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    Default The history of Zhao Jian Hua


    This video segment done by China media on the flamboyant and artistic player, Zhao Jian Hua details about being spotted by then coach Hou Jia Chang when the former was about 16 years of age. His first foray was competing in doubles.

    I have often wondered why sometimes before a service, Zhao look up and sucks in air during a tournament. His lung problem posed a big threat to his career. Even after he recovered from pneumnia and continued back to the international scene winning the world championships, you could see he was thin as a stick.

    In fact, I reckoned that if it weren't for his debilitating condition, he could have survived longer and prolonging our pleasure to watch him play. Don't get me wrong, Zhao is not only skillful, he is dead quick too. Remember how he disposed off Joko at the All England? Joko went to a slaughter house not knowing who was going to be slaughtered. Zhao is not as handsome as Yang Yang, but a joker and his shots are definitely more refined than Yang Yang. Bless with a gift of maneuvering the shuttle but with a drawback of health. Win some, lose some.

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  3. #2
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    5 views on youtube

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    To me Zhao Jianhua is absolutely one of the greatest players of all time. In my pantheon of badminton heroes I rank him just below Lin Dan who is now without doubt the greatest ever. As to who I place third, I shan't delve into it (but those who are familiar with my postings would be able to guess easily) as I wish to keep within the thread topic. Imagine if they were contemporaries, preferably during Lin Dan's time, I daresay their rivalry may perhaps be the greatest in the history of sport not just badminton, and would doubtless surpass the present much-vaunted Lin Dan - Lee C W's, in my opinion.

    I too suspected that he was beset by health problems as early as a few years into his career which evidently worsened when he contracted pneumonia while in Canada. And I read that he resumed training a bit too soon after rehabilitation which then took its toll on his fitness and stamina from which he never fully recovered, sad to say. Presumably, it became the cause of his lack of consistency more than before, as his performance alternated between consummate brilliance and relative mediocrity by his standard. Even so or in spite of it he grew in stature and was, still is, widely regarded as a living legend.

    Till today I remember vividly what one of his arch rivals, Morten Frost, had said on more than one occasion that every time ZJH leapt into the air to execute his smash you almost never could guess where the shuttle would land. That's only one of the ways to describe Zhao's fearsome reputation and how awe-struck many of his opponents were by his magnificent display of scintillating attacking badminton of the highest quality. To this I'm sure many of you more conversant with the sport than I am will have more to say and add.

    Trust Pakito to open such a thread; how can I resist saying something about this one of a kind badminton maestro, however insignificant and humble my views are. And to reinforce your point - you're damn well right about his less than ideal health condition setting him back;otherwise, Heaven knows how many more titles and to what dizzying heights he would have attained in badminton. In other words, we might today be arguing who between them, Lin Dan and Zhao Jianhua, is the greater of the two, with no clear definite conclusion as their admirers could possibly be quite evenly split,may I say so.

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    Name:  zhao.jpg
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    Your contributions are much appreciated. Insignificant, no. Humble, yes. You are right, I am absolutely delighted to have a chance to argue and compare the invincibility of Zhao and LD, instead of LD and LCW always (LD vs LCW is always refreshing). But being people from different eras, what to do? Perhaps BWF president should organize this as a tool to promote badminton. I am sure fans would be crazy about this! Then maybe LD can give Zhao a 5 point lead. All in the name of good sportsmanship. This will sell tickets like hot cakes I tell you. When LD and Bao Chun Lai has done badminton exhibitions playing like clowns and hitting shuttles with the cylinderical shuttle casing, why not the biggest clown of all time, Zhao? Who want to take the first step to address this suggestion to BWF?

    To all badminton players amateurs and semi pros, just because you are a chicken seller, don't look down on your skills. Look at the man in the pic!

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin L View Post
    To me Zhao Jianhua is absolutely one of the greatest players of all time. In my pantheon of badminton heroes I rank him just below Lin Dan who is now without doubt the greatest ever. As to who I place third, I shan't delve into it (but those who are familiar with my postings would be able to guess easily) as I wish to keep within the thread topic. Imagine if they were contemporaries, preferably during Lin Dan's time, I daresay their rivalry may perhaps be the greatest in the history of sport not just badminton, and would doubtless surpass the present much-vaunted Lin Dan - Lee C W's, in my opinion.

    I too suspected that he was beset by health problems as early as a few years into his career which evidently worsened when he contracted pneumonia while in Canada. And I read that he resumed training a bit too soon after rehabilitation which then took its toll on his fitness and stamina from which he never fully recovered, sad to say. Presumably, it became the cause of his lack of consistency more than before, as his performance alternated between consummate brilliance and relative mediocrity by his standard. Even so or in spite of it he grew in stature and was, still is, widely regarded as a living legend.

    Till today I remember vividly what one of his arch rivals, Morten Frost, had said on more than one occasion that every time ZJH leapt into the air to execute his smash you almost never could guess where the shuttle would land. That's only one of the ways to describe Zhao's fearsome reputation and how awe-struck many of his opponents were by his magnificent display of scintillating attacking badminton of the highest quality. To this I'm sure many of you more conversant with the sport than I am will have more to say and add.

    Trust Pakito to open such a thread; how can I resist saying something about this one of a kind badminton maestro, however insignificant and humble my views are. And to reinforce your point - you're damn well right about his less than ideal health condition setting him back;otherwise, Heaven knows how many more titles and to what dizzying heights he would have attained in badminton. In other words, we might today be arguing who between them, Lin Dan and Zhao Jianhua, is the greater of the two, with no clear definite conclusion as their admirers could possibly be quite evenly split,may I say so.
    Last edited by Pakito; 10-12-2012 at 11:08 PM.

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    LD plays ZJH now??? Not just 5 points, maybe 15 points, and I still bet on LD. ZJH is over 50 years old. He has shoulder surgery. He is overweight. Even if they are at their peak, LD will probably win 7 out of 10 games.
    Last edited by Qidong; 10-13-2012 at 12:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qidong View Post
    LD plays ZJH now??? Not just 5 points, maybe 15 points, and I still bet on LD. ZJH is over 50 years old. He has shoulder surgery. He is overweight. Even if they are at their peak, LD will probably win 7 out of 10 games.
    You're probably right. I'm just emphasizing on the sheer entertainment value of literally watching 2 legends from different era and the sheer audacity of the game. Tell me you would not watch the game if it both can be successfully coaxed to do so and rain will fall upwards. We both know (and so does the rest) that Zhao will lose due to many handicaps, but again, it's the sheer entertainment value and some might add, court craft value that the game will bring forth to fans.

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    Name:  YANG YANG ZHAO JAINHUA.jpg
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    The 2 great badminton lefties do come out for fans out of sheer fun. Look at the fun they are having. I am sure they have no qualms participating in an exhibition should BWF organize it. Forget BWF. CBA can organize this. Both are already towards the plump side. But who is fatter? Yang Yang or Zhao?

    This was organized at the Chongqing Palms Springs Sports Hall last year May. It was said that Dong Jiong, who also participated, made fun of Zhao's stomach saying the king of badminton also has a king stomach. Among others were Sun Jun, Liu Jun, Ge Fei, Gu Jun, Ye Zhaoying and others.

    I am sure they can have this anytime they want. It's only whether they want to show or telecast to you. But I don't think they will.

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    Default Recognise any of them?

    I don't know about you guys, but since it's just for fun, I would like to swing my racket in there with those guys too.

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    This is the difference between China CBA and Malaysia BAM. Do you see Foo Kok Keong vs Yong Hock Kin or Razif/Jalani vs Cheah Soon Kit/ Ong Beng Teong now? BAM couldn't care less. BAM no clue how to expand the popularity of badminton. Zilch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pakito View Post
    In fact, I reckoned that if it weren't for his debilitating condition, he could have survived longer and prolonging our pleasure to watch him play. Don't get me wrong, Zhao is not only skillful, he is dead quick too. Remember how he disposed off Joko at the All England? Joko went to a slaughter house not knowing who was going to be slaughtered. Zhao is not as handsome as Yang Yang, but a joker and his shots are definitely more refined than Yang Yang. Bless with a gift of maneuvering the shuttle but with a drawback of health. Win some, lose some.
    That's right. His skills was very amazing. The best in the world. In 1990's, INA has several top players in MS which dominating the world top 10 ranking. And even with super coach TXH with them, only 1 player that has positive H2H against him, he is Hariyanto Arbi with his famous 100 watt smash, despite his technique is not so special. ZJH with his lung problem and 26 or 27 y.o. already surely no match for 20 y.o. Arbi that heavily rely on smash and smash, but lack quality in the other departments. If they are in the same age, ZJH can outplayed him, just like he demolish the other TXH's players, OG champion Alan Budi Kusuma and World Champion Joko Suprianto (H2H 5-1), plus Ardi BW and Hermawan (H2H 3-1)
    Last edited by Fortune; 10-13-2012 at 04:43 AM.

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    The video clip revealed that for three days Zhao JH couldn't eat well and was often feeling tired and breathless during training. At first his coach Hou Jia Chang thought it was the common cold until,upon reaching Canada, he came down with high fever that refused to go away despite medication and injection. Then they brought him to the hospital.

    There he was given a chest X-ray after which they asked to speak to his coach and the interpreter but not Zhao JH. To their surprise, esp the coach's anxiety,he was diagnosed with pneumonia. The doctor strongly advised that he be admitted to hospital for comprehensive treatment as it could be life-threatening. Despite this Zhao JH was still insistent on playing the next day in the world championship (1985 at Calgary,Canada) but the coach put his foot down and said no. Zhao's immediate reaction was ' I cried '.

    He was sent back home to China and underwent two months treatment in hospital. What was even more shocking was that the doctor in charge also pronounced him unfit to carry on active let alone competitive sport. That to Zhao was equivalent to the 'death sentence' as coach Hou put it. For Zhao who lived and breathed badminton, he wasn't going to give in to fate.

    After his discharge from hospital he pleaded with coach Hou for a chance to try out and resume training to which Hou relented as he felt it would be such a pity to cut short his brilliant career. The rest as they say is history but admittedly he was intermittently plagued by fitness problem that affected his career record which undoubtedly failed to do justice to such a naturally gifted and skillful player par excellence.

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    Oh yes, I'd love to see Lin Dan play Zhao Jianhua simply out of idolatry(only in the sport sense) and for the sheer joy and pleasure of it, not for anything to do with who's better - how can we ever compare any of today's player with their predecessors like that, unthinkable. At most I'd venture to say, purely from the natural talents perspective, that perhaps Zhao JH is a wee bit better than Lin Dan. Never mind, just my subjective view, counts for nothing.

    I should think Morten Frost, himself a great player who had played Zhao JH during his heydays, is much more qualified to comment. But to my understanding, he has acknowledged Lin Dan as absolutely the best when asked the question by Gillian Clark during the 2011 World Championship and that after saying Lee CW played the best badminton for the two years prior to the WC.

    Meanwhile, wonder where I can find the Zhao JH - Yang Yang exhibition match - I'd gladly settle for this until the Exhibition Match of the Century Lin Dan - Zhao Jianhua comes about if ever, dream on.

    Btw, at the beginning of the video, the narrator expressed that the four Heavenly Kings then were Zhao Jianhua, Yang Yang, Morten Frost and Icuk Sugiarto, among whom as expected the first named was widely held to be foremost in talent and skill.

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    With regard to Zhao Jianhua's middle name 'Jian' [剑], the narrator explained that it was originally written as '建' as in build/construct in the hope that he would grow up one day to contribute to nation-building but at age eight, after watching the movie depicting the life of their national hero Shao Jian (剑) Kuang, he changed it to the same '剑‘ as meaning 'sword' . And sure enough as befitting the name he went on to attain world renown in his badminton conquests, at the same time going through many trials and tribulations.

    { Hmm,how did an eight-year-old boy take it upon himself to change his name. I supposed the narrator meant that he told his parents about it who were supportive of the idea ad got it done}

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    In the coined 4 Heavenly Kings of badminton, the 4th name, Icuk is inferior to other candidates that deserves that 4th place more than Icuk, namely Lim Swie King and Han Jian. I remember that Morten Frost once handed a 15-0 to Icuk, how embarassing indeed, just next to Zhao handing a 15-1 to Joko at the All England. Icuk is also no match for Yang Yang. At best, he only beat Xiong GuoBao. Does anyone know the H2H of Zhao Icuk? Xiong GuoBao is also no match for Morten Frost whereas Icuk's play looks very rigid in execution, play relying mostly on brute force. Icuk's style of play is never destined for long at the top as even his own body could not take it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qidong View Post
    LD plays ZJH now??? Not just 5 points, maybe 15 points, and I still bet on LD. ZJH is over 50 years old. He has shoulder surgery. He is overweight. Even if they are at their peak, LD will probably win 7 out of 10 games.
    Zhao is 2 years younger than Yang Yang and is born in 1963, 47 this year. Yes he is overweight, and Yang Yang has a receeding hairline.

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    Again in the same video, it was shown that a 16-year-old Zhao Jianhua, as pointed out by Pakito, first started out as a men's doubles player and won his first MD title at the China National Games. For this he was spotted by Hou Jiachang who took him under his wings.

    Within a year at 17, in his maiden international appearance at the Scottish Open, he playing MS sensationally beat Morten Frost in the final to win his very first international title. That victory according to his coach Hou was all the more amazing in that Morten Frost at that time once held an unbroken run of 200 match wins. In the match, Morten Frost appeared unfamiliar with Zhao's playing style and was often flat-footed or wrong-footed by the latter and stunned into capitulation.

    Next at 19 years of age came the historic All-England 1985 victory that made headlines in the badminton world and outside. Within three months in the run-up to the AE , Zhao catapulted into fame, first trouncing the INA Liem Swie King, followed by overcoming his established senior compatriot Han Jian and finally scoring that momentous triumph in the AE final beating once again Morten Frost for the third time in as many encounters (not sure what was their second encounter).

    Then just when he was reaching the summit of his career, he was hit by a severe illness that threatened to not only to end his career but also his life if not properly treated as I've described earlier. (That's all from me on that video, the last part on the Barcelona '92 OG, let others talk about it).

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    Yea, don't really know why the narrator mentioned Icuk Sugiarto as the fourth Heavenly King and not Liem Swie King or Han Jian. I guess the latter two must be nearing the end of their career when those four were in the ascendancy.

    Talking about Icuk, his nemesis was none other than Yang Yang who handed him a shutout H2H of more than 10 times before it was finally broken just once for the very last time. Another thing I remember now, Icuk was unexpectedly once beaten in the final of the South-East-Asian Peninsular Games (SEAP, now known as SEA Games) by a Singaporean player named Wong Shoon Keat who is the father of Derek Wong; I heard that Icuk was rather sore about that defeat and passed some unflattering remarks that irked WSK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pakito View Post
    In the coined 4 Heavenly Kings of badminton, the 4th name, Icuk is inferior to other candidates that deserves that 4th place more than Icuk, namely Lim Swie King and Han Jian. I remember that Morten Frost once handed a 15-0 to Icuk, how embarassing indeed, just next to Zhao handing a 15-1 to Joko at the All England. Icuk is also no match for Yang Yang. At best, he only beat Xiong GuoBao. Does anyone know the H2H of Zhao Icuk? Xiong GuoBao is also no match for Morten Frost whereas Icuk's play looks very rigid in execution, play relying mostly on brute force. Icuk's style of play is never destined for long at the top as even his own body could not take it.
    That kind of scoreline 15-0 can only happen in the old scoring system where you can only score a point while holding service and it's possible for service to change hands many times to and fro without any point scored. Technically it's possible to start at love-all and say 10 minutes later the score still remains at 0-0, scoreless!

    As a result, somebody once told me the longest match played in the old scoring system was nearly three hours in duration Is it true?
    Last edited by Justin L; 10-13-2012 at 10:21 AM.

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