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Discussion in 'China Professional Players' started by Pakito, Oct 12, 2012.
Actually Yang Yang has some dive retrieval moves of his own.
Oh? I mean a full dive where you land on all fours, more than a lunge when you stretch yourself very low. Or my memory fails me but I really don't remember.
Technically, Yang Yang's dive does have all fours touching the floor, just that he doesn't lie face down but rather, crouching on all 4s like a crouching tiger
Ah, I see. That means he can spring back on his feet faster as opposed to being sprawled prone on the floor which will require bending his knees first. Maybe this might be a better form of dive retrieval with shorter recovery time, provided ,of course, you're not forced to stretch to the limit in trying to retrieve a near-impossible shot.
1988 Asian Team Tournament
This is another of Zhao's video segment in the year 1988, 2 years before Zhao thrashed Joko at the All England.
Commentator were stating Zhao's attitude of not focusing and lack of desire to attack in the first game, losing 6-15 to Joko. In the 2nd game we could see Zhao showing a bit of his true colors. Still the HK commentators noted that Zhao would not run for some shots even though he could have reach for them. They commented that Zhao's attitude is a player who wins by deception, not by brute running all over the place.
However, if you had seen his 1985 All England win over Morten, Zhao was much faster and fiercer. I reckoned that with his intermittent gasp for breaths between services as some of you might see in the video, when he even lift up his shoulder and widens his lungs to suck in air, it is rather his calculated risk game of not endangering his weak body and preferred to depend on deceptive play. Diving to retrieve shots is not feasible type of play for Zhao for what is the use if he wins that particular point and then his oxygen tank runs out of gas? Still Zhao won with a 6-15, 15-8, 15-7 margin despite the fact that Zhao was playing at a rather 'snail pace'. Zhao had to make do with a smaller oxygen tank. Poor fella.
It was also mentioned that period of Tang Xinhu was specifically training the Indon team how to master an effective way of playing against chinese lefthanders. Well it wasn't very effective then was it? In fact, Joko, Ardy, Arbi, Hermawan, Hendrawan, Alan Budi only rose to fame after the retirement of China top 3 single players.
Footnote: I myself, am an asthmatic baddy player. So I can empathized.
When Zhao and Yang dominated in the mid 80's, I remembered reading an article comparing them. Zhao is more talented, but he's very laid back. He always fooled around during practice. Yang was not as talented, and he was hardworking. He's very serious during practice and he even did extra. Yang was living under Zhao's shadow when Zhao beat Morten in AE final. He started dominating when Zhao took a break with lung problem. ....
What if Zhao Jianhua never contracted pneumonia at the age of 20 just after the historic AE 1985 victory over Morten Frost? Would he go on to establish such an astounding record that even today Lin Dan might still be trying to break? Alas,we can only speculate and it will be a futile exercise.
Nevertheless,one thing we are certain about is that after recovering from that debilitating illnesss which impaired his lungs , he was never the same again so early in his career. That's right, owing to his health problem, his fitness was suspect and stamina compromised to the extent that he became more erratic, unpredictable,inconsistent so much so he had to resort to playing a more deceptive game to compensate for it. And oh boy, he did the deception part better than anybody!
As he himself recounted in the first video posted above, Zhao JH during the Barcelona'92 Olympics match versus Hermawan Susanto almost performed a miracle. He was, after losing G1, 8-14 behind in G2 and while staring defeat in the face - remember it was the 15-point old scoring system - contrived to change his tactics and crawled back to turn the tables and levelled to force the decider. In the rubber set, he again found himself trailing 7-14 on the verge of elimination and again he changed tactics to confuse his opponent,and even managed to creep up to deuce 14-all. Unfortunately at that moment, Lady Luck smiled on Hermawan who went on to win three successive points by the luck of the net cord, each time the shuttle hit the net and tipped over - a fate Zhao could only resigned himself to despite the momentum having swung in his favour. The score 15-2, 17-14, 14-17 ! That year he retired.
Due to numerous request on Zhao's performing friendly matches after his retirement, this is a link showing a performance between quite an elderly player Guo but very experience and consistent nevertheless, against the past his prime Zhao.
From the match, I do not know why Guo gets to serve even though Zhao wins a point, probably playing a handicapped match favouring Guo.
The elder Guo is quite limber and maneuverable for his age, frequently lambasting Zhao with his puny remarks every time Zhao catches him wrong or flat footed.
Sorry you need to download them first. It's not on youtube.
Thanks but unable to download. Could you recheck the link?
As a kid learning to play badminton in the late 80's/early 90's, it was ZJH that I idolised and tried to mimick. I was absolutely obsessed with his playing style, jump smashes and deception. I knew nothing about him or had seen many of his matches before. But the first time I saw him play, I knew he was special. He was just so relaxed and seemed unfazed with the significance of each point, as if he knew he would win in the end anyway. The only video I have of him was in the 92 Barcelona OG against Darren Hall, I remember studying the video over and over again and trying to copy his technique! At the time I couldn't work out the racquet he was using, all I could see from the videos was a black shiny yonex racquet with a yellow grip. I just thought it was a racquet that only professionals could get. It wasn't until I joined BC that I discovered it was a Boron 2 and have been looking for one since!
The confidence he had to jump, what looked like 3 feet off the ground to deliver unbelieveably steep smash winners just blew me away. He seemed to be able to defy gravity, no one else seemed to be able to do it at the time. The photo below probably doesn't seem special by todays standards as so many players jump smash, but in those days it was almost unique to ZJH.
Good quality videos of him playing at his prime and towards the end of his career seems really scarce and I've been looking for the best part of 20 years. Most of the videos of him playing in the 80's on youtube seem to be quite poor quality. Does anyone have any good quality videos of him playing in the last two years of his career? I would love to see the other matches he played in the 1992 Barcelona OG even though he eventually lost and retired from the sport shortly after.
Also, on the subject of ZJH vs LD. I don't think it is possible to compare the two as it's always going to be one sided.
If they were able to play each other at their respective 'primes' LD would still win, no question. The difference in training regimes, training facilities, quality of coaching, knowledge, tactics, racquet technology, competition, money etc all are in LD's favour. Not to mention that the game of badminton has changed a lot in terms of pace, attacking rate, scoring system etc.
So to my mind, ZJH would never stand a chance against LD.
However. If we can hypothetically imagine that ZJH was born in LD's generation (and minus his illness), that would be a different story imho. If he was competing at today's higher standard, with todays better training, racquet technology etc. I'm sure his talent would stand out even more. But one thing that LD would probably still have an edge over ZJH is his mental strength and consistency. I think LD surpasses everyone in this area.
I was talking to an older colleague of mine who is also badminton enthusiast. He mentioned how he's also a fan of ZJH but said that there were rumours that he had fixed matches, deliberately losing for money which tarnished his career. I never knew about this before, but apparently it was common knowledge?
try this link:
Sorry to trouble you again. Invalid or deleted file even after I've entered the correct code. Maybe it's no longer stored on mediafire?
Darn, I may have to upload it myself. It's a big file. Will inform you guys when it's ready. Sorry for the inconvenience.
I was enjoying reading and liking your two posts until I came to the 'rumours'.
First of all,I've never heard of such rumours 20 to 30 years ago and until now.
Second,since they were never substantiated nor widely insinuated,why bother to repeat them. To me,they can only be totally baseless,malicious and utterly meaningless.
Third,it's a well-known fact that he was afflicted with a debilitating disease,pneumonia, that threatened to derail his career just when it had just taken off which resulted in his inconsistency, brilliant one time and almost unrecognisable the next. Actually the doctor had pronounced him unfit to play competitive sport and it was by his sheer willpower and grit determination that he could last that long in the international circuit albeit with more than the normal ups and downs. It was like being handicapped with a nagging injury that refused to go away. It helped to explain why he had to resort to deceptive play much more than speed and brute force to win most of the time - the ZJH who overpowered Morten Frost in 1985 All-England and the ZJH after his illness were almost two different players.
Fourth,why did he have to sell chicken rice for a living after his retirement by running a stall,mind you not restaurant,in an ordinary hawker center or food court? What happened to all his 'money'? He's not known to be a gambler, wastrel or suchlike,never.
Lastly, wouldn't he have much more to gain winning and winning than losing? Just look at Lin Dan today. In Zhao JH's time,he might not have gained as much materially but relative to his peers he would most certainly be much better off than he is now. Enough said.
In greatness, Lin Dan and Zhao Jianhua are in a class of their own.
I think you took that completely the wrong way.
You probably gathered from my posts that ZJH was my no.1 childhood idol so it's not something I was happy to hear about him either - even if it is a false accusation. However just because I am a big fan of his, does not mean that I should only be interested in knowing the good things about him and ignoring the bad.
I mentioned it because it was something I never knew about and was shocked when my work colleague (in his mid-50's now) told me and implied it was common knowledge. Ok, I've no idea whether it was true or not, but some BCers may have heard about it. And given this thread is about the history of ZJH, for all I know, it may have been something that other people were already aware of but I was the only one who didn't.
I say you've taken it the wrong way because you seem to be stacking up an argument when there isn't one.
When the great John Higgins (snooker player) was caught match fixing none of his fans would believe it until the footage was shown. If match-fixing in the 2012 OG was not hyped up by the media and players banned, no one would have bat an eyelid because it happened so much in international badminton before.
Whether he did or he didn't, to me, doesn't make any bit of difference to the way I see him as one of the greatest badminton players who ever lived. So it doesn't bother me one bit if he did.
Point taken,understood. To be exact,my argument wasn't targeted at you, only at the 'rumours'. Me too, I eschew blind faith or loyalty.
For now, this is the link which I have uploaded myself.
For ardent fans for Zhao, I advise you to download it before I remove it due to suspected copyright infringement that might have originated from an individual in china.
It says the video has been removed because it is too long.
Will be rectified soon, do not wish to burden you with internet technical mumbo jumbo. Stay tuned.