World Badminton News Today
World Badminton News Today
In the Malaysia’s campaign of the Thomas Cup qualifying round, men’s singles coach and former World Champion Hendrawan has put his money on Hafiz Hashim to be the player who could take Malaysia to the Thomas Cup Finals in May.
Hendrawan, who has a perfect record of winning all the three Thomas Cups he played in for Indonesia, said his instincts tell him that the 2003 All England Champion Hafiz Hashim really wants to prove he is there on merit (in Macau) to win matches for Malaysia.
His hunger can clearly be seen in the ongoing 2 weeks centralised training at Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara. Malaysia are in a tough Group D where they must beat South Korea and Hong Kong and clear the quarter-finals in the qualifying rounds in Macau on Feb 13-19 to earn a ticket to the final rounds in Wuhan, China on May 20-29.
"Hafiz has been talking about taking the pressure off the younger players and this is a good sign he wants to stand up and be counted.” said Hendrawan.
In men’s doubles category for the Thomas Cup qualifying rounds Kien Keat-Boon Heong are supposed to be Malaysia's first doubles but no coach will take a gamble on playing them against strong teams like South Korea or Indonesia.
Although national doubles head coach Tan Kim Her has tried his best not to reveal some of the scratch pairs he will use due to the poor form of his top pair, it is an open secret Boon Heong-Thien How, the 2004 world junior champions, are the favoured combination and the one that can steal a point from even the strongest of opposition.
Boon Heong-Thien How only partner each other in training these days but whenever they compete on the local circuit, they have gone on to become champions. "Although we have not played in an international tournament for years, we do partner each other in training and also on the local circuit. Our combination is so natural as we understand each other's game very well” says Hoon Thien How who won the World Junior title together with Boon Heong.
British badminton star Chris Adcock insists he'll never regret turning his back on the potential riches of becoming a professional footballer and believes participating in a home Olympics will further vindicate his decision.
The ambitious 22-year-old has set his sights on qualifying for the mixed and men's doubles at London 2012 and currently both his pairings are in good shape to help him achieve this special feat.
He said: "I played football for Leicester City as a junior up to when I was about 14 or 15 but then I made the decision to play badminton. I was good at football but the best in my age in badminton. I'm always someone who would rather be the best at something than just be good.
"My best chance of being the best was in badminton so that's what I wanted to pursue.”
"I don't have any regrets at all. One of my little sayings is don't ever look back and think 'what if' so I try and do everything in the moment and get the most out of everything.”"I don't think there would be a worse thought than looking back over your career and thinking 'what if I had done this' or 'what if I had done that'. So if I try my hardest to take my chances then I won't be saying that to myself.”
"I love my football and I was one of the best growing up in my age and region but there were people who were better in other areas and age groups”.
"But in badminton I became European champion at under-15 when I was 13 and national champion at under-11 when I was nine or eight so it was clear which I was better in. And that's what I made my decision on”. Saif Adcock who won the national men’s and mixed doubles recently at the England National Champion.
China’s badminton living legend Lin Dan the four times World Champion recently attended the Laureus award ceremony recently in London on Sunday. The Laureus award is the “Oscar” in sports awards. The famous Chinese superstar said “The reason why China lacks Laureus award-winning athletes is that Chinese are not competitive enough in some influential categories”
Since 2000 Chinese have won three Laureus Awards, including Yao Ming and Liu Xiang as Best Newcomers of the Year, and Chinese Olympic team as the Best Team of the Year.
"China is good in diving, table tennis and badminton, and for so many times our national flag was hoisted across the world. But globally these sports are not popular enough," he said.
This year Li Na, the first Asian player ever to win a singles Grand Slam title, was nominated for Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year. Along with her was hurdles star Liu Xiang, China's first male Olympic gold medalist in track and field.
Talking about his compatriots, Lin Dan said it was "really not easy for Liu Xiang to gain the nomination".
"Since 2004 he had gone through so many twists and turns but persisted nevertheless," said Li Dan, arguably the greatest badminton player of all time. He believed that Li Na set up a good example for other Chinese players. Few Chinese people are good at tennis, but Li succeeded. She proved that in many unfamiliar fields Chinese can win so long as they try."
"I want to promote badminton to make it one of the most influential sports in the world," Lin said, adding that it was exactly the reason why he came to the Laureus award ceremony in London.
"After my retirement, if one day when I switch on the television, I can see a badminton player, not necessarily a Chinese, win the Laureus award, I will be very happy," said the Four times World Champion and reigning Olympic Champion