Malaysia in Sudirman Cup 2015: Great start but luck didn’t last any longer.
This year, the 14th Sudirman Cup is currently being held at Dongguan, China from 10th to 17th May 2015. It is a prestigious world mixed team badminton championship which takes place once every two years. There are five matches in every round: men and women’s singles, men and women’s doubles and mixed doubles. The Cup is named after Dick Sudirman, a former Indonesian badminton player and the founder of the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI). There is no prize money in Sudirman Cup and only a trophy to be won; players play for their respective countries and to earn BWF world ranking points and national prestige.
Nations competing in Sudirman Cup 2015. Only teams in group 1 will have a chance to lift the trophy as the teams in other groups fight for promotion. The teams who finish last in the group will be relegated to the lower group, except the final group:
How is Malaysia performing in the history of this tournament? Not good. Malaysia has never win this championship before. The best our country did was back in 2009 when we advanced to the semi-final. Just that. Not even a single final appearance in the history of Sudirman Cup. At least we have better records at Thomas Cup. And just like Thomas and Uber Cup, China won the most. They are indeed one super strong nation in this particular sport currently.
I’m particularly interested about the result of this Sudirman Cup 2015 recently, particularly from our Malaysian team as this also marked the return of Lee Chong Wei, our most credible men-single player to the sport after he was banned from playing for eight months due to a doping case last year in World Championship. And as usual, he delivered on all the matches and shown to the world that after a long break, he is still one tough opponent to challenge (besides than Chen Long and Lin Dan of course).
Earlier in the group stage, Malaysia surprisingly knocked down another badminton giant, South Korea by 3-2. I did watched parts of the matches, and I’m quite impressed by my country’s performance. Hey…we stand a chance at least to go to semi-final! South Korea is also unbelievably poor this time and delivered many mistakes and obvious weaknesses. I’m quite shocked that we defeated them. Next was India and we won them too by 3-2. This win is quite predictable.
Then, Malaysia advanced to the quarterfinal. Wait…this is a good sign for Malaysia. Let’s hope that we will be drawn to play against weaker opponent in the quarterfinal like Germany or Chinese Taipei. But, luck is not on our side. Malaysia was drawn to meet South Korea again of which the latter defeated India to get into Top 8 standing too. And so, in yesterday’s quarterfinal, Malaysia lost by 1-3, without the need for final match (mixed-doubles). Luck felt short for our country in the time when it mattered the most. South Korea had a successful revenge on us. And actually, the system is a bit wrong. How can we deal with the same opponent again? Badminton World Federation (BWF) have to look seriously into this matter and improve the tournament’s system.
To be honest with you, after my observation in these recent matches, I find that our boys have the potential to excel to further improve their skills. They always delivered the points for us. But certainly not the girls. Sorry, this is not gender discrimination but a fact. We lost in all of our matches in women categories in the tournament (don’t count the mixed doubles). And yea…only the woman in that mixed-double has some hope. The girls have to really look into themselves and work hard quickly to achieve at least a not so embarassing outcome like this. Not to be harsh to them, but please, all have to improve and should not only depend on Lee Chong Wei to give an almost absolute winning point. Even if that is so, Lee Chong Wei is getting older and his strength and momentum on court is decreasing eventually.
Hmm…when can we go back to our country’s golden era in badminton?
(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)