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  1. #35
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Badminton: Gu Juan is S'pore's lone winner in 4-1 Sudirman Cup defeat by Denmark

    Published on May 19, 2013
    4:14 PM




    Women's singles player Gu Juan (above) posted Singapore's lone victory in their Sudirman Cup opening tie against Denmark, beating Line Kjaersfeldt 21-16, 21-12. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR


    By May Chen


    Women's singles player Gu Juan posted Singapore's lone victory in their Sudirman Cup opening tie against Denmark, beating Line Kjaersfeldt 21-16, 21-12.

    But the Republic, ranked 14th in the world and playing in the top tier of the world mixed team competition for the first time, could not overcome the Danes in the other matches and went down 1-4.

    Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo were beaten 21-11, 21-17 by world No. 4 Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen in the mixed doubles.

    Chrisnanta and Terry Yeo were also no match for the world's top men's doubles pair, losing 10-21, 12-21 to Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen.


    (To be fair, Derek Wong took the first game against higher ranked Jan Jorgensen in MS and our new WD pair of Yao Lei and Vanessa Neo gave P Christinna and JK Rytter a good fight

    For the record, detailed results follow:


  2. #36
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default New challenge awaits 2010 Singapore Open winners









    Photo: Wee Teck Hian SOURCE:MediaCorp Press Ltd



    By Low Lin Fhoong

    28 May

    SINGAPORE — Three years ago, women’s doubles pair Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari were the toast of the local sports community when they clinched the Republic’s first Singapore Open title in 20 years as well as a silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. But things started going downhill for the duo after that.

    Once ranked as high as eighth in the world, Yao and Shinta managed only one tournament win the following year, at the 2011 Indian Open Grand Prix. They also crashed out of the group stages of the London Olympics after losing all three of their matches, and their ranking has since plummeted to 20th.

    So, Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) technical adviser Yoo Yong Sung decided to dissolve the partnership last month and give them new playing partners.

    Yao, 23, is now paired with mixed doubles specialist Vanessa Neo, while Shinta has been paired with 2011 SEA Games singles champion Fu Mingtian, who switched to doubles in February.

    Said Yoo, a two-time Olympic doubles silver medallist who joined the SBA in February: “A new Olympic cycle has started, so I want to try out new partnerships first. With Mingtian switching over, I have four players who can form two pairs of women’s doubles. This will create more competition within the women’s doubles.”

    Yoo has also introduced an endurance training programme, which will have players running between 3.2km and 4km six times a week to boost their fitness levels.


    After a shaky start, the partnerships appear to be bearing fruit.

    Although both pairs made first-round exits at the Badminton Asia Championships in April, Yao and Neo subsequently reached the semi-finals of the Malaysia Open Grand Prix, which was also held last month, while Shinta and Fu advanced to the quarter-finals. Indeed, their recent results have boosted Yao and Shinta’s confidence heading into next month’s Li-Ning Singapore Open.

    Said Shinta, 24: “After spending so much time playing with Yao Lei, I was sad to see the partnership end.

    “I think we were too stressed and wanted to do well during the Olympic Games. Our spirits were very down after that as we weren’t performing.

    “However, my partnership with Mingtian has been progressing well. I hope to put in a better performance in the Singapore Open and hopefully, we can win the title.”

    Yao said she understood why the SBA split her and Shinta up, and she is hoping for her new partnership with Neo to rejuvenate her doubles career. “We need a little bit more time and communication and also to compete a lot more,” said the 25-year-old.

    “There will be a lot of strong players at the Singapore Open, but I feel confident of our chances and we want to go as far as we can.”

    Yoo said he will be satisfied if both pairs can reach the quarter-finals of the Singapore Open.

    After all, the field will include China’s world No 1 pair Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli and 2012 Olympic Games gold medallists Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei, and Japan’s world No 2 duo, Takahashi Ayaka and Matsutomo Misaki.

    But Yoo, who is from South Korea, is also targeting medal glory at the SEA and Commonwealth Games.

    “The pairs still need to work on their combination with their partners and the soft skills on court,” he said.

    “This is the first SuperSeries (Singapore Open) for the two pairs, so I hope they can reach the quarter-finals. We are also hoping to win a medal at this year’s SEA Games and next year’s Commonwealth Games.”

  3. #37
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default ‘Tough’ for Singapore to produce world champs



    Malaysian Badminton player Lee Chong Wei at Singapore Sports School. Photo: Wee Teck Hian



    Many parents emphasise studies, says World No 1 badminton player



    • By Dan Guen Chin

      9 hours 59 min ago

      SINGAPORE — He may have been at the Singapore Sports School yesterday morning to give a talk to its student-athletes on what it takes to become a sports champion. But world No 1 badminton player Lee Chong Wei reckons that even with a specialised school for developing young sporting talents, it is still difficult for Singapore to regularly produce world-class athletes and world champions.

      This is because parents would prefer their children to focus on their studies instead of pursuing sports as a professional care er.

      “I don’t blame Singapore parents for having this attitude. I am a parent too and I know how important it is for my children to do well in their studies,” said the 31-year-old Malaysian, who has a two-month-old son, Kingston, from his marriage to former Malaysian women’s No 1 Wong Mew Choo.

      “As long as this mindset persists, it will be difficult to produce a world champion.

      “After all, there is no guarantee that your child, no matter how talented he or she is, will go on to become a champion in sports.

      “But people all know that if you work hard in school, the chances of you doing well in life are bright.”
      Yet, this is not a problem that plagues only Singapore, said the two-time All-England champion and two-time Olympic men’s singles silver medallist, who was speaking to the media before his talk at the Sports School’s Lesson From the Champions series yesterday.

      “My country also struggles to produce world-class players consistently even though we have far better training facilities all over the country and a bigger population compared to Singapore. The problem is the same: Studies come first.
      After all, how many countries can be like China? Sports officials there can recruit nine-year-olds and send them for full-time training, and not worry about the child’s future in studies. But Singapore and Malaysia or, for that matter, many other countries won’t do that.”

      However, Lee also felt that what compounds Singapore’s difficulty in producing world champions in badminton is the Singapore Badminton Association’s recruitment of foreign-born players for the national squad.

      “My view is that this causes the locals to feel that they cannot compete,” he observed. “So, that’s probably one reason why Singapore has not been able to produce a local-born player of world-class standards.”

      (LCW misses the point that good foreign-born players can help raise local standards, especially when few local-born are willing to take up the game professionally, preferring to concentrate on their studies instead as he has said.)


      Lee also told TODAY that while he had previously indicated he would retire at the end of next year, he is considering competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics in a final bid to win a first Olympic gold medal.
      My greatest worry actually is not my age, it’s injury,” said Lee, who will compete in the World Championships in August, and the Asian and Commonwealth Games next year.
      “These days, the body recovers more slowly. So I have to be careful. That is why I have to be selective about my tournaments, and skip some, including the Singapore Open. If I can stay injury-free and feel fresh after 2014, then the Rio Olympics is a possibility.”

  4. #38
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default What makes a Champion?

    As badminton fans, we hope our own athletes can make it to the podium and receive the highest accolades and win as many titles.

    But in badminton, we have not been rewarded for some time now and are hoping that our best candidate, Gu Juan, can make it soon, at least in the regional games like the Southeast Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, apart from some minor BWF tournaments like the GPs. Winning some of these will boost her confidence. To achieve the Olympic gold will need much more commitment, will power and sacrifice from our players.

    Gu Juan has recently been showing great promise in the recent BWF tournaments, but alas she fizzled out when it counted most. The most glaring example was when she lost to Sindhu in the recent Malaysian Open finals, 21-17, 17-21, 21-19, despite leading in the final game. Somehow she failed to capitalize and I feel this is largedly due to her lack of confidence. Which also makes her afraid to attack more with her smash when the opportunity arises. When she has mastered this aspect of her mental training, I think her winning ways will return.

    I recall an article on football which I read recently, and I think this also applies to individual sports like badminton:

    "Look no further than Manchester United's epic last minute triumph in the 1999 Champion's League final. 1-0 down with three minutes to go, the English club scored two late goals to secure a dramatic 2-1 win.

    But these are not flukes or acts of chance. They are due to supreme levels of football conditioning.
    The best teams in the world are trained so that even with just a few minutes to go they still have the physical and mental strength to score that decisive goal (or in Manchester United's case, two!).

    To make it in today's game the modern day player is required to be a full time, dedicated athlete. Speed, power, strength and stamina are attributes required to succeed."

    Gu Juan has improved by leaps and bounds in fitness and technique but her mental conditioning has not caught up. That's my observation.

  5. #39
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default SBA chief calls for review after hosts' poor showing

    Singapore Badminton Association President Lee Yi Shyan will be conducting an internal review of his association's players and management to assess training methodologies and the effectiveness of player-coach communication. This comes about as Singapore's local shuttlers performed below expectations at the Li-Ning Singapore Open.


    By May Chen
    The Straits Time
    Wednesday, Jun 26, 2013

    SINGAPORE - Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) president Lee Yi Shyan is planning an internal review of the sport, following the dismal performances of local shuttlers at the Li-Ning Singapore Open.

    Despite fielding a team of 23 in the home event, which concluded yesterday, no Singaporean made the quarter-final stage of the tournament, the country's worst showing since at least the 2006 edition.

    "Naturally, we are quite disappointed," Mr Lee, who is also Senior Minister of State for National Development, and Trade and Industry, told The Straits Times.
    "The results speak for themselves."

    He had held high hopes, in particular, for the women's singles, after Gu Juan - the Republic's top woman shuttler at No. 22 - beat world No. 4 Saina Nehwal earlier this month. Xing Aiying, ranked 42nd, also made the semi-finals of the women's singles last year.

    But both crashed out in the first round, with Gu unable to repeat her feat over Nehwal and Xing losing to Japan's No. 34 Kaori Imabeppu.

    Over the past six months, the singles players, in particular, have also struggled to make it past the last 16 in any Superseries-level (second tier) or Grand Prix Gold (third tier) tournaments.

    Gu's runner-up finish at the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold last month is the only exception.

    Said Mr Lee: "The trend has not been favourable. We really have to figure out the reasons why. There's quite a serious review that we have to do, to take stock of what we could have done better... (and) move our team forward."

    He plans to put his team - both players and management - under scrutiny, examining if training methodologies are on the right track and also re-looking tournament plans for every player.
    Mr Lee also hinted that the review will assess the effectiveness of player-coach communications.

    He said: "(We will look at whether) we have the right environment that can motivate and bring out the best in players.

    "We will not hesitate, if we feel it is necessary, to make changes."
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  6. #40
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default What is your view BC Singapore and others?

    Maybe this is a chance for BC Singapore and others to air their views and make suggestions for improvement.

    My view:

    1. To be fair, Singapore has never been in contention in the badminton world for a long, long time. Apart from Gu Juan's progress the others are not moving forward as much. The men's department is the worst.

    2. Worse still the other players in the region, particularly Thailand and Indonesia, are improving very fast and making it very difficult for Singapore to catch up, unless our players are as motivated and hardworking and having the passion and desire to win. Still our players have to work doubly hard to attain the higher standards and this takes time. Are they willing to sacrifice? Do they consider the rewards worth the price?

    3. The luck of the draw was against Gu Juan in the recent SO as she had to face Saina Nehwal (2) in R32 and she lost 21-14, 23-21 eventually. SN had been waiting to take revenge on GJ after her Thailand Open QF defeat. Despite poor form attributed much to fatigue, SN reached the QF when she was beaten by INA's Lindaweni Fanetri in three games. But SN herself is now down to WR4 from WR2.

    4. GJ has not won any international title yet despite being the best hope for Singapore and her form seems to be slipping. As I have commented before, she needs to be a more aggressive player rather than a defensive one and her mental confidence needs to be sharpened.

    5. Apart from Xing Aiying, we have no other WS player of substance to match the international barrage. Aiying is the most experienced, yet she has underperformed so many times. Of course our MS is even worse.

    6. As for our WD and XD pairings, they are relative new and some are still under experimentation. So it may not be fair to pass judgement at this stage. And a number of the men players are not reasonably exposed internationally.

    7. When I look at the US Open entry list, I'm quite surprised to see a number of Singapore players being entered. Yes competition is needed as part of the training programme, but if our players are so weak as evidenced by their performance in recent BWF tournaments, is it not better for them to train harder at home than to be knocked out in the early rounds overseas, at quite a cost? Maybe some should be entered for lesser tournaments, let them gain the confidence of winning matches and better still of being champions.

    The SO is a superseries tournament regarded as very competitive, more so than the grand prix events. So players must be of a certain high standard to hope to achieve something here.

    8. Some of our coaches are relatively new and have to take time to settle in. Communication could be a disadvantage as some players and coaches may not be as conversant in English and Mandarin. So again time is needed to allow our qualified coaches to do a proper job.

    9. When the SBA headquarters was sold and players have to adjust to new surroundings, first at the Singapore Sports School and then at the new SBA Hall now, this must have adversely affected players' identity, common destiny, unity and togetherness like a family. They can no longer call a home of their own. When can the SBA resolve this problem? Will there be a permanent place for SBA at the new Kallang Sports Hub?

    10. Unlike many of our neighbours we don't have a big base of badminton talents to work on. More so, SBA must think of ways of how to improve a continuous supply from the schools especially. Rember there are competitive demands from other sports and activities.

    We have school tournaments, but after the competition, what happens to most of the players? Are there programmes or incentives to keep them together and continue to train? How effective are the current programmes? Do we have qualified officials and helpers like the parents, to ensure that these remain an on-going basis, all year round? How to woo parents to support the SBA on a more permanent basis? Table tennis seems to be doing a decent job.

    Does the SBA have systematic plans to improve the quality of coaches, officials like umpires and line judges, and administrative support? Are there specific committees to look into this and the welfare of players as well?

    These are just some of my thoughts. Your views and suggestions are welcome.

  7. #41
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    I just recalled that the SBA building was not sold but returned back to the Singapore Sports Council I believe, when the lease was up.

  8. #42
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Mindset of S'pore shuttler must change

    By Lim Say Heng
    The New Paper
    Thursday, Jun 27, 2013

    SINGAPORE - Fudnemental issues like the poor attitude and discipline of players, and their chronic lack of ambition, are hindering the progress of Singapore badminton, according to some in the fraternity The New Paper spoke to on Monday.

    The lack of success in the sport here came into sharp focus at the Li-Ning Singapore Open, where only the mixed doubles pair of Terry Yeo and Yao Lei progressed beyond the first round.

    It was the Republic's worst showing in the tournament since 2006.

    Speaking to the Straits Times on the sidelines of the event on Sunday, Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) president Lee Yi Shyan promised a "serious review" of the internal workings of the national sports association, including issues like player-coach communication, tournament plans and coaching methodologies.

    A source, who has intimate knowledge of the national set-up, feels that some national shuttlers simply lack discipline and have it easy. Speaking to TNP on the condition of anonymity, the source said: "The players need to have more focus and discipline during training."

    "Little things like turning up slightly late during training sessions or bargaining with coaches on drills should not happen. The coaches know best and the players should just follow their instructions, no matter how tired they are. The players also don't do extra work outside of official training sessions."

    Ronald Susilo, Olympic quarter-finalist in 2004 and a former world No. 6, says shuttlers need to work harder to bridge the gap between themselves and the world-class players.

    The 34-year-old said: "In the past, I would run in the mornings or do extra work or whatever I felt I was weaker in, after training. It was just to make myself better. The players would have to work on their own and work even harder, since they are still not up to world-class standard, yet."

    Now a coach with his own academy, Susilo believes that the Republic's shuttlers should compete and do well in lower-tier competitions, before progressing to more prestigious tournaments.

    He said: "I started out playing in the Satellite Opens and doing well in those tournaments helped my confidence a lot. It would be better for a player's morale, gaining exposure and succeeding against other players who are around the same standard."

    The Li-Ning Singapore Open is a SuperSeries level competition, second to only the SuperSeries Premier competitions on the tournament circuit.

    Lower-tier competitions include the Grand Prix Gold and International Series tournaments.

    Wong Shoon Keat, who won Singapore's only South-east Asia Games men's singles gold in 1983, believes that local players dare not dream of becoming world-beaters as they don't see a future in the sport.

    Another reason for the lack of results, according to Wong, is the lack of continuity between the previous generation of stars and the current crop of players.

    Not ready to step up

    Speaking to TNP, he said: "When Ronald, Kendrick (Lee) and even Li Li retired, the likes of Derek (Wong), Ashton (Chen) and Gu Juan were not ready to step up."


    The Republic's shuttlers are losing out to countries such as Japan, Thailand, South Korea and Taiwan because of the strong support structure in those nations.

    "Companies in Japan and Taiwan basically support the players instead of their associations, and allow them to train," he revealed.

    "In Thailand, clubs unearth talent from provinces and take good care of them; it is a way to a better life for some of the players. The SBA is doing a good job in helping the shuttlers to get more money, but the truth is that the best players at school level come from the top schools. They tend not to continue with badminton when they start junior college because they can earn more working outside in the future than playing full-time."

    SBA chief executive officer Bobby Lee acknowledged that improving their budget is a big challenge.

    The Straits Times reported in March that the SBA receives about $250,000 a year from the Singapore Sports Council to subsidise the cost of sending shuttlers for competitions. That represents about half the sum needed.

    The same report said the SBA receives more than $1.5 million a year, with the rest going into paying salaries and staging events.

    Lee said: "We have seen inflation in our expenditure over the years, but this has not been matched by our income from various sources. We should also look into our system of promoting our younger players to the senior team, as well as how to widen the base of our young players in schools."
    Last edited by Loh; 06-27-2013 at 09:02 PM.

  9. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    Wong Shoon Keat, who won Singapore's only South-east Asia Games men's singles gold in 1983, believes that local players dare not dream of becoming world-beaters as they don't see a future in the sport.
    Many parents have this kind of mindset too and it made them drive their kids to focus on formal studies instead of having a professional career in sports, as what mentioned by LCW above.
    However, we have seen that during the past few years, badminton has been getting more and more popular, the numbers of local, regional and international tournaments are much increased. Compared to the older days, recently we have been watching more players from sub-dominant countries play at the world-class competitions. At the same time, tournament sponsors have been increasing their contributions to boost up the prizes, which is a good sign of a brighter future for badminton athletes.

  10. #44
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default How's Life?

    When I look back to my own life, there is nothing much that I can call special.

    But of course, I was born at a time when Singapore was still under the British momentarily and then the Japanese took over quite suddenly. Families were fighting for survival and I was only a baby, ignorant of what was happening around me. I was glad I survived too as many babies were killed because of the difficult circumstances then.

    Compared to now, Singapore is "paradise" as there are so many opportunities for the young. Singapore is no longer underdeveloped and we are able to get almost everything we need. No more shortage of food, housing and jobs in general, although as with many other countries, inflation is always a complaint.

    Yes we have to work hard especially when we are young to enjoy the benefits, so that we need not have to depend on others when we retire. But can many of us say we really enjoy our work or we just work to survive financially?

    If your kids are talented in badminton, would you want them to be badminton professionals?

    LIFE IS SHORT especially when you are getting old and seeing even young people dying of illnesses or unnatural events, such as accidents, natural disasters, etc. Others live in pain throughout their lives or they need help to get around. Some of them even took their own lives when they can't resolve their personal problems.

    So I think when the opportunity is presented to a talented sportsteenager to be further trained as a professional, take it.

    You can be usefully trained as a sportsperson only when you are young and still have the energy and passion for the sport. Although some older athletes do attain Olympic glory, most of the champions are relatively young. Some are champions when they are still teenagers, just like the many Chinese divers at past Olympic Games. Of course we also read reports of very young people being forced to undergo training in very inhumane circumstances too.

    But the point is that the best time to be trained as an accomplished athlete is when you are still young, during school-going age, not past prime. The Singapore Sports School, as with many other sports schools, also provides academic training to ensure that the athlete is educated enough to pursue academic studies later in life.

    As mentioned in the previous post, prize monies in badminton tournaments are increasing and when the player is good, to become a millionaire from prize monies and commercial endorsements is possible, just like LCW and LD

    When LD looks back to his achievements during his old age, he should be a satisfied man. Now he can pursue other interests if he wishes, even at a relatively young age around 30, still with so many years of active years ahead of him. Singapore's average life span for a male is 80 years.

    I believe the SBA has a "retirement fund" to assist deserving players after their playing days are over. Some may want to take up management or business courses, etc after retirement from badminton. I think Ronald Susilo, among others, has been a recipient of such awards or grants.

    So if one is talented, go for it and make one's life more special and rewarding.

  11. #45
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Taufik Hidayat as role model

    "Taufik’s father, Aris Haris used the occasion to present to his son a diary he had kept since Taufik was 10.

    The diary tells stories about how the 2005 World Champion fought to become a badminton star, including traveling four days a week to Bandung, 40 kilometers from his home in Pangalengan, to practice badminton.

    “I never tried to push him to play badminton. He wanted it. I just told him ‘if this is what you really want, you have to give your best,’ he agreed and I supported him all the way,” Aris said. “What I have been dreaming of is to see him as a successful person. Not like me, a farmer from a small town. God gives him more than we have expected. I’m proud of him. I wish him the best of luck in his life.”

    Perhaps the above story recently posted in BC can motivate a young badminton talent to "go for it".

    It was during a surprise party given by TH's family soon after TH officially retired.
    Last edited by Loh; 06-28-2013 at 08:47 PM.

  12. #46
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    Default National shuttler traded books for badminton

    By Foo Jie Ying
    The New Paper
    Sunday, Jul 07, 2013


    SINGAPORE - It has been almost a decade since she traded her books for shuttlecocks. But not once has national shuttler Vanessa Neo regretted her bold decision.

    Neo, 26, still remembers her friends' reactions when she broke the news to them.

    "Ninety per cent of my friends thought I was stupid for quitting. I got a spot in Raffles Junior College and my future was mapped out nicely for me," she said.

    Her parents, on the other hand, were more supportive. "They told me that I could study anytime and that an athlete's career is short."

    Neo plans to pursue a degree in human resource and business management after her sporting career. But not being in school does not mean that Neo hasn't learnt anything valuable.

    "Badminton has taught me perseverance," she said. "And most importantly, I found out that although the hard work you put in might not pay off, you will never realise your dreams if you don't work hard at all."

    Neo's interest in badminton was piqued by her parents, who introduced her to the game when she turned eight.

    Her talent in the sport started to show when she joined the badminton team in primary school. She was only in Primary 4 when she played for the Primary 6 team.

    As a national shuttler, the pressure is on her to perform. But she sees this responsibility as a badge of honour, one she is happy to wear.

    "I am proud to represent Singapore. I want to do well and do my nation proud," she said.

    Neo was recently adopted by Fuji Xerox under a scheme where companies fund their adopted players' development financially, or employ them after their sporting careers are over.
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    Default Fu glad to pair up once more

    This week’s Li-Ning Singapore Open will be only the third tournament that Fu Mingtian (left) will play alongside Shinta Mulia Sari.


    By May Chen
    The Straits Times
    Saturday, Jun 22, 2013

    SINGAPORE - As a badminton player, Fu Mingtian is used to lamenting about her muscular thighs, the result of years of lunging and leaping around the court.

    But the 22-year-old now has another thing to fret over - her shoulders and arms, which have also grown in bulk since her recent switch from singles to doubles.

    "My shoulders and arms have gotten more muscular. Sometimes it feels like my clothes have shrunk," she said with a laugh.


    Little wonder, since Fu now wields a special racket that weighs at least twice as heavy as the 78-80g one she uses during competitions.

    Greater emphasis is now put on working her upper body in her thrice-weekly gym sessions. For instance, she used to bench-press 35kg, but that is now 40kg and set to go even heavier.

    Said Fu: "Playing singles is a lot about your court craft and being mobile, while doubles requires a lot more explosive power and fast reflexes.

    "Coach (Yoo Yong Sung) is always saying that I lack power so that is something I've been working hard on."

    Added the reigning SEA Games singles champion: "When I was still in singles, I thought doubles was fun. But now that I'm playing doubles, I realise how tough the training is."

    She will partner Shinta Mulia Sari in the women's doubles and Terry Hee in the mixed doubles in this week's Li-Ning Singapore Open (already past).

    The US$200,000 (S$250,000) event will be Fu's fifth tournament since making the switch, but only the third time that she is competing alongside Shinta.
    Just getting to the main draw of the women's doubles will be no mean feat for the duo, who are still a partnership in testing.

    They will have to get past Japan's Reika Kakiiwa and Miyuki Maeda in tomorrow's qualifiers, before they earn a berth against world No. 1 pair and top seeds Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli of China in the first round.

    While doubles is less glamorous than singles, Fu is glad she now has a partner by her side.

    Admitting that she is easily overcome by nerves, she said: "When you're alone on court, it can be harder to think of solutions. With a partner, you can discuss strategies and you don't feel like you're fighting alone."

    Financial rewards in doubles are split between two players, but for Fu, the progress she has made in training and on court has far greater value.

    Noting that she welcomed the change in scenery, Fu, who experienced success as a doubles player in 2008 when she and Yao Lei took the world junior title, said: "It's been a very refreshing experience so far. I'll continue to work hard and play well in more tournaments."
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    Last edited by Loh; 07-07-2013 at 09:47 PM.

  14. #48
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    Default Chayut tastes pleasures and pitfalls of going solo

    By May Chen
    The Straits Time
    Saturday, Jun 22, 2013


    SINGAPORE - He climbed to a mixed-doubles world ranking as high as No. 16 with partner Yao Lei but Chayut Triyachart is now no longer part of the national badminton set-up.

    The 24-year-old left the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) about seven months ago to venture solo, favouring greater flexibility in training and competition in order to straddle both his athletic and business careers.

    Now based out of Singapore and Thailand, the business marketing diploma holder has been running a business with investment interests in areas like property for the past year.

    Leaving the SBA was by no means an easy decision to make, said Chayut, who first toyed with the idea as early as late 2011.

    "I thought long and hard about it because I still love to play badminton and I don't want to give it up at my age," he told The Straits Times. "But with my business, I can't commit to the (full-time) training."

    Besides taking full responsibility for his own training and competition schedule, Chayut now also has to source for his own sponsors and playing partners.

    He partnered Thai Sudket Prapakamol in the men's doubles of the Singapore Open yesterday but lost 21-23, 21-16, 15-21 to Indonesian pair Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki and Hendra Aprida Gunawan in the opening round.

    Originally from Udon Thani in Thailand, Chayut came to Singapore in 2001 to study.

    He was awarded citizenship in 2010, a stellar year in his sporting career as he partnered Yao to win the Commonwealth Games mixed doubles bronze in New Delhi.

    They also took the title at the Romania International Championships - a fourth-tier tournament on the Badminton World Federation circuit - and reached the final of the India Grand Prix Gold (third tier) that year.


    Said Chayut: "There are a lot of things that I've yet to accomplish. I didn't make the Olympics last year, I don't have a medal from the SEA Games and I've also not taken part in the Asian Games.

    "In the future, maybe I'll come back. The door is always open for me."

    While SBA chief executive officer Bobby Lee agreed that the association is ready to welcome shuttlers who wish to rejoin its fold, things could be trickier for doubles players.

    He said: "It could be a little bit tougher since our doubles players would have their own existing partners. It would be up to the coach and players to decide."


    Chayut Triyachart tasted glory when he partnered Yao Lei to clinch the 2010 Commonwealth Games mixed doubles bronze medal in India. The 24-year-old now runs a business with investment interests in areas like property, and also has to source for his own sponsors and playing partners as he juggles business with badminton
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    Default Task force to review sport after dismal showing at Li-Ning S’pore Open

    By Low Lin Fhoong


    13 July


    SINGAPORE — Following the dismal performance from Singapore’s national shuttlers at last month’s Li-Ning Singapore Open, a task force will be set up by the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) to conduct an internal review of the sport.

    Chaired by SBA President Lee Yi Shyan, the task force will consist of stakeholders, including badminton officials and ex-committee members, coaches, parents and sponsors.

    According to Lee, who is also Senior Minister of State (Trade and Industry, and National Development), the task force will be ready to begin work in September, with the review to be completed in a year.

    While the annual marquee event from June 18 to 23 drew 30,000 spectators to the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Lee acknowledged that the national shuttlers had not done well.

    None of the shuttlers from Singapore’s 23-member squad had qualified for the quarter-finals in what was possibly the Republic’s worst showing since 2006.


    Apart from Fu Mingtian’s women’s singles gold medal win at the 2011 South-east Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia, Singapore fans have had little to cheer about, with the players struggling to make an impact at major tournaments.

    “We didn’t do well this year ... this is an important review because we have always operated on a basis of certain constraints — limited funding and a limited supply of players,” said Lee at the Li-Ning Singapore Open thank-you reception at the Chinese Swimming Club yesterday.

    “We have to ask if financial incentives are enough (for players), and whether they need better motivation, counselling ... that is something to look into. We will come up with the recommendations within a year.”


    The review is expected to include the SBA players and management, and will look into tournament schedules, training methods and player-coach dynamics and working relationships. Low Lin Fhoong

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    Default Li-Ning S’pore Open gets world body approval



    Efforts to jazz up the Li-Ning Singapore Open were well-received by the audience and sponsors. PHOTO: WEE TECK HIAN


    By Dan Guen Chin
    15 July 2013


    6 hours 54 min ago

    SINGAPORE — The recent Li-Ning Singapore Open badminton championship has received the thumbs-up from the Badminton World Federation (BWF), the governing body for the sport, despite the 11th-hour withdrawal of big-name shuttlers, securing an approval rating of 7.5 out of a possible 10.

    The BWF’s marketing committee was particularly impressed by the Singapore Badminton Association’s (SBA) move to introduce corporate boxes, Singapore style, at the June 19-24 event at the Indoor Stadium, which it says was a first in the history of the Super Series tournaments.

    Responding to queries from TODAY, a BWF spokesman, who declined to be named, said: “The corporate boxes were done very nicely. The installation of sofas, and the wine-and-dine concept of the boxes were the first of its kind.

    “Although the Denmark Masters also had corporate boxes with food and drinks served, they were only available for the semi-finals and final. In contrast, the Singapore Open had the boxes for the entire tournament.”

    In fact, the BWF spokesman said the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) were impressed and have sent a delegation to Singapore to find out more about the concept of the corporate boxes.

    “The Malaysian Open will be promoted from a Super Series event to a Premier event next year, and so the BAM is keen to make the tournament a corporate success,”
    said the spokesman. Super Series Premier events offer more prize money and ranking points than Super Series tournaments, and usually attract all the top shuttlers.

    The Singapore Open also scored high marks for using truss lighting systems for the first time. Truss lighting systems are used to increase the brightness of the courts to aid photography and television filming.


    “By BWF requirements, the Singapore Open did not need to have truss lighting as it is just a Super Series event tournament, not a Premier event. Truss lighting is required for Premier events,” explained the spokesman. “But the SBA went ahead and provided them anyway because they wanted to enhance their tournament and we are impressed.”

    What prevented the tournament from scoring higher marks were the late withdrawals of top shuttlers, as well as empty VIP seats during the event. For example, Indonesia’s top three men’s shuttlers, 2010 winner Sony Dwi Kuncoro, 2008 runner-up Simon Santoso, and world No 24 Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka all pulled out on the eve of the tournament, while two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan withdrew days earlier.

    China’s top women’s doubles pair Wang Xiaoli and Yu Yang, and Ratchanok Inaton, Thailand’s world No 5 and two-time women’s world junior champion, also withdrew at the 11th hour. All cited injuries as the reason.

    The BWF also said that while crowd figures were impressive — more than 30,000 people in total attended the
    five-day event — there were noticeable patches of empty seats in the Premium section at the Indoor Stadium. “There were some unoccupied chairs in the Premier seats, which were very glaring. Maybe it’s because of the ticket prices,” said the spokesman, referring to S$28 that spectators had to pay for single-day tickets, and S$200 for season passes.

    SBA Vice-President Francis Koh said he was pleased to hear that the tournament scored well in the BWF’s books. “We tried several new things this year in a bid to jazz up the event, and judging from the response of our stakeholders, including the audience and sponsors, I think the efforts were well-received,” he said.

    “Despite the late withdrawals, we had just under 31,000 people, which was close to the attendance figures for 2011, which was our target.”


    He added that the SBA’s decision to move the tournament to April for the 2014-17 cycle should help to minimise pull-outs. Currently, the Singapore Open is held on the back of the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold event and the Indonesia Open, a Super Series Premier event.

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    Default Corporate Boxes and Truss Lighting System

    Maybe you can see the "corporate boxes" and "truss lighting system" from the following pictures I've taken at the event.

    However, I observed that the lowered "Truss Lighting System" tends to block or obscure some of the materials like advertisements, banners, score results or flags that sponsors and others may want to exhibit.

    The advertisements mounted on the four truss panels are also ineffective as they are not highlighted by lights or such-like gadgets. On the other hand if they are too bright, they may interfere with the spectators' view..
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