Saturday, 24 September 2011

Badminton Round Up

Well the dust has settled on the world championships, and once again Lin Dan has bagged yet another world title, in one of the best finals ever seen. In my opinion it comes second to the 1997 final between Sun Jun and Peter Rasmussen. Lee Chong Wei was pipped again in a major final. I really wanted to see him lift the title, he lost with a lot of dignity, and i guess that says a lot about him as a person. Watching him through the rounds he looked on top form, his overall game is there, i just think he lacks the total belief that he can beat Lin Dan in the biggest games. Top level sport usually comes down to just a few critical moments, and i think Lee Chong Wei will learn a lot from that final. It would be fitting if he could win the 2012 Olympic title before he hangs up his racket.

I was also impressed with Peter Gade. To be at the top of any sport for so many years takes real dedication and mental strength. He may have lost a bit of speed and power, but his tactical play is second to none. Of course as a Brit i was astonished that we got a silver medal in the mixed doubles, so well done to Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier. That result must have secured more lottery funding for Badminton England, and i know that funding had been getting smaller due to a poor run of results in the past few years. English badminton has been going through a rough patch in recent times, we have fallen a long way back.

On a brighter note it is great to see the BWF and Google teaming up to stream live badminton via youtube. Here in the UK, we hardly ever see any live badminton. Sky Sports do cover the All England, and the World Championships when they are in the UK, but you obviously have to pay to see this. Now us Brits can see live coverage of all the Super Series events, which is like Xmas has come early. I think it is great initiative to promote badminton around the world. I have noticed that coverage does not go out to countries like Malaysia, and i guess this is due to tv rights. I don't know what the situation is in Malaysia regarding who covers live badminton, but if it is like football coverage here in England, then the Satellite companies like Sky and Espn have all the broadcast rights, and you have to pay to watch any Premier League football, which has been the case for the past 17 years or so.

There is delayed coverage of the televised matches for the events, which is fantastic for all badminton fans. I have already watched the China Masters event, and have seen some of the Japan Open today. Once again Lin Dan has withdrawn to allow Chen Long to go through to the final nice and fresh to face Lee Chong Wei. China are very good at doing this sort of thing, i remember Lin Dan being "injured" in the All England final a few years ago, and allowing Chen Jin to win (it was Olympic qualifying year and it helped China get 3 mens singles players into the Olympic draw) This kind of thing is not good for badminton, and especially not for the fans who have paid to see the best players compete. The BWF should take a close look at this.