Archive for national

Redevelopment of Bukit Jalil’s Sports Complex

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2016 by vincentloy

Every units of this semester of my study that I’m currently undertaking is somehow related to architecture of sports facility. For my design studio, I have to design an indoor archery center. For my culture unit, I have to do research on sustainable architecture from stadiums in London 2012 Olympic Games, a topic that I chose myself. And for my technology unit, my kinetic skin concept somehow leads to practical implementation in stadiums in the form of retractable roof. And then there was the recently concluded Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games and the on-going Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Sports occupy most of my mind for this last half of the year.

Recently, I came across an article which stated that our National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur will be undergoing a massive redevelopment. I’m quite happy after receiving that news because I seriously think the place needs a major makeover. It is now a deserted area with dilapidated and outdated structures, and nobody would want to go to that place unless there’s an event to attend. I also found that there is quite a potential to transform the whole sports complex into a vibrant and first class environment for athletes and visitors and to prepare it for future major sporting events. Here’s below is parts of the full article from the following source:

http://www.fourfourtwo.com/my/features/bukit-jalils-reinvigoration-a-new-look-2017-one-worlds-biggest-stadiums

(Images below are also from the source above)

Bukit Jalil’s Reinvigoration – A new look in 2017 for one of the world’s biggest stadiums

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Built in 1998 for the Commonwealth Games, Bukit Jalil Stadium is the heart of Malaysia’s sporting precinct that also includes a hockey stadium, an aquatic centre, an indoor stadium and a squash arena. Having hosted the Asian Cup in 2007 and exhibition matches involving English sides such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in the past, the stadium needs no further introduction. It was also named in FourFourTwo’s 100 Best Football Stadium in the World last year.

The Bukit Jalil that many are accustomed to, however, will be a memory as a two-phase redevelopment of the area – before and after the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur – is set to put the KL Sports City onto the Asian sporting map in coming years. Singapore’s iconic Sports Hub is expected to have a decent rival less than an hour’s flight away.

Phase One, which involves a facelift for the stadium and other sporting facilities in the area, ends in July 2017. The stadium is not set for major changes under Phase Two, but massive redevelopment is planned on surrounding land till 2021, making the stadium’s use not feasible. Thus for half a year in 2017, the Bukit Jalil Stadium will offer a glimpse what’s in store when the dust eventually settles.

Capacity

Is it all about the size?

Officially, Bukit Jalil stadium can seat 87,411 people – the largest in Southeast Asia after the Gelora Bung Karno in Indonesia had a reduction in capacity in 2007 – but it is no secret that the highest turnout may well have exceeded six figures as thousands have been seen on stairways, corridors and even encroaching the media tribune during high-profile matches in the past. The construction of a new level of corporate boxes is set to push the capacity to 90,000. If history repeats in terms of overcrowding, the numbers could soar higher again.

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The new level – Level 3M – is being constructed between the existing second and third tiers on the same side as the grandstand and can only be accessed from the stadium lobby. The stadium is a sure bet destination for European clubs looking to make Southeast Asia a pit stop to widen their fan base and exploit commercial gains. There simply isn’t a suitable larger stadium in Asia, unless North Korea is on their radar.

Modernisation

With major redevelopment plans taking place in the vicinity starting in 2018, a lot of effort has been put in to ensuring the 18-year-old stadium still stands out. Bukit Jalil will get a new facade, a silver vertical structure to move away from its naked look of old. At night, that facade can turn into a light show and be colour coordinated to suit the occasion. More landscaping is planned around the stadium to encourage the public to consider the venue a location for an evening stroll.

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Changing rooms, a warm-up area, walkways, access gates and media areas are being redesigned while the stadium’s lobby underwent a restructuring to cater for newly-installed escalators and lifts to the corporate boxes. Spectator seats are also in for a change to meet current Fire & Safety standards. The stadium also gets a new athletics track but the football pitch remains, something Malaysian Stadium Corporation (MSC) insist is being well taken care off despite on-going renovation.

Technologically Advanced

Little thought was put into technology when the stadium was built. Apart from its looks and a digital scoreboard, Bukit Jalil is far from what you would call a technologically advanced stadium. Over the years, the stadium has built quite a reputation for jammed phones lines and unstable internet connection. Media personnel considered themselves lucky if wi-fi services were available, and whether or not the connection was stable came secondary, unlike the fast stable connections available in leading stadiums around the world.

That will soon be a thing of the past as the stadium will be fitted with fiber optic cables to provide high-speed connectivity. Spectators will also enjoy pre-paid wi-fi services, so gone are the days when being in a full stadium meant being out of reach. Other improvements include fixed stations for broadcast cameras, a high-definition big screen and light-emitting diode (LED) floodlights that can be controlled to suit different needs such as a football match, an athletics meet or a concert.

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The MSC are also building a mobile application to enable visitors better access to just about every piece of information there is on the stadium and its side attractions. The full works of the app, however, are only expected to be known once more facilities are introduced in 2021. MSC is looking to maximise engagement with the public in the hope it will draw a crowd on a regular basis.

Comfort

Access to the stadium is relatively easy on a sunny day but when it pours, even getting out of the train station can be havoc. But not anymore. A covered walkway is being constructed from the station to the stadium. Public amenities such as toilets, food & beverage outlets and prayer rooms are also being upgraded and will be more friendly for people with disabilities. The location of a viewing/seating area for the disabled is also improved as the present one at the top of the first-tier does not offer a good vantage point.

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A sporting ground for all

Next time you visit Bukit Jalil Stadium, make sure to bring either your bicycle or jogging shoes. A Commonwealth Hill Park was part of the big project in the 1990s and though still used today, its upkeep has been close to none apart from the trimming of grass. Unknown to many, there was also a recreational area with public courts situated behind the hockey stadium which has been underutilised for years. So much so, there were even squatters in the area at one point.

There has been no mention of upgrading those areas or whether it will make way for other developments, but one thing confirmed is a jogging and cycling track that partially surrounds Bukit Jalil Stadium and other facilities in the venue. Phase Two of plans, meanwhile, will include the construction of multipurpose outdoor courts for public use.

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I’m surprised that this news didn’t get much attention despite scale of the redevelopment. I’m impressed of turning parts of the current massive unappealing parking areas into fluid landscaping. However, reducing parking may not be a good option especially when you have huge event that is going to be attended by tens of thousand of people. There is also not much detail revealed yet despite the redevelopment is going to commence soon.

I would love to see the whole new redevelopment masterplan to further understand how it will look in overall layout after the transformation. There isn’t any body of water currently on the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex. There is this current trend of having a stream of water cutting through a sports complex (usually seen in Olympic Parks across the world) for aesthetic and I’m not against such idea since I saw the proposal of having similar approach in the last rendering above.

The new facade for the main outdoor stadium looks nice but is that the only proposal submitted? It would be much better if international and local architects are invited to submit design to give a new makeover to the stadium rather than just sticking to one proposal. Maybe once all this is completed, Malaysia would be much more ready to join hand with Singapore to host future Olympic Games. I also noticed there is still vast empty land near the Astro headquarter which is adjacent to the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex that can be developed for more facilities (temporary sporting venues, athletes’ village, media center, parks) if Malaysia is indeed serious on pursuing the hosting job to the Olympics.

I have written my thoughts. Now, what do you think of this redevelopment? Feel free to comment.

And by the way, Happy Malaysia Day!

 

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World’s highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge opened in China recently with the level of hype I never expected.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2015 by vincentloy

I guessed most of you should have known this by now; China had recently opened the world’s highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge. It is also China’s first bridge of its kind. Videos of people ‘bravely’ crossing and introducing that particular bridge are widely circulated through social networking sites and reported in most news articles recently till the point that almost everyone is talking about it now. Experiences of the first pack of the bridge’s visitors; some closed their eyes while crossing due to the fear of height. Some felt dizzy straight away. Some were afraid but successfully crossed through the entire bridge to prove his/her guts.

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If you still don’t know anything of this bridge, you must be living in the jungle. For me, it is nothing more than a glass bridge. It is interesting but I’m surprised of the level of hype it obtained now till the point that I have to share it in my blog here. I will only check out the bridge if I’m happened to be passing by or visiting the national park where it is located. If not, I would not purposely go there just to see the bridge. Anyway, here you go for a bit of information regarding this bridge; When translated directly to English, the bridge is called Brave Men’s Bridge. It is a glass walkway of 300 metres long and is suspended 180 meters above a sheer drop in Shiniuzhai National Geological Park, China’s central Hunan Province.

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Each of the glass panes is 24 millimeters thick and is believed to be 25 times stronger than normal glass. One worker who built the bridge assured that the bridge will stand firm even if tourists are jumping on it. “The steel frame used to support and encase the glass bridge is also very strong and densely built, so even if a glass is broken, travelers won’t fall through.”, he added. The bridge was originally a wooden bridge before the park experimented by replacing a small section with glass in 2014. It decided to increase the thrill by revamping the whole overpass earlier this year, making it China’s first all-glass suspension bridge.

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Hunan is due to open another glass bridge later this year in the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon area, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of Shiniuzhai. When completed, the Zhangjiajie structure will be the world’s highest and longest glass bridge — 430 meters long and 300 meters high. Well, it appears that China is not only stretching their limits in building supertall skyscrapers (their recent trend) but also in constructing terrifying and challenging bridges like this one. This glass-bottomed bridge that allows people to ‘enjoy’ views directly below their feet is already drawing huge crowds due to its viral promotion on the internet as well as coinciding with the Golden Week of China, a week-long of holiday for China’s National Day celebration currently. This is the time when millions of China nationals will go for a vacation both inside or outside of country.

Talking about tourists from China. I’m not being discriminating but I believe most of you think the same. They have very bad moral and most of them don’t behave well. I have been a traveler quite frequently and I always bumped into usually large group of tourists from mainland China either in their country or even in other countries. Well, most of them are now wealthy and can go travelling anywhere they like. But their values of conduct are extremely low. Their discipline are awful. Whenever I encountered them, I find them really irritating, annoying, noisy, and showing disrespect to the tourist places. Well, there have been many articles showing their bad attitudes (not queuing, peeing on the public, harassing human-shaped sculptures or statues, vandalizing buildings or monuments, spitting wherever they like, etc) shared out and I couldn’t agree more. They don’t feel embarrassed by their own actions and that is what got me surprised. Something must be very wrong to their moral education in the past when they were young. Totally terrible…I’m not targeting all the Chinese nationals…but most of them!

I guess after this holiday week, the glass bridge would be extremely dirty straight away with multiple stains (of spits everywhere maybe…) or maybe even declared unsafe soon since there must be ‘thousands’ of them rushing to cross the bridge and it simply couldn’t hold the huge weight anymore. Who knows…

(Images and some information in this post are from this source: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/27/travel/china-glass-bridge-shiniuzhai/)

Yellow everywhere for this year’s Merdeka Day.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2015 by vincentloy

First of all, I would like to wish Happy National Day to Malaysia!

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Today, in the last day of the month, the nation celebrates 58th anniversary of independence. I’m glad that the country is still stable and peaceful after 58 years, but things are not turning good either. The country has been marred by many negative issues recently such as  alarming drop in our currency, implementation of burdening GST, corruption scandal by Prime Minister, inefficiency of handling MH370 tragedy, debts of 1MDB, etc. In fact, I have been saying all these quite frequently in my recent blog posts.

These are some of the things that brought the image of the country down. Many foreign press are writing very much negatively about our country now. We can’t blame them since these are the truths. Hence, many Malaysians felt that having another street demonstration is the best way to put pressure on the sickening government and to show to them of how united we are in opposition to the current country’s leadership that contributed to all these. ‘Bersih 4.0’ is then held successfully with huge number of turnouts in the past two days. Many of my relatives and friends attended the rally. It was also a very peaceful street protest with no violence or scuffle occurring. Even our former premier, Tun Dr. Mahathir attended the rally. Wonderful.

I’m actually surprised by the low attendance of our Malay friends. I recalled in the past ‘Bersih’ rallies, Malays make up about 70 to 80 percent of the participants. Now, in ‘Bersih 4.0’, the Chinese took up the majority. Where are you guys? No matter which political parties you are supporting, we should see the bigger picture and focus on the problems the nation is currently facing. All Malaysians are impacted no matter which race you belong to, and hence, do ‘come out’ and show our frustration. The people should not be afraid of its government. The government should be afraid of its people.

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Well, in response to the rally, our Prime Minister, Najib, called the participants shallow and unpatriotic, and that the event tarnished the country’s image. Another hilarious and brainless statement. Malaysians participated and supported the rally because they still love and care for the nation. They were willing to sleep on the street outside at night just to keep their determination to go against the current government. PM, you are the one being shallow for saying such a remark. And by the way, you are the one bringing down the nation’s image. It’s such a shame you didn’t realize that. Many ‘Bersih 4.0’ rallies were also conducted in many foreign countries in similar objective. The spirit is not only in KL but also across the world where Malaysians are present.

It’s definitely yellow everywhere for this year’s Merdeka Day. I sincerely hope that all these negativity revolving around the present government would be over soon, and that means there is only one way to do it, have them replaced. Then, only that the nation can celebrate ‘Independence Day’ more peacefully and meaningfully in near future. The rally was over, but we will not give up on fighting for our nation. That’s the real patriotic spirit our PM will never understand. Maybe he thinks that getting 2.6 billion for himself …opps…for his party is the most patriotic action of all. Haha…

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

Some interesting national pavilions from Expo Milano 2015.

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2015 by vincentloy

Most of my recent blog posts are about the on-going Expo Milano 2015, and this wouldn’t be an exception either. The expo, which is held from 1st May and will ends on 31st October sees participation of 145 countries and over 20 organizations in a theme of ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’. About 54 national pavilions were built specifically for the expo in a site of about 1.1 square kilometre, and we got to see a variety of innovative and appealing designs of these pavilions.

Here are 22 pavilions in the expo that I find interesting enough to be shared here:

Angola

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Austria

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Azerbaijan

Expo Milano 2015

Belarus

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Brazil

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Chile

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China

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Estonia

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France

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Germany

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Israel

Il padiglione di Israele. (OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Il padiglione di Israele. (OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Italy

Expo:aperti i cancelli,al via Esposizione Universale

Japan

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Kuwait

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Malaysia

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Mexico

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Slovenia

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Thailand

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United Kingdom

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United States

Il padiglione degli Stati Uniti. (GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Il padiglione degli Stati Uniti. (GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Uruguay

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Vietnam

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My next blog post will be on other interesting structures (besides than these country pavilions) present in the Expo Milano 2015.

Expo is certainly a great platform or opportunity to showcase creative designs through innovative materials and ideas. It’s ‘architecture in exhibition’.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

57-57. Happy 57th Independence Day to Malaysia!

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2014 by vincentloy

It’s 57-57 (double 57) for the celebration of the anniversary of our country’s independence this year. We first achieved independence on 31st August 1957. And today, it is 31st August 2014….2014 minus 1957….so it’s Malaysia’s 57th independence day. It’s very symbolic in number this year but the scale of the celebration has to be toned down as a mark of respect to the two recent tragedies that struck Malaysia Airlines planes; the MH370 and MH17 incidents.

This year, there isn’t any official government-organized countdown events and pyrotechnics display at the midnight of Merdeka’s eve when clock ticks at 12.00 am. So, there wouldn’t be any fireworks from Dataran Merdeka or KLCC. And I guess other privately-organized Merdeka events would also be either scaled down or cancelled. Hmmm….no festive atmosphere or any loud ‘bangs’ heard just now. But our spirit of patriotism and loving the country should never fades. But there are just so many bad stuff that made us not to love the country so much. Right?…you know LA….But no matter how much we dislike the country, we are still a true Malaysian…someone who couldn’t get away from typical Malaysian lifestyle. And I like it the way it is.

Anyway, in conjunction with the Independence Day celebration, there were many meaningful and touching Merdeka-themed advertisements made by some local companies as usual every year. These ads were usually highlighting on the peace, harmony and unity we had despite having many different races in a single nation. There are also some individually-made videos available in YouTube which shown personal creativity on sending their message and love to the country by showing the uniqueness of Malaysia from its people, places, cultures, food, etc. There you go below for some of this year’s Merdeka-themed clips or advertisements that I find interesting and meaningful.

The National Day parade in the morning is going to be carried out too along Dataran Merdeka stretch. The only official Independence Day’s event maintained this year. I have heard many helicopters flying the past few days which indicates that they were practising for rehearsal for the parade. But I won’t pay much attention to this parade every year as it was just simply boring.

And many Malaysians are happy of this Independence Day celebration every year just because that it gives us another public holiday. Yes…and this year, it falls on Sunday. So, the next Monday would be the replacement holiday. Wonderful. A longer weekend to enjoy, which is also the weekend that saw the end of August and the arrival of September.

Last but not least, I would like to wish all Malaysians a Happy 57th Independence Day to our beloved country, Malaysia!

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(Image source: https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/)

National day of mourning tomorrow for MH17.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2014 by vincentloy

Tomorrow, 22nd August 2014, has been declared as Malaysia’s national day of mourning for the MH17 plane that was brought down on 17th July 2014 which killed all 298 people on board. 43 of the deceased are Malaysians. A special flight carrying twenty identified remains of the Malaysians will touch down at Kuala Lumpur International Airport tomorrow morning from Amsterdam. More remains will be brought down to Malaysia on the following days.

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A dignified reception will be conducted for the return of the Malaysian remains. The country will also observe a minute of silence as a show of respect to the victims of this tragedy while national flags will be again flown at half mast tomorrow. Eventhough tomorrow is not declared as a public holiday, but let us take a short time off from your work or anything and extend our heartfelt prayers to the victims of MH17. It’s not going to be a happy Friday tomorrow, but let us make tomorrow a united Friday for all Malaysians to pay our last respect. Can we?

The official outcome of the investigation into the tragedy is still pending eventhough the plane’s black boxes had been recovered and sent for analysis earlier. I have to stress again that whoever found responsible of bringing down the ill-fated plane should be responsible and be taken to justice no matter what. But at least, I believe this case will be brought into a conclusion soon, unlike the MH370 incident, another aviation disaster early this year for Malaysia Airlines. The plane vanished on March 8th, 2014 and till now, no trace or anything of the plane is found. Really weird and unbelievable. Hoping that everything will be resolved very soon for both MH370 and MH17.

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The annual Independence Day celebration is near (will fall on 31st August). This year’s national celebration for the Independence Day will be toned down as a mark of respect too. No government-organized countdown events or fireworks this year. Expect a much quieter night on the Merdeka’s eve. However, the National Day Parade is still on, as we still need something to mark our country’s 57th anniversary of independence that we first gained on 1957. 57-57. Very meaningful indeed. The spirit of patriotism shouldn’t fades away, and let us take these as a testament for us to stay strong and united for Malaysia.

Last but not least, I would like to take this opportunity to extend my deepest condolences again to the family and friends of the victims on board MH17 flight. My thoughts and prayers for MH17.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Japan won Thomas Cup for the first time. No luck for Malaysia this time.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2014 by vincentloy

Ohh….that was the last word I shouted before we turned off the TV. That is sad. The FINAL match between Japan and Malaysia in Thomas Cup, world’s most premier international men team badminton championship had just concluded. And unfortunately, Japan won. My country, Malaysia lost. The match started at 5.30pm (3pm at India time as the event was held at New Delhi for this edition) and had just ended approximately on 11.30pm (took six long hours). Must be a five neck-to-neck matches in the FINAL. Yes it was.

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As expected, Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia overpowered Kenichi Tago of Japan (21-12, 21-16) easily in the first men single match, proving that he is someone very hard to be defeated in this sport eventhough he is now almost 32 years old. We were very confident of him and he secured the first point for our country. Fantastic. We were very happy as it is a good start for our national team. Next came our first men double pair; Hoon Thien How and Tan Boon Heong against Japan’s Kenichi Hayakawa and Hiroyuki Endo. Our pair won the first round, and we thought that we could win this match too. Then, everything should be safe and smooth for us.

However, we were disappointed in the end. The Japan’s pair fight back to win the second game before triumphing again on the deciding game. Our Malaysian pair contributed quite a fair performance and I can see that both of them fight very hard. However, luck is not on their side especially on the last few crucial points which were then awarded to the Japanese pair. The result of this match is 12-21, 21-17 and 21-19 in favor of Japan. Now, it’s 1-1 (draw).

Then, came the second men single match. Our team had Chong Wei Feng and Japan sent in Kento Momota. Chong appeared to have better statistics in early matches of this tournament, but now truly facing a great challenger. In the end, he lost out in two straight games (21-15, 21-17). Opps…not good, not good. The standing is now at 2 for Japan, and 1 for Malaysia. We had to depend on the second men double to save the day. And yes, fortunately, they successfully brought joy for Malaysia back as they won the match in three games (21-19, 17-21, 12-21). They delivered outstanding performance and put back the standing to a draw. Wonderful.

Now, all hope is on the last men single match to decide on the winner of this year’s Thomas Cup. We had Liew Daren and Japan brought forward Takuma Ueda. The high pressure mounted on the players of this match is inevitable. I find that Daren doesn’t have the spirit or energy to play in the first game, hence losing it easily to the Japanese. He also tend to make a lot of serious mistakes eventhough his opponent was showing quite poor skills on court too. That was bad. However, he fought back with much effort and won the second game. This eventually led to the final rubber game. Heartstopping moments then started. And….haaihh….we were all excited as their points were very close to each other but Japan permanently stood ahead two to three points. Accompanied with little luck only to the Malaysian, Japan won the last match (21-12. 18-21, 21-17). Hmmm…

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(Uber Cup trophy on the left which was won by China after winning Japan yesterday and Thomas Cup trophy on the right. Uber Cup represents female team championship)

All our hope ended. So near yet so far. We couldn’t manage to bring back the prestigious Thomas Cup trophy back to Malaysian land. The last time we celebrated the win of this tournament was way back 22 years ago in 1992. This time, we lost again unfortunately. We can see obviously the looks of all Malaysians especially our local supporters over there in the stadium. Luck is not on our side. Year 2014 must have been a bad year for Malaysia. Anyway, both Japan and Malaysia had made this FINAL very intense and awesomely displayed some of the best badminton ‘shows’ I have ever seen in recent years.

A big congratulation to Japan on winning the Thomas Cup for the first time in history. Their performance now stunned and surprised me. They had seriously improved a lot until that they can even defeat China (always regarded as the badminton giant) back in the semi-final. They were proven to be a dark horse, and they successfully won it. Hope that our national team don’t give up, get up for further training on improvement, and fight back on the next Thomas Cup in 2016.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)