Archive for sport

29th SEA Games, Kuala Lumpur 2017 closes on the Merdeka Eve

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by vincentloy

After about two weeks of competitions, the 29th South East Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur 2017 has finally came to an end. The closing ceremony was held yesterday in the same venue, Bukit Jalil National Stadium on 30th August 2017. That’s also the Merdeka Eve (a day before Malaysia’s 60th anniversary of independence).

The ceremony fell short of excitement as there isn’t any performance by the next host country, Philippines. The host country of the next games has to deliver a performance in the usual tradition of the closing ceremony. However, Philippines had only decided to host it not long ago, they had no preparation to deliver a performance in that short notice, and that they wished to save the budget for the games’ hosting two years later. Hence, a no show from them. It was just a simple and formal handover ceremony from Malaysia to Philippines. This games also see among the worst performance by Philippines as they only won 24 gold medals, well below the 50-gold medal target they set earlier. Well, I’m sure they are going to do much better in the next edition as it is going to be hosted by them. Home advantage.

Same goes to Malaysia this time. Home advantage. And adding that with some obvious biased decisions by the judges in several sports in this games. The end result is an extraordinary victory for Malaysia in this games. We collected 145 gold medals, 92 silver medals, and 86 bronze medals, for a total of 323 medals. That’s more than enough to top the medal tally (Thailand came in second with 72 golds, we get more than double of that). Our last biggest achievement in this games was way back in 2001 (also held in Kuala Lumpur) when we won 111 gold medals. We set 111-golds as our target this time too and we accomplished far beyond that. Despite all the biased judgements and organizing sports that Malaysia is good at (typical for any host countries), I have to still admit that Malaysia really did a good job here. Well, it’s quite easy to win medals here. We have to move on after a word of congratulations! We have to raise our bar high by aiming to win more medals in bigger games like Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.

Back to the closing ceremony. The ceremony was very boring. There is no cultural performance by the next host country (Philippines) as stated earlier, and there is only a very short performance by Malaysia to end the games. Other than that, it was all the formal stuff (handover, extinguishing of flame, national anthem, parade of athletes, etc). After that, the ceremony is dedicated as a Merdeka countdown celebration with over an hour of boring singing. The song choices are very poor (all Malay songs with no universal appeal) that did not highlight the diversity of the nation. How do you expect people from other countries to enjoy this? Even I as a Malaysian do not like this too. I thought there would be a grand countdown to Merdeka but that is not happening. Instead, we got a speech from the Prime Minister which is a happy news for all Malaysians too because he announced next Monday as an additional public holiday to mark the success of the country in this SEA Games. I think that’s the only one good thing that comes out from his mouth. Well, that holiday didn’t mean anything to me as I’m now here in Australia for my study. Sad…

 

  

All my people back in my country is enjoying this long 5-day of holiday combining Independence Day, Hari Raya Haji, the weekend, and this one extra special public holiday. I’m jealous of that. After the Prime Minister’s speech that ended past 12am, there is no official countdown to this historic day to my major disappointment. Even the fireworks that end the ceremony are not much. Everything in the opening ceremony is much better. This closing ceremony is like ‘well, we shall end the games by just showing how proud we are to be the overall champion of the games…that’s it’. No effort, no creativity, and no ‘wow’. This also belittles the participants from other countries and foreign audiences.

There would be this 9th ASEAN Para Games (sports for the disabled) to be held next month. After that, we say goodbye to KL (still a good host despite all the negative issues like wrong flags, biased judges, bad bus drivers, bad supporters’ attitudes, etc). Next SEA Games, Manila 2019!

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

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Kuala Lumpur 2017 SEA Games begins this Saturday.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2017 by vincentloy

My home capital, Kuala Lumpur will be hosting the 29th Southeast Asian Games beginning this Saturday. This biennial event will take place from 19th to 30th August 2017 and will see participation of 11 countries in the South East Asia region. This will be Kuala Lumpur’s 6th time in hosting the games. Its last edition here in KL was way back in 2001. There will be 404 events in 38 sports in this games including the first ever winter-sport (ice skating) events included in SEA Games history.

In preparation of the games, the old sports complex in Bukit Jalil went through a major refurbishment and rebranded as KL Sports City. The sports complex was previously built to host the 1998 Commonwealth Games. That was almost 20 years ago and many areas and venues in the complex were in serious need of upgrade works. And they are now all done for the coming SEA Games. One of the major upgrades is the addition of a skin system to the present Bukit Jalil Outdoor National Stadium. Well, it looks good on the stadium with the LED colour-changing lights on it.

Malaysia hopes to be the top of the medal ranking at the end of the games. This is expected since we are the host nation and there would be advantages on our side as usual. However, in my opinion, reaching the top at this games means nothing. It is just a small regional event. Malaysia shall aim higher by targeting to reach top 10 in future Asian Games (we are placed at 14th place in Incheon 2014 with 5 golds, 14 silvers and 14 bronzes) or even top 30 in future Olympic Games (we are placed at 60th place in Rio 2016 with 4 silvers and 1 bronze…haiz, 4 silvers and not even 1 gold…sad). Opps…we have not even won a single gold medal in the Olympics yet. We are basically weak in most of the sports. Even our performance in badminton (our most popular and considered to be our best shot for medals) keep on dropping in these recent years. We should look up to China on how they train their athletes. They are crazily strong in almost all sports now.

On the other hand, Malaysia should consider strongly to bid for bigger games in the future such as the Asian Games. I remember Thailand had hosted it for many times and we have not even hosted it once. We should bid for Asian Games. I think we have all the necessary stuff needed to host the games. Aim higher. We do not even need to spend much on building new infrastructures as we already have most of them. So why not? It will not cost much and by hosting bigger-scale games, our unity spirit and international recognition will rise. Wait…how about hosting the Olympics? Wow…this dream is way too far. It is still possible if Malaysia and Singapore work together for a joint bid. But for now, we should set our eyes on bidding for Asian Games first. Oh no…we have to wait to bid for the 2030 Asian Games. The host for 2018, 2022 and 2026 games have already been decided earlier. Year 2030…hmm…I will turn 39 years old by then.

Anyway, back to this coming SEA Games. I will still wish for the best for the Malaysian athletes! I have no doubt we will get No.1 in this games in overall medal tally. Let just see this as a warm up for much bigger games ahead. Malaysia Boleh! I hope the country will be doing something cool for the opening ceremony this Saturday! Perhaps matching the quality of the opening ceremonies in Olympic Games. I doubt it.

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

 

Malaysia has its best ever performance in Rio 2016 even before the games ends this weekend

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2016 by vincentloy

I have just watched the live streaming for the semi-final match between Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and Lin Dan of China in badminton’s men single. Chong Wei lost the first game but fought back to win the second game brilliantly. His first game is full of many careless mistakes but things turned the other way round in second game. Finally, in the third and deciding game, their result was neck to neck and it made me so nervous and worried. When Chong Wei hits 20-mark while Lin Dan was lagging behind a few points, I already started to celebrate.

However, Lin Dan fought back to win few points and leveled the score to 20-20. I was back to the state of extreme nervous again. Fortunately, Chong Wei impressed by winning the last two crucial points to win the match. A big congratulation to him for defeating Lin Dan this time. Lin Dan had defeated Chong Wei in the final in both Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games. Now, it’s Chong Wei’s turn to take him out, but this time it’s not the final match yet. However, I’m already very happy that he is now only one step away from the coveted Olympic gold medal of which no Malaysian has win before in the history of the Olympics.

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(Image above from The Straits Times)

Even if he lost in the final (definitely hope not), he would still be one of the greatest badminton players in the world. Who can be the Olympic silver medalist for three consecutive times? No one accomplish that before. But all our wish is now on him winning the gold medal that would be a perfect gift to end his Olympic run (he won’t be playing for the next Olympics anymore) and also a perfect gift to the whole country, Malaysia. But the country didn’t only rely on him this time, as our men doubles pair, Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Keong will be playing in the final later tonight. This is our another chance to win the gold medal. All our prayers and well wishes for them!

On the other hand, in the mixed double final that took place two days ago, Malaysian pair Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying lost, but had already made us proud. They never expected to reach the final in the first place but they did. The Indonesian pair they dealt with in the final was just too strong. Our Malaysian pair was still impressive and won a silver for Malaysia. To sum it up, this time is already Malaysia’s best ever performance in badminton in Olympic stage. A huge congratulation and thank you to all the Malaysian badminton athletes!

As for the other sports, it is a big letdown from the Malaysian archery team which couldn’t even pass the qualifying round. A good news on top of that is that Azizulhasni Awang managed to win a bronze medal in cycling-keirin event. As for diving of which Malaysia is not bad in (but China always dominated this sport just like badminton), our divers, Pandelela Nirong and Cheong Jun Hoong won silver medal in women’s 10m synchronised platform. Fantastic! However, in individual event, Pandelela Nirong who was bronze medalist in London 2012 in that didn’t manage to perform well this time. But it’s all right. They did their best.

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(Image above from Genting Rewards Malaysia)

So right now, Malaysia has 2 silver and 1 bronze which is already the best ever performance the country has in Olympic history. And then there’s still at least two silver (or hopefully two gold) already in the bag for the country. Well, now I’m hoping to be able to listen to our national anthem (Negaraku) later tonight! I will update this post soon with the latest results in badminton involving Malaysia. And again, all the best to our athletes in the finals!


Update – 20 August 2016

Unfortunately, in our men doubles match last night, our Malaysian pair went down, defeated by the China’s pair in three games. We won in the first game, looking very confident, and I’m impressed by huge improvement on the players. However, we lost terribly in second game. Then, came the deciding game. Malaysian pair was behind few points most of the time but they fought back when it was almost the end which gave us back high hope. They secured gold medal points but they missed them out twice. Luck was not on their side and pressure took the toll on them. Hence, they lost 23-21 in the last deciding game, awarding the gold to China. That’s a huge wasted opportunity. We are so near this time. Anyway, still congratulation to them as they fight to their very best despite some major crucial mistakes in the final game. At least, they got a silver.

Well, I couldn’t watch tonight’s match for the men single because I would be in the aeroplane. I sincerely wish all the best to Dato Lee Chong Wei in that final against Chen Long of China as he is our last hope for Malaysia’s first ever Olympic gold medal now. Good luck and all the best to him! The whole country will cheer behind him!

 

Two movie reviews to end the month; ‘Southpaw’ and ‘Robert The Doll’ (2015)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2015 by vincentloy

I believe today is a beautiful Monday for all Malaysians as we don’t need to go out for work or study today. It’s public holiday as the nation celebrates 58th independence anniversary today. Happy Merdeka Day to Malaysia! Wonderful timing as the National Day this year falls on Monday, hence extending our weekend break. There shouldn’t be any Monday blues mood today. I’m ending the month with two movie reviews as I have watched two films released this year recently; ‘Southpaw’ and ‘Robert The Doll’.

‘Southpaw’ is a 2015 sports drama film which revolves on a boxer, Billy Hope who turns to trainer Tick Willis to help him get his life back on track after losing his wife in a tragic accident and his daughter to child protection services. The film directed by Antoine Fuqua starred Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams, Naomie Harris, Oona Laurence, etc. First of all, I’m quite enjoyed with the redemption theme of the storyline eventhough many said its’ very much predictable and shown nothing fresh to the audiences. The plot is quite engaging but the development may be a bit unnecessarily too long.

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The focus of the film must be on the performance of Jake Gyllenhaal as he is rumoured to be a heavyweight potential for best actor nominee in Oscars next year from this movie. Well, he is doing another fantastic job by being very much committed to this role of troubled boxer. He turned from a skinny man in last year’s ‘Nightcrawler’ to a bulky body in ‘Southpaw’. However, I think his role here is not exceptional enough to put him in frontrunner for a nomination next year since the competition in best actor is always compacted. Anyway, he still carried the movie very well with great performance. Another thing lacking from this drama is that they failed to inject some really cool heart-stopping climax moments into the film. There are also quite a number of emotional scenes but they didn’t hit at high note. Hence, these issues prevent the movie from climbing up the rating from movie critics. As for me, I’m still thinking that it’s a good solid movie. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Southpaw’ a total of 7.5. This was the last film to be scored by James Horner before the composer’s death sadly.

Next movie is ‘Robert The Doll’, a very much unknown horror movie this year that are also based on a haunted doll. I still went for the movie despite knowing it received poor ratings from IMDb because I’m interested with haunted doll theme especially after being quite excited with ‘Chucky’ and most recently ‘Annabelle’ movie. ‘Robert’ film is said to be based on real life events when a family experience terrifying supernatural occurrences when their son acquires a vintage doll called Robert. I browsed the web to search about this doll and it do exists. However, the doll in the movie doesn’t look anything similar to the real thing which is now exhibited in a museum at Florida. Just like Annabelle, the doll looks more creepy in the movie. I knew they made it looks more terrifying for the scare effect.

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The plot of the movie actually comes with potential to deliver. However, everything is ruined when scenes are poorly done, the characters are odd and the acting is bad. The worst thing is the acting part. The cast were just delivering their lines with forced emotions displayed on their faces. It’s so obvious that their acting is bad especially the woman portraying as the mother. Things are getting boring and unappealing even when it comes to the end when the doll start to show itself how evil it is. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Robert The Doll’ a total of 5.9. Many points are just given for the very creepy-looking doll itself. The movie just couldn’t pull it off at all.

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

 

 

Junior Purple League 2015, a great platform to help develop Malaysia’s badminton talent.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2015 by vincentloy

Junior Purple League 2015 is a brand new badminton event in Malaysia targeted toward 13 to 18 years old junior players. It is a league running from 15th August to 18th October 2015 and is comprising of 11 participating badminton clubs of which each club will play every other club in the league. This league will serve as a curtain raiser for the Purple League, Malaysia’s first professional badminton league which will commence in this coming November for its second season. Now, the young Malaysian badminton players who wish to further excel in this particular sport could have a bright future ahead by making his or her first step in this newly-introduced junior league.

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The league would be on a mixed team format consisting of 5 matches; boy’s singles, girl’s singles, boy’s doubles, girl’s doubles and mixed doubles. Every match in a tie shall be played to the best of 5 games to 11 points. The matches will not only be played at the Sports Arena Sentosa, but also at various venues of the participating clubs. The top three teams of the league, ranked according to the highest aggregate of games won against games lost, will share the prize money pool of RM 175 000 as follows; champion will win RM 100 000, first runner-up will win RM 50 000 while second runner-up will win RM 25 000.

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Interested to watch the league? Do check out its official website at this link : http://purpleleague.com/ for all the information regarding the league which will starts in a few days. The tickets to the venues are complimentary. It has also a Facebook page at this link: https://www.facebook.com/purpleleague. Interested to join the league? Well, I encouraged you to join one of the many badminton clubs in Malaysia quick. Don’t put your time and passion on badminton to a waste. Then, you may be the one up on the court in the running for the championship of the league next year!

Well, I myself is too old for this junior league. But what about you? I like badminton. I used to play badminton quite frequently back in the olden days. Now, I have grown up and got myself busy with office works till I have to keep my exercising simple by simply just jogging for once in a week. No more badminton. But my interest in this sport never fades. I still love to watch badminton games especially the world-class tournaments. Most Malaysians adore badminton. It is one of the Olympic sport that we can say that we are good at eventhough we still couldn’t manage to win an Olympic gold medal from it. Well, at least we had two silvers, thanks to our beloved Dato’ Lee Chong Wei (in Beijing 2008 and London 2012) as well as many great achievements by the other Malaysian players in the past.

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I took the effort to produce this blog post highlighting this wonderful event not only because that I’m invited to do so but also that I find this Junior Purple League a really good platform to develop more youngsters to become top players in badminton. A fantastic event. Malaysia is currently in need of more excellent badminton players and this Junior Purple League may be an awesome kick-starter for more future badminton talents. I’m happy to promote this event and I’m glad to be part of this movement to help developing this sport in my country, Malaysia.

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

The 4 Kings of Badminton.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2015 by vincentloy

Badminton has been one of my favourite sports. I seldom play badminton but I love to watch badminton tournaments. There has been quite a lot of talks on this particular sport this month. The first is when Lee Chong Wei can get back to play in badminton tournaments beginning this month after he is banned for eight months from his doping case last year. Next was the prestigious Sudirman Cup 2015, a mixed team championship held this month too and won by the reigning champion and host nation, China as expected. And then, recently, YONEX organized a friendly exhibition match in China and invited the 4 great kings of badminton.

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Who are the 4 kings of badminton? They must possess impressive records in the sport, well known, have held world number one ranked player and considered as icon of badminton respectively. They are Lin Dan of China, Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia and Peter Gade of Denmark. 4 men, 4 different countries, and they ruled the sport respectively (in men single event) from 2000s.

Lin Dan (China)

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– Age 32 this year.

– Two-time Olympic champion (gold-medalist), five-time World champion, and five-time All England champion.

– By age of 28, he had won all nine major titles in badminton world; Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup (no more now), Thomas Cup, Sudirman Cup, Super Series Masters Finals, All England Open, Asian Games and Asian Championships, becoming the first and only player in history to achieve that.

– 57 career titles to date.

– Currently in semi-retired position.

Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia)

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– Age 33 this year.

– Ranked first worldwide in men-single badminton player for the longest, for 298 weeks. Have been ranked first worldwide for a consecutive 199 weeks.

– Two-time Olympic silver-medalist, currently the most successful Malaysian Olympian in history, and earned him the title of Dato’. Also two-time Commonwealth Games gold-medalist. Won Malaysian Open for a record 10 times.

– 55 career titles to date.

– Currently still actively playing in tournaments.

Taufik Hidayat (Indonesia)

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– Age 34 this year.

– Olympic champion (gold medalist), also champion in World Championships, Asian Championships, Asian Games, South East Asian Games, and Thomas Cup.

– Won Indonesian Open for a record 6 times.

– Over 27 career titles to date.

– Currently retired.

Peter Gade (Denmark)

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– Age 39 this year.

– 5-time winner of European Championships, All England champion, World GrandPrix champion.

– Over 40 career titles to date.

– Currently retired.

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Out of the 4 great men in badminton, Lin Dan is no doubt the most successful in the history of badminton. Nicknamed ‘Super Dan’, he is simply unbeatable in most of the major tournaments he participated in. No one can challenge his record. Also let us not forget the mighty presence of Lee Chong Wei. Despite not winning all the major titles, but his very active participation in almost all the badminton championships available and winning many of them helped him become the longest number one player in history. Taufik Hidayat and Peter Gade are also awesome in this particular sport.

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Right now, the number one player (in men single) is Chen Long from China. He is one strong badminton player to fear for right now.

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

Athens 2004 sporting venues…How they look like 10 years after the games.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2014 by vincentloy

Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games would be marking its tenth anniversary this month. I remembered that its opening ceremony was the first opening ceremony I have ever watched that eventually leads to me having interest to watch opening or closing ceremonies of any major sporting events onward. Of course, it has been ten years already. I was only 13 that time. Hence, it’s normal for not remembering anything much from that games when the Olympics is brought back to its home as the host. But what happened to the Athens 2004 sporting venues in the present, 10 years after the games? Well, check out the images below and you would be shocked.

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(Original source for the images above: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/olympics/28693970)

More images here: http://www.businessinsider.com/2004-athens-olympics-venues-abandoned-today-photos-2012-8?IR=T&op=1.

That’s how the sporting venues of the successful Athens 2004 games look like now. Abandoned, not maintained well, and left in emptiness and disuse. Act of vandalism, rubbish everywhere, pool dries up, overgrown with plants, etc. Hmm…definitely not a pleasing sight. These venues or stadiums were once in glorious state where many thousand of spectators entered to watch amazing sporting activities during the run of the world’s largest international multi-sport event, the Summer Olympic Games for its 28th edition in Athens, Greece. These venues were once the spotlights of the games. A symbol of how successful the games is. An icon of how well the city has prepared to host the games.

Now, almost all the venues have turned into ‘white elephants’. An eye-sore. Now, they are a symbol of how poor the Olympics legacy has turned out to be for Athens. After the games, the city does not need huge and various sporting venues anymore. It may turned out that the authority doesn’t even find it necessary to maintain these places anymore as it will costs a lot too by just doing that. These venues have also reminded future games’ organizers to really study the feasibility of the games’ effect on the city. Athens 2004’s venues served as a serious reminder to that.

I guess only very few other venues are still in good condition, and that includes the main Olympic Stadium that once hosted the athletic events and also the opening and closing ceremonies of Athens 2004.

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(Original source of image above: http://images.nationalgeographic.com/)

Fortunately by now, many have adopted the ideas of reducing stadium’s size, having certain venues just as temporary structures which would be removed after the games, etc. That will make the games cost-effective, sustainable and not burdening to the city in post-games era. London 2012 sets a benchmark for this kind of achievement. I strongly agreed to these solutions. Besides that, the cost of organizing huge-scaled games like this is escalating year by year. More cities nowadays aren’t that interested to host major games anymore as they really costs a lot and will be a huge burden to the country’s finance despite some benefits it will bring like fame to the country and also job opportunities. It’s time to tone it down, but still the organizer has to find effort or innovative ways to make the games memorable.

Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 (the two coming hosts for the Summer Olympic Games particularly) have to take this as a lesson to make their games truly effective, efficient and successful.