push its shuttlers to compete in as many tournaments as possible until the qualifying period ends in May. The top 16 singles shuttlers and top eight doubles pairs in the May 3 Badminton World Federation ranking qualify for the Olympics.
The PBSI reportedly has proposed a Rp 10 billion ($1.1 million) budget for its Olympic preparations. Youth and Sports Ministry secretary Djoko Pekik said on Monday that only Rp 200 billion was available for sports development this year, including the Olympics and the Asian Beach Games.
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Thomas Cup and Uber Cup teams said they were pleased with their schedule for their qualifying tournament, which starts on Monday in Macau.
The women open against Sri Lanka before facing Kazakhstan and closing with Thailand. The men start with Macau before taking on Singapore and India.
“The schedule is in our favor so we can adapt to the court and the opponents. We won’t play Thailand early and that’s great,” women’s singles shuttler Adriyanti Firdasari said at the national training camp in Cipayung, East Jakarta, on Wednesday.
The teams leave for Macau on Thursday to give them more time to adjust to the local conditions.
On Friday(10th Feb) evening the Malaysian team arrived in Macau without any hassle. Despite men’s singles player Arif Latif missed his flight due to some problems and miscommunication but managed to get a flight later in the evening and arriving Macau late in the night.
Team captain Lee Chong Wei gave his team-mates a treat by throwing a welcome party at a Chinese restaurant for the Thomas and Uber Cup squads upon their arrival in Macau.
It was certainly a nice touch by Chong Wei to keep the team in high spirits. Not only did they enjoy a hearty meal, the players also shared some light moments which left them in a relaxed mood before they begin their challenging quest for a place in the Finals.