Thursday, June 28, 2007

Peter Gade lost the semifinal

Peter Gade, Denmark, lost the semifinal to Chen Jin, China, on somedubious line calls in 2. game.Chen Jin and Peter Gade played a very even 1. game, where Chen Jin won21-16. But in the 2. game Peter Gade was playing very confident, andchased Chen Jin around the court. The dane had a good lead, but towardsthe end a few dubious calls went against him. Peter Gade is not the typeto protest, but tonight he startet arguing with the umpire. This lead toprotests from Chen Jin and the umpire had to work hard to get tempersdown. But it seemed to break Peter Gade concentration and he never gotback in the game. Chen Jin won the second game 21-19.Peter Gade left the court visibly dissatisfied and stood for a long timetalking to coach Morten Frost, using big arm movements.Chen Jin are in the final against Simon Santoso, Indonesia. SimonSantoso had an easy match due to Lin Dan's sudden withdrawal. Lin Danspend a long time with the doctor, and he did not look well at all.2. Mens Doubles.It was Denmarks grand old men who made it to the final. JensEriksen/Martin Lundgaard beat Eng Hian/Rian, INA in 21-18, 15-21, 21-18It was a very exiting match from first stroke. The pairs match up verywell - as it is usually the case in matches between danes, indonesiansand malaysians. Crazy strokes and incredible fast shuttles over the net.The first game went to Rian Sukmawan and Eng Hian 21-19 but was veryclose. There was no doubt about the 2. game. It went to the danes 21-15.The 3. game was wide open and a close call until 19-17. When the finalpoint was won, the danes gave their trademark victory celebration - ahigh five, a hearty hug and then they applauded the captivated andentusiatic audience. The indonesians on the other hand was verydisappointed.In tomorrow finals Jens Eriksen and Martin Lundgaard will face Koo KienKeat and Tan Boon Heong, Malaysia, whom they met in last weeksquarterfinal at All England. The danes lost then, but Martin Lundgaardbeleives, that this time is different: "We had them covered until 9-6 inthe 2. game, where we made som stupid mistakes and never recovered fromthat."Jens Eriksen was very happy af tonights match. His comment was "It isnice winning, particular if You are not playing well." Both stoodoutside St. Jakobshalle waiting for the bus, with big grins on their faces.

Swiss Open '07 - Lin Dan retires from semifinal!

Lin Dan retires from semifinal!In the first Men's Singles semifinals the number 1 seed, Lin Dan, CHNwas up against Simon Santoso, INA, who came to the Main Draw via theQualifying event!In the first game they went hand in hand until the score was 12-10 infavour of Lin Dan. Both performed subtle shots but all the time with LinDan setting the pace! Simon Santoso were 2 match points down before hehimself had unumerous match points giving him the first game 27-25! Inthe last fases of the first fases Lin Dan sent a lot of shuttles out.At 1-0 in favour of Santoso Lin Dan put his hands to the side of hisback, turned to the Umpire and said he was in pain. Referee was calledover toether with the Doctor, and after some discussion Lin Dan decidedto try and go on.It was very clear he couldn't go up in smashes and after 4 more pointsLin Dan went to the net, shook hands with Santoso - and second.

SwissOpen07 : Interesting day ahead 3/15

Day 1 at the 2007 Wilson Badminton Swiss Open, fourth Super Series inthe circuit saw a substancial number of long matches, causing hugedelays in geeting the matches on on time!Early evening the delays was more than 90 minutes ! Last match of theday, scheduled to go on 2105hrs. was announced on court 2355 hrs....!It didn't help matter that apporximately 80% of the matches went intothree games!On the positive side, the effect of the combination of the 3-to-21scoring system and the Super Series circuit might have started to kickin, making it more important for the players to fight even harder foreach point!We are soon ready for takeoff on the second day of the Main Draw.There are good number of players qualified from the Qualification roundstill at the event:Mixed Doubless:Jiang Yanmei/Wijaya Hendra, SIN(Q) who wil face K. Voravichitchaikul/S.Anugritayawon, THA in the first match of the dayMette Schjoldager/Lars Paaske, DEN(Q) vs Helle Nielsen/Jens Eriksen, DENMen's Singles:Shoji Sato, JPN(Q) vs Chetan Anand, INDSimon Santoso, INA(Q) vs Ronald Susilo, SINWomen's Singles:Soratja Chansrisukot, THA(Q) vs Lu Lan, CHN (5/8 seed)Women's Doubles:Hong Soo Jung/Jung Youn Kyong, KOR(Q) vs Aki Akao/Tmomi Matsuda, JPNElin Bergblom/Johanna Persson, SWE(Q) vs Nicole Grether/Juliane Schenk, GERMen's Doubles:Vitalij Durkin/Alexandr Nikolaenko, RUS(Q) vs Rian Sukmawan/Eng Hian, INABesides the interesting aspect of whether the seeded players will stillbe in the event after todays matches, one match will have an interestingtouch to it.The Mixed Doubles match between Mette Schjoldager/Lars Paaske and HelleNielsen/Jens Eriksen, all DEN will see Schjoldager and Eriksen facingeach other on each side of the court! Due to a re-mix of the DanishMixed Doubles pairing new partnerships have been formed and after 7years Shjoldager and Eriksen now have new partners.From the home crowds point of view it will be interesting to see if theSwiss number on Women's Singles, Jeanine Cicognini will make it throughto the next round. She is facing Jiang Yanjiao, CHN.

2007 Wilson Badminton Swiss Open

The new Super Series leaves 'limited' place for players enteringthe Main Draw directly, hence the sight of lots well-known players such as Wong Choong Hann, MAS, Mette Schjoldager, DEN and Simon Santoso, INA, entering the qualifying round!The idea of the Super Series is to produce seeworthy top games all the time lives up to its intentions, to mention but a few: Wong Choong Hann, MAS vs Roman Spitko, GER, a match the Malaysian won 21-6, 21-13 after a mere 24 minutes. That it did takes its toll was obvious when Hann got a deep massage afterwards (pic). In Men's Doubles Chan Chong Ming/Hoon Thien How, MAS was up
against Rasmus Mangor Andersen/Peter Buur Steffensen, DEN. In a fast paced match the Malaysians qualified to the Main Draw by winning 22-20, 21-16. Third, and last to be mentioned, was the Women's Singles match between Maja Tvrdy, SLO and Aditi Mutatkar, IND. It was the last match of the evening, and accoring to tradition of the last matches of the day, it went into three games! Mutatkar came out on top, winning 21-12, 16-21, 21-14 after 54 minutes, ready for taking on Kaori Mori, JAPAN later Wednesday. The host nation, Schwitzerland, had a large numer of players in the Qualifying rounds. None of the singles players made it through to the Main Draw although Sabrina Jaquet, SUI, performed quite well against Maja Tverdy, SLO. The Swiss girl lost in straight games 21-19, 21-15 (pic). Tenzin Pelling, SUI, didn't have a very lucky qualifying attempt, as she twice was up against Rachel van Cutsen, NED, losing on both occassions. First in the Women's Singles on Monday losing in straight games 21-16, 21-5 and again Tuesday in the Women's Doubles where Pelling teamed up with Justine Ling, against van Cutsen/Paulien van Dooremalen. This was a difficult match for the home girls who lost 21-7, 21-14 in just 20 minutes.
Looking forward to the Main Draw, Men's Singles: Lin Dan, CHN, seeded 1, winner of the latest two Super Series KOREA and ALL ENGLAND respectively is up against Villa Lang, FIN, through from the Qualifying round. All England runner-up in Men's Singles, Chen Yu, CHN, seeded 5/8, is taking on Eric Pang, NED.Peter Gade, DEN, seeded 3/4, swinner of the first Super Series in Malaysia, will be taking on his compatriot Kasper Oedum, who was promoted to Main Draw from Qualifying.In Women's Singles Zhanh Ning, CHN, seeded 1, will face Swedens Sara Persson. Pi Hongyan, FRA, seeded 5/8, runner-up from last week at the All England, takes on Juliane Schenk, GER. Bulgarian Petya Nedelcheva, seeded 5/8, face Jiang Yanjiao, CHN, and Wang Chen, HKG, seeded 2 will meet Wong Mew Choo, MAS.In Men's Doubles last weeks All England winners Koo Kean Kiet/Tan Boon Heong, seeded 5/8, MAS takes on Anugritayawan Songphon/Prapakamol Sudket, THA. The 'old pairing' Candra Wijaya, INA/Tony Gunawan, USA, seeded 5/8 is up against Tadashi Ohtsuka/Keita Masuda, JPN. The Danish Grand Old Men Jens Eriksen/Martin Lundgaard, seeded 2, faces Matthew Hughes/Martyn Lewis, WAL.In Women's Doubles 5/8 seed, Zhao Tingting/Yang Wei, CHN, takes on Rachel van Cutsen/Paulien van Dooremalen, NED, through from the Qualifying. Home girls, Sabrina Jaquet/Corinne Joerg, SUI, through from the Qualifying round, takes on Nicole Grether/Juliane Schenk, GER. Zhang Yawen/Wei Lili, CHN, seeded 2, is up against Kamila Augustyn/Nadiezda Kostiuczyk, POL.In the Mixed Doubles event, the runners-up from last weeks All England, Anthony Clark/Donna Kellogg, ENG, seeded 5/8, plays Hwang Yu Mi/Han Sang Hoon, KOR. New Danish pairing Jens Eriksen/Helle Nielsen takes on Tim Dettmann/Anne-Katrin Lillie, GER and Chris Langridge/Joanne Nicholas, ENG faces number 2 seed from this event, Xie Zhongbo/Zhang Yawen, CHN.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

hitting a perfect smash

Step 1 : First let`s check the basics. Absorb the correct form.
Keita Masuda`s smash ( Japanese No.1 ) has a good strong point � even when he hits it from the back of the court, he can score points. This is due to his upper body being in balance. Hitting from the round-the-head position the same is true, and because he uses his left arm well he always keeps his body in balance. pic 1
Everyone, especially the male players, have probably played �catch� before. The smash action is I believe, almost the same as that of the baseball pitcher. The left hand leads, then the shoulder, elbow, and wrist follow in that order. The right arm should be like a whip, as this releases the most power. However, whereas the pitcher lands on his left leg, in the smash you convert this to landing on the right leg.
Regarding the �form� of the smash, it`s important that on impact the left shoulder doesn`t drop. If this happens it`s very likely that the shuttle will go outpic 2. Likewise trying to hit the shuttle when not in position will also probably result in the shuttle going out, so make sure that you are in position properly to play the stroke.
As you can see by looking at the pictures of Keita Masudapic 3, his upper body is in very good balance. Also, as he hits the shuttle his chest is facing towards the opponent, which is good. If he was to try and play the stroke with his body in the position ( the position before he strikes the shuttle in the third picture in the series in �pic3� ) he wouldn`t be able to play a strong smash because his waist wouldn`t have made any rotation.

The Smash isn't about Power!
� I`m not good at smashing because I don`t have any power�.� is something I hear a lot. In Keita Masuda`s case, because he does have power, in Japan his smash is considered above average. However, the smash shot isn`t only about power. If that was the case then sumo wrestlers would be amazing! Having a lot of weight doesn`t translate into a fast smash. It`s common to see a 80kg player being beaten by the smash from a 50kg player.
The most essential thing is to match your swing with the stroke. So what`s the best way to express this stroke��. for example, with the clear you have the image of aiming for the ceiling. For the smash you should think down and aim for the floor. At the same time, the stroke should be played further in front of you than the clear. At first if you try to play it further and further in front of you it will probably end up in the net. You have to keep practicing and get a feeling for where the best position is for you. There are basketball players who, wearing a blindfold, can score a free throw. That`s because they`ve thrown hundreds, probably thousands of shots and imprinted the height of the ring and the distance to it into their bodies. Badminton is the same � to get that feeling the only way is through lots of practice.
A strong smash is not really to do with power. Imagine the cracking of a whip � even putting all one`s power into the swing the whip will only make a small arc. It`s only by skillful use of the elbow and wrist that you can make the whip crack sharply.

Step 2 : Move towards game-like practice

Keita Masuda`s smash is considered a large weapon in Japan, but on the international stage you don`t hear that said. His touch in front of the net, still isn`t delicate enough. The smash isn`t going to decide a point by itself � it`s only by combining it with other shots that it becomes useful. And the foundation of all the various shots is footwork!
When you watch matches there are some players who you think � They`re fast! �. This isn`t because they`ve always had �fast� legs. It`s also not because their step length (pace length) is different. There`s a kind of fresh feel about them, and they have efficient and clean footwork. Of course they also read the game well too, but if you have bad footwork you`ll only end up moving noisily like a horse!
If you have good footwork in the left, right, front and back areas, you can get into position under the shuttle quickly and so hit the shuttle early. This means you can play the stroke in your own time. Beginning during practice time don`t just hit the stroke, but hit and then move forwards or backwards and get used to this footwork.
Moving forward after hitting a smash is comparatively easy as you follow the momentum produced from the power in the stroke. Recovering and moving backwards I always think � Return with the elbow �. If you bring the right elbow back you`ll find that the leg follows much more easily than if you just rely on the legs to get you back. During practice you`re footwork should be like that of a boxer � the legs never stop moving and keep a constant small shuffle going. Even when you`re waiting to get on court during practice or you have a little time it`s something that you can do I`m sure.

Step 3 : To use the smash well as a weapon in a game, think carefully before you hit.

Not to keep repeating myself, but in badminton the smash is probably the most offensive shot. At the top level in the mens game, the smash has been recorded at over 300km/h. However, no matter how hard the smash scoring a point from one shot is unlikely � most opponents aren`t that soft.
Similar to a baseball pitcher who throws a 150km/h fastball, there`s a chance that it will be hit straight back. It`s better to mix in some efficient, slow curve balls that just touch the corner of the plate, and have good control as then you`ll get the first batter out. Likewise in badminton, with a smash the chances are it will be returned. With the same form as the smash, playing cuts to both sides and using good control, this combined with the smash becomes much more potent. Of course scoring a point with a dynamic smash is a good feeling, but setting aside scoring an ace from this one stroke, we should think more of the smash as a stroke to damage the opponent and grab the intiative for ourselves.
Taking this to extremes, if the opponent is preparing for smash and we instead play a cut, it`s the same result as in baseball when waiting for a fast ball and getting a forkball. Or we play a smash on a testing course and as the reply is short we then can play a push or netshot and control the pace of the game.
Thinking about the course of the smash, hitting cross court ( in singles ) to both sides is okay. However if you imagine when you hit a weak return and it looks like a smash is coming, you ( as the opponent ) look out for the high possibility of a cross court smash. It you`re right handed you`ll expect a cross court smash to your forehand � most of your weight will shift onto the right leg. It`s the same for me, and probably it`s instinctive for most players. In this situation it`s more effective for the attacker to play a smash to the body, as the opponents center of gravity is displaced onto the right leg and they can`t get to this shot in front of them (Diagram 1 ).
The other reason for using the smash is to make the opponents return weak or short, and then creating a chance for yourself. There`s a way to make this happen � using the push or tap down rather than the smash. From a lift you play a cut and then move quickly to wait for the probable net response, and once the shuttle comes over the net tap it down (Diagram 2 ). Or if we put in a fast slice cut the reply isn`t likely to come back so deep, so we can tap this down too (Diagram 3).
If you smash too much though, the opponent will start to get used to receiving the shot. Then we lose it`s effectiveness and also lose our strength. The smash is an attacking shot but if we hit only this shot, 70% of the time we`ll lose.

The Jump Smash

I understand that feeling � of course it`s cool to play, it`s a dynamic shot and makes a great sound. If you start to win a lot of points from it, it becomes an advantage. However if the jump smash has merits it also has de-merits.
You can see just by looking how tough it is to play physically, and the chances of scoring an ace aren`t much different than with a normal smash. Moreover you expend a lot of energy and strength. It`s great when you get a result from one jump smash, but relatively speaking this doesn`t happen a lot. As for the jump part of the stroke, if the landing isn`t great your balance will be offset, and then you`ll be out of position for the next shot. Weighing up the plusses and minuses, there seem to be more minuses.
However in that � chance shuttle � situation you would have to think of the jump smash most times.
One of the players I coached, Taniguchi ( now with Mitsubishi Badminton Team ) used to jump smash from all over the court � both front and back. At the beginning of a match he would be leading but then in a reversal of fortune, in the latter part of the match he would get beaten. This was his pattern of losing. Even he himself must have found it tough stamina wise. So we reduced the number of jump smashes he played and instead cleverly weaved in cuts and clears and his style changed. At its worst, from then on during the closely fought parts of a match, he didn`t suffer from fatigue.
So to summarise the jump smash is cool, but as far as I`m concerned you don`t have to play this shot. However for those people who feel they must play it, a small hint.
At Junior and High School age, players don`t have enough leg strength yet. So when you play the jump smash, be like the baseball pitcher just before he throws a pitch. Get your weight onto the right leg as it`s then easier to jump from there. When you are in midair you should imagine a volleyball player spiking the ball � bending like a bow and matching the descent of the shuttle, hitting the stroke. As it`s easy to get injured playing this shot, don`t overextend your range and practice carefully.

Gong Zhi Chao

Gong Zhi Chao, a true blue Chinese badminton player, was the one who inspired me towards success.
At the beginning of 1997, when people had just heard of her name, not even knowing how she looks like, Gong Zhi Chao had already earned the Swedish Open title, Japan Open, Korean Open and the All-England Open runner-up titles to her name. She created the fastest rise in the history of International Ladies Singles' World Rankings.
"Who is Gong Zhi Chao? Where does she come from?", people would ask each other.
Born on the 15 of December, 1977, in Hunan (China), An Hua City.
Although An Hua City is considered as one of the smallest cities in China, it has managed to produce two badminton world beaters. Two time Uber Cup champion team member Tang Jiuhong, also came from the same city as Gong Zhi Chao. Tang Jiu Hong was Gong Zhi Chao's idol as a teenager.
In 1987, the young badminton player, Gong Zhi Chao, was studying in Xiang Hua Zi Di Primary School. One fine day, she saw her Physical Education teacher playing badminton with his daughter. She observed the small feather shuttlecock as it flew to and fro. Soon enough, she was totally engrossed in it. It was as if the shuttlecock was bekoning her to come forward to try, and the temptation was very great indeed. Finally, she plucked up all the courage she could master and asked, "Can I play too?" Her teacher readily agreed. First, he taught her about the basics, like how to hold the racquet, service etc. Gong Zhi Chao participated excitedlly for the whole afternoon, and this was how she got acquainted with badminton.
image("/badminton-central/images/players/gong/zhichao19.jpg", "Gong Zhi Chao during the 1998 Asian Games.", "right", 180)
In the same year, Gong Zhi Chao was selected into the school's badminton team. Everyday before the break of dawn, she would be woken up by the loud and ear piercing whistle. Under the supervision of Mr.Wen Ju Gang, she would go jogging, then on to attend classes, and after school's dismissal, back to the badminton courts again. Gong Zhi Chao's parents missed her very much, so they would order her elder brother and sister to look out for her in school. On one occasion, Gong Zhi Chao's brother noticed that some blisters had formed on her hands after going through rigour trainings. He immediately went home to tell the family about this, saying that, "San San (Gong Zhi Chao's nickname) trains really hard until there's blood blisters formed on her hand. I told her to stop playing, but she refused and insisted on carrying on..." Upon hearing this, Gong Zhi Chao's mother was so worried and heart-broken about her dearest youngest daughter. She heard that eating dishes with pork's hand in it not only helps to revive health, and also helps in improving stamina. Though they belong to a humble background, they tried means and ways to earn money to buy the meat for their beloved daughter. So every weekend, when Gong Zhi Chao gets to go home, her mother would never forget to cook "pork's hand" soup for her. On following Mondays, other than bringing back fruits, she would be given two pieces of roasted pork's hand to eat. Gong Zhi Chao's father oftened held her small hand and pat it, telling her in a soothing tone, "Bear with it, you must bear with is like that when you are young. Persevere when young, that's the only way you can success when you grow up. Tang Jiu Hong had to go through all this too..."
Once during training, the coach placed a stool under a basketball post and said, "We are now going to train up the springing strength in our footwork. Stand on the stool and jump up as high as you can, and reach for the net above." After demonstrating, all the trainees immediately got down to doing it. When it came to Gong Zhi Chao's turn, she stood on the stool motionless for a very long time. "Why aren't you jumping?", the coach asked. "I'm a little afraid." she replied timidly. "What is there to be afraid of ?!" Her coach shouted at her with anger in his words. Actually, Gong Zhi Chao herself could not figure out why she was afraid. "If you still don't do this practice, don't think of having dinner tonight, just sit there and watch!" her coach continued to say, this time even louder. After another two rounds or so, the coach waved his hand across the court, "Come and give it a try." So she bit her lips, jumped in a forward motion, touched the net with her right hand, and landed on the ground safely on her feet. "Do it again.", was the coach's encouragement. With that, she repeated the step five times. The more she tried, the more comfortable she felt. Maybe this was her first problem she overcomed on the road to success.
image("/badminton-central/images/players/gong/zhichao18.jpg", "Gong Zhi Chao during the 1998 Chinese Grand Prix", "left", 180)
In 1989, Gong Zhi Chao made it into the Hunan Badminton Provincial Team. "Gong Zhi Chao can only grow to about 1.65m at the most, thus not having any advantages on court. I don't think she can go very far this way..." Unintentionally, she overheard one of her coaches saying. Although she had come this far and her skills improved rapidly day by day, she developed a huge mental obstacle. She used to envy all those who was tall and strong in built, and thus made herself more devastated as she was not very tall. However, this problem of hers did not escape the eyes of another coach, Li Fang. Li Fang simply told her, "Indonesia's Susi Susanti has almost the same built as you, yet she is a great player. Why can't you do it when she can?" The quick witted Gong Zhi Chao then realised that being tall is not the only condition to become a good player.At that time, the China National Badminton Competition was going on in Changsha( the capital of Hunan province ). Gong Zhi Chao was the most important player in the team. In many matches, victory depended very much on her. Though there was tremandous pressure, she kept calm and steady. Together with her teammates, they managed to defeat numerous top players. This helped Gong Zhi Chao in regaining her confidence.
In 1992, when Gong Zhi Chao was only 15 years old, her father was seriously ill and had to be hospitallised. Upon receiving the bad news, she rushed back to Zhu Zhou from Changsha. By then, she was only in time to hear her father's last words, "Listen to your mother and be a good girl; Listen to your coach, work hard and play well. I hope you can be part of the China National Team next time and bring back the World Championship title..." Tears filled up her eyes.
"To earn a place in the National team, to strive for the World Championship title" became Gong Zhi Chao's dream. Luckily she was not the kind of player who only knew how to dream. She knew that in order to fufill the dream she and her father shared, lots of effort, hard work and sweat had to be put in.
In the year end of 1995, the China Badminton Team held a selection trial in Beijing (the capital of China). Gong Zhi Chao swept through the competition easily and made her way into the National B Team (normally for juniors).
The China Badminton Team oftened held competitions between the A and B team. (The A team is the group that represents China in international tournaments) Any player from the B team that manages to beat some quality players from the A team convincingly, would be able to rise up into the A team. This time, Gong Zhi Chao proved to the national coaches all that she was worth. In the middle of 1996, she finally became part of the China National Team (team A), under the guidence of coach Li Ling Wei.
Gong Zhi Chao has a height of 1.63m and weighs 53kg, therefore being the most duminitive one among the other team members. Some may think that this is a disadvantage to her, but in actual fact, it enables her to move quickly, giving her the full coverage on court. Gong Zhi Chao's nature during matches is to be lively in her movements, steady and go stroke for stroke. She pocesses great mental strength, causing her to fight for every point, no matter whether the score is to her advantage or disadvantage. Normally, she will manupilate her opponent until she finds a loop hole. Then, she will advance in on that particular weak point/s to get hold of the trump card. In several occasions, she fought off her opponents' match points to come back into the game and pulled off the winning point for herself. This goes to show that she is very capable of handling situations in times of anxiety and pressure.
During a badminton competition, players will drain more stamina compared to a soccer player. What is worse is that the style of Gong Zhi Chao's play is even more strenuous. Ever since Li Yong Bo became the head coach of the China Badminton team, he'd make the team members run up a mountain called Xiang Shan Gui Jian Chou in Xi Shan, Beijing, every fortnight. This mountain is about 500 metres above sea level and has a gradient of 50 to 60 degrees.Tourist would take two to three hours walking up, whereas Gong Zhi Chao only needs 18 minutes to run from the bottom to the top of the mountain. She would also take the initiative to run up twice too.
image("/badminton-central/images/players/gong/zhichao11.jpg", "Gong Zhi Chao during training", "left", 250)
During trainings, Gong Zhi Chao will wear special clothings filled with sand that weighs about 6 kg to do her runnings, jumps, and strokings.Sweat would pour down profusely and make her t-shirt completely soaking wet. But does that matter to her? Of course it does not for a dedicated player like her. All she have to do is to change into yet another one.
To increase her arm strength, Li Ling Wei enjoined Gong Zhi Chao to train a few more sets of what they call "throwing strength ball" everyday. The ball, as heavy as the ones used for shot putting, have to be thrown towards a barrier, for example, a wall. Even during her trips to overseas tournaments, she will never forget to bring one of those balls. No matter whether she is in the hotel or stadium, whether she just won or lost a match, as long as she is free, she will do this exercise till her hand gets totally strained.
Incidentally, the hostel room that Gong Zhi Chao is now staying in is exactly the same room as the one Tang Jiu Hong lived in ten years ago.
Before Gong Zhi Chao's entry into the China Badminton team, there were Ye Zhao Ying, Zhang Ning, Yao Yan, Dai Yun, Zeng Ya Qiong, Wang Chen and Han Jing Na that took up only seven places out of the eight places of "immortals" or "fairies". People used to compare them to a Chinese lengendary story "Dong You Ji", in which all the eight fairies originate from. Each of these fairies have their own specialities, and are kind and caring immortals that help all peasants in trouble. Ever since Gong Zhi Chao joined the Chinese team of ladies' singles players, she completed the whole team of "eight fairies". She was the latest to join the team and she is also the youngest and the smallest in size.
Gong Zhi Chao respects her coach, Li Ling Wei, the most, and also look up to all of her "elderly" team mates. Li Ling Wei once said, "Looking at Gong Zhi Chao play and being able to be her coach, gives me a sense of happiness and security. Matches that are not to be lost, she will never lose..." But relationaship between she and her teammates is not as close, sad to say. During tournaments, they would fight to their last breath, as it is either "I win you lose, or I lose and you win ", but during meals, they all have to sit on the same table again. Nevertheless, Gong Zhi Chao commented, "If I lose to them, they are my seniors. If I defeat them, they will still remain as my seniors..."
Right now, Gong Zhi Chao shares a room with Zeng Ya Qiong. She bought a 25 inch colour television and a radio to put in her room itself. She and roommate Zeng Ya Qiong shares the same interest: watching drama serials and listening to music during their spare time for relaxation. Music to Gong Zhi Chao is so important that everytime she goes out-station for a tournament, she will bring at least two cassette tapes of favourite singers Tan Yong Lin and Wang Jing Wen.
Ever since the death of her father, Gong Zhi Chao grew more concern about her family, especially her mother. Every two days, she would make a long distance call to talk to her mother to find out if there is any happenings at home or whether she needs anything else. When abroad, she would try her best to buy little gifts for her family too. Gong Zhi Chao is aware that her mother is a very trifty person, and would not buy spend money for her own sake. Thus, Gong Zhi Chao always buy daily necessities and warm clothings like cardigans, jackets, gloves...etc for her mother. Her mother would always say, "San San, don't always spend money to buy things for me, you should save the money for yourself." Guess what was the reply from Gong Zhi Chao? "When I was young, you'd always give me the best of everything, and I ate so much of your pig's hand dishes too! I should at least do my bit in giving all I can to my mother..." Sometimes during the Chinese New Year, she would play badminton with her brother and sister, as long as they are happy. All this goes to show that Gong Zhi Chao is a very filial girl. All in all, Gong Zhi Chao is a rare player to come by.

Monday, June 25, 2007

China coach has accused the BWF

China coach Li Yongbo has accused the Badminton World Federation (BWF) of “killing the development” of the sport after a row over the order of play at the Sudirman Cup, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

China eased to their sixth title in Glasgow on Sunday with a 3-0 victory over Indonesia but Li was enraged by a last-minute attempt to change the schedule to ensure a glamour tie between Lin Dan and Taufik Hidayat was played.

“I don’t understand how they could act like this,” Li was quoted as telling a news conference.

“Not only for this issue, in dozens of years I have been engaged in badminton, they’re killing the development of an excellent sport. They never listen to coaches and players.”

Chinese media hailed the triumph.

“Li Yongbo’s sixth kiss of the Sudirman Cup”, trumpeted Titan Sports, while Beijing Youth Daily had “Victory sealed as old rivals draw blank” and Soccer News took a break from round ball affairs with “Who else could be champions except us?”.

The Beijing News reserved a special mention for Gao Ling, who won her 14th major title, and alluded to the row with their “Sixth Cup, highest Ling and loneliest Dan”.

Dead rubbers are not played at the Sudirman Cup and with China expected to win easily, organisers had tried to move the battle between world number one Lin and his fierce Indonesian rival Taufik, the Olympic champion, up the order of play.

“This is absurd,” Li said. “I believe it hardly happens in other sports to decide the play order in such a casual way.

“In sports, the rule is like a law, you can’t just change it as you like.

“I went to state my opinion and to show my respect to the referee and the tournament. However, do they know how to respect players and coaches?

“I refused to accept the change because I think if they change it this time, they will do it next time. It just doesn’t work for an international organisation.

“I’m sorry for spectators who are deprived of an exciting final, but BWF should take responsibility for that.”

Meanwhile, changes need to be made to the draw system for the next Sudirman Cup after a major embarrassment on the final day, championship director Anne Smillie has acknowledged.

Spectators and TV stations globally were robbed on Sunday of a much anticipated clash between Chinese world number one Dan and Indonesia’s Hidayat.

Smillie said after China had won the cup for the sixth time that an overhaul of the procedure was needed.

“The success of a tournament can’t be drawn out of a hat,” she said.

Saturday night’s draw for the order of play had unfortunately put Lin and Hidayat last of the five matches but such is the dominance of the Chinese the final was always highly unlikely to go to a fifth match.

Sunday’s 3-0 scoreline proved the pundits right and meant there was no need to play the women’s doubles and the concluding men’s singles between Lin and Hidayat.

Smillie defended referee Keith Hawthorne, explaining: “In the latter stages of the tournament the draw is out of a hat for matches one to five and that is what happened. And I think that was the view of the referee — that this is what has been in place, which is fair.”

When the realisation took hold that Lin and Hidayat would likely be ghosts at the feast officials tried hard on Sunday morning to retrieve the situation.

However, no agreement could be reached as China coach Yongbo stood firm, later accusing officials of a “casual attitude” over the draw once it had been made.


Malaysia’s Datuk Punch Gunalan, the deputy president of the Badminton World Federation, the sport’s international governing body, is at the centre of allegations of a conflict of interest relating to the federation’s decision to move its headquarters from Cheltenham, England to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia two years ago.

The allegations surfaced at a dramatic BWF annual general meeting held in Glasgow last weekend, when the organisation’s president, Kang Young Joong was handed a three-year-old letter apparently implicating Punch in using his position at the international federation to pass on to the Badminton Association of Malaysia confidential information relating to rival bids to attract the international federation’s headquarters.

In a surprise move, the letter, written by Punch and addressed to the BAM’s president, was read out publicly at the AGM by Joong. It included the allegedly incriminating statement: ‘Since I am able to get all the necessary information regarding the other bids, it is important that our bid is better than any of the others.’

Malaysia was involved in a bidding war with South Korea, Switzerland and the incumbent England, with the bidders becoming embroiled in making competing offers of benefits, including tax breaks, in their attempts to lure the federation, then known as the International Badminton Federation.

Others involved in the initial stages of bidding included Singapore, USA and Mauritius, and the letter contains details of the offers contained in their bids enabling, it is said, the Malaysian bid to trump them.

For example, Singapore, the UK, USA and Mauritius were all said in the letter to be offering free office space, with Singapore offering an additional 'operational grant' of $50,000 a year for six years, the UK and USA offering unspecified operational grants and Mauritius and USA offering use of office staff.

Punch could not be contacted to respond to the allegations yesterday and today, and other BWF officials were said to be en route to Kuala Lumpur form Glasgow.

Brian Agerbak, general secretary of Badminton Europe, today told that he was awaiting a response from Joong to a request for an independent inquiry to be mounted into the allegations against Punch. There are claims that Punch could have broken the BWF’s by-laws by his actions.

Sudirman Cup & England

ENGLAND have a great chance of making the semi-finals of the Sudirman Cup for the first time - and that's after just one match.

But what a match as their doubles stars once again picked up the points to produce a 3-2 victory over Malaysia in their opening Division 1A match in Glasgow's Scotstoun International Sports Arena.

Even though they face holders and five-times winners China on Tuesday, Ian Wright's team know a win over Thailand can book them that place in the last four.

Gail Emms and Donna Kellogg were the heroines after saving two match points in beating Wong Pei Tty and Eei Hui Chin 22-20 18-21 23-21 in the night's decider.

Emms had got England off to a flying start when she and Nathan Robertson, the world and Commonwealth champions, maintained their unbeaten record in live rubbers by winning the opening mixed doubles.

But Malaysia's strength in singles proved too much for world No 19 Andrew Smith and Commonwealth gold medallist Tracey Hallam.

Then came the fightback. First world silver medallists Robert Blair and Anthony Clark got England level when they beat world No 2 pair Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong, winning 18-21 21-16

Then it was left to European champions Emms and Kellogg to finish the job by beating Wong and Eei.

Clark said of their battling display: “We played them recently in Korea and had a very close match but we lost on fitness but we didn’t go down at all tonight.

“We have got a new coach who has changed our training and taught us the new ways that the top Asian players are training, and already it has make a big difference not just to our fitness but to our mental approach to the game.

And Blair added: “We had to win to keep the match alive and they were big favourites but once it started to get close we seemed to improve our levels.”

Kellogg said of their nerve-jangler: "It was fantastic It was fantastic for myself and Gail to take the match. Everybody put in some great performances and to beat Malaysia is tremendous."

Head coach Ian Wright said: "We've had really good preparation, a good team spirit, two world-class doubles performances in the level doubles and we are now looking forward to taking on China tomorrow.

"If we want to be taken seriously as world contenders we have to try to compete against teams like China. We won't be putting out a weak team like Thailand did tonight."

Emms may retire after the Beijing Olympics

Olympic badminton silver medallist Gail Emms says she will from the sport after the Beijing Olympics and will not try to stay for London 2012.

Emms won silver with Nathan Robertson in the mixed doubles in Athens.

"If I stayed on for London in 2012 I would be 35. It is a great deal to ask to carry on until then," she said.
"It would be amazing to end that one step higher in Beijing. It will be my last championship and it is a great place to go out."


July 2007
11th - 15th China Masters, TBC, China.

August 2007
13th - 19th World Badminton Championships, Malaysia.

September 2007
11th - 16th Japan Open, TBC, Japan.

October 2007
23rd - 28th Denmark Open, Odense, Denmark.

November 2007
1st - 5th French Open, Paris, France.
20th - 25th China Open, Guangzhou, China.
27th - 2nd December Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong.

December 2007
18th - 23rd Super Series Finals, TBC.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

, game for two or four players using lightweight rackets and a shuttlecock, a cork ball fitted with stabilizing feathers. Badminton is the game I like the most. Unfortunately my school and my hometown do not have a badminton club.
I will be telling you about history of the game, rules etc...
In this game players hit the shuttlecock back and forth over a net, trying to keep it from hitting the ground. Some people play badminton outdoors on a level grassy area or beach. However, tournament-level badminton is played indoors on a specially marked court.

Badminton is said to have its origin in China. During 5th century bc a game existed which involved kicking the shuttle. Later another version was played in India. This involved
the use of rackets. Later when India was under British rule, army officers brought a modern form of game to Britain.


A single court is 13.40 m long and 6.10m in width. The court contains long and short service lines. For singles back boundary lines act as long service lines. For doubles another line which is 720mm in front of back boundary lines is long service lines.
The short service line is 1.980m away from net. The side line is 420mm away from
boundary line on side. The lines can be 40mm thick.


Badminton rackets weigh between 99 & 141g and has a terrycloth handle. Some has leather handles. It consists of a long, thin shaft; and a stringed area called the head. Official rules limit the total length of a racket to 67.95 cm. The head of a racket measures 28 cm in length and 21.8 cm in width and is strung with synthetic nylon(gut).The gut is held at high tension

The shuttlecock weighs about 5.7g and is made up of 16 goose feathers which are fitted
to base of cork. In casual games a plastic cock having synthetic feathers are used. The
shuttles are 6.4cm long. When the shuttlecock is in the air, its aerodynamics causes it to spin so that when players hit it, they almost always strike the cork, not the feathers.


1. The side which is to have the first service, the player in the right-hand service court of that side commences the game by serving to the player in the service court diagonally opposite. If the latter player returns the shuttle before it touches the ground, it is to be returned by one of the "In" side, and then returned by one of the "Out" side, and so on, till a fault is made or the shuttle ceases to be in play. If a fault is made by the "In" side its right to continue serving is lost, as only one player on the side beginning a game is entitled to do so , and the opponent in the right-hand service court then becomes the server; but if the service is not returned, or the fault is made by the "Out" side, the "In" side scores a point. The "In" side players then change from one service court to the other, the service now being from the left-hand service court to the player in the service court diagonally opposite. So long as a side remains "In", service is delivered alternately from each service court into the one diagonally opposite, the change being made by the "In" side when, and only when, a point is added to its score. After the service is delivered the server and the player served to may take up any positions they choose on their side of the net, irrespective of boundary lines.
2. The player served to may alone receive the service, but if the shuttle touch, or be struck by, his partner the "In" side scores a point.
Except in the beginning of a game each partner shall have the right, and they shall serve consecutively. The side winning a game shall always serve first in the next game, but either of the losers may receive the service.3. If a player serves out of turn, or from the wrong service court and his side wins the rally, it shall be a "Let", provided that such "Let" be claimed and allowed by the umpire, before the next succeeding service is delivered.If a player of the "Out" side standing in the wrong service court is prepared to receive the service when it is delivered, and his side wins the rally, the mistake shall stand and the players positions shall not be corrected.

4. The players shall serve from and receive service in their respective right-hand service courts when score is 0 or an even number of points in the game, the service being delivered from and received in their respective left-hand service courts when the servers score is an odd number of points. Both players shall change service courts after each point has been scored.
A badminton match shall consist of 3 games. In doubles and men's singles, the first side to score 15 points wins the game.

In men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles, the first side to score 15 points is the winner. Women’s singles games are played to 11 points. If the score is tied at 14-14 (or 10-10 in women’s singles) the first side that reached 14 (or 10) elects either to play through, meaning that the next side to win a point wins the game, or to set the game to three additional points, meaning that the first side to reach 17 points (or 13 in women’s singles) wins the game. Each badminton match is a three-game contest.

Order of play and position on court

After the service is returned, either you or your partner may hit the shuttle from any position on your side of the net. Then either player from the opposing side may do the same, and so on, until the shuttle ceases to be in play.
1. It is decided that the side which is to have the first service, the player in the right-hand service court of that side starts the game by serving to the player in the service court diagonally opposite. If the latter player returns the shuttle before it touches the ground, it is to be returned by one of the "In" side, and then returned by one of the "Out" side, and so on, till a fault is made or the shuttle ceases to be "in play". If a fault is made by the "In" side its right to continue serving is lost, as only one player on the side beginning a game is entitled to do so and the opponent in the right-hand service court then becomes the server; but if the service is not returned, or the fault is made by the "Out" side, the "In" side scores a point. The "In" side players then change from one service court to the other, the service now being from the left-hand service court to the player in the service court diagonally opposite. So long as a side remains "In", service is delivered alternately from each service court into the one diagonally opposite, the change being made by the "In" side when, and only when, a point is added to its score.2. The first service of a side in each innings shall be made from the right-hand service court. A "Service" is delivered as soon as the shuttle is struck by the server’s racket. The shuttle is thereafter "in play" until it touches the ground, or until a fault or "let" occurs. After the service is delivered the server and the player served to may take up any positions they choose on their side of the net, irrespective of boundary lines.3. The player served to may alone receive the service, but should the shuttle touch, or be struck by, his partner the "In" side scores a point. No player may receive two consecutive services in the same game4. Only one player of the side beginning a game shall be entitled to serve in its first innings. In all subsequent innings each partner shall have the right, and they shall serve consecutively. The side winning a game shall always serve first in the next game, but either of the losers may receive the service.5. A) If a player serves out of turn, or from the wrong service court, and his side wins the rally, it shall be a "Let", provided that such "Let" be claimed and allowed, or ordered by the umpire, before the next succeeding service is delivered.B) If a player of the "Out" side standing in the wrong service court is prepared to receive the service when it is delivered, and his side wins the rally, the mistake shall stand and the player’s positions shall not be corrected.C) Should a player inadvertently change sides when he should not do so, and the mistake not be discovered until after the next succeeding service has been delivered, the mistake shall stand, and a "Let" cannot be claimed or allowed, and the players position shall not be corrected.
Service court errors
A service court error has been made when a player has served out of turn, has served from the wrong service or standing on the wrong service court while being prepared to receive the service and it has been delivered.
If a service court error is discovered after the next service had been delivered, the error shall not be corrected. If a service court error is discovered before the next service is delivered, the following rules apply.
1. If both sides committed an error, it shall be a 'let'(accidental occurrence). If one side committed the error and won the rally, it shall be a 'let'. If one side committed the error and lost the rally, the error shall not be corrected.
2. If there is a 'let' because of a service court error, the rally is replayed with the error
corrected. If a service court error is not to be corrected, play in that game shall proceed without changing the player's new service courts.
The rules of badminton consider the following as faults:
1. If the shuttle lands outside the boundaries of the court, passes through or under the net, fail to pass the net, touches the ceiling or side walls, touches the person or dress of a player or touches any other object or person.
2. If the initial point of contact with the shuttle is not on the striker's side of the net. (The striker may, however, follow the shuttle over the net with the racket in the course of a stroke.)
3. If a player touches the net or its supports with racket, person or dress, invades an opponent's court over the net with racket or person except as permitted.
4. If a player invades an opponent's court under the net with racket or person such that an opponent is obstructed or distracted or obstructs an opponent, that is prevents an opponent from making a legal stroke where the shuttle is followed over the net.
5. If a player deliberately distracts an opponent by any action such as shouting or making gestures
6. If the shuttle is caught and held on the racket and then slung during the execution of a stroke
7. If the shuttle is hit twice in succession by the same player with two strokes
8. If the shuttle is hit by a player and the player's partner successively or touches a player's racket and continues towards the back of that player's court.
9. If a player is guilty of flagrant, repeated or persistent offences like Continuous Play, Misconduct, and Penalties
10. If, on service, the shuttle is caught on the net and remains suspended on top, or, on service, after passing over the net is caught in the net.
'Let' is called by the umpire, or by a player (if there is no umpire), to halt play.
A 'let' may be given for any unforeseen or accidental occurrence. The rules of badminton consider the following as 'lets':
1. If a shuttle is caught in the net and remains suspended on top or, after passing over the net, is caught in the net, it shall be a 'let' except on service.
2. If, during service, the receiver and server are both faulted at the same time, it shall be a 'let'.
3. If the server serves before the receiver is ready, it shall be a 'let'.
4. If, during play, the shuttle disintegrates and the base completely separates from the rest of the shuttle, is shall be a 'let'.
5. If a line judge is unsighted and the umpire is unable to make a decision, it shall be a 'let'.
A 'let' may occur following a service court error. When a 'let' occurs, the play since the last service shall not count and the player who served shall serve again, except where in situations where the Law of Service Court Errors is applicable.
Shuttle not in play
A shuttle is not in play when it strikes the net and remains attached there or suspended on top.
A shuttle is not in play when it strikes the net or post and starts to fall towards the surface of the court on the striker's side of the net.
A shuttle is not in play when it hits the surface of the court or a 'fault' or 'let' has occurred.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Continuous play, misconduct, penalties
Play shall be continuous from the first service until the match is concluded, except as allowed in intervals not exceeding 90 seconds between the first and second games, and not exceeding 5 minutes between the second and third games.