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Thread: The history of Zhao Jian Hua
10-13-2012, 11:40 AM #18
With regards to the zilch Icuk received from Morten, I remember that Icuk chose to play lobs with Morten with a rallies of more than 50 lobs between each other in 1 service. Playing lobs with Morten is a definite no no.
10-13-2012, 08:06 PM #19
10-15-2012, 05:29 AM #20
As to the awe-inspiring jump smash during Zhao JH's time, I believed only a few players could effectively execute it then. Nowadays, thanks to Lin Dan and Lee CW, any of the top 20 players at least can do it, the only question is who can do it better.
As to the dive retrieval, I think it's unheard of or unseen in ZJH's era - another indication of how the game has evolved not just in training methodology and technological advancement in terms of sport science.
10-15-2012, 10:00 AM #21
10-15-2012, 10:30 AM #22
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.
10-15-2012, 10:46 AM #23
10-15-2012, 11:10 AM #24
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.
10-15-2012, 11:45 AM #25
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.
10-15-2012, 01:01 PM #26
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. ....
10-15-2012, 02:39 PM #27
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.
Last edited by Justin L; 10-15-2012 at 02:47 PM.
11-13-2012, 06:01 AM #28
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.
11-13-2012, 06:30 AM #29
11-13-2012, 08:18 AM #30
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.
11-13-2012, 08:39 AM #31
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?
11-13-2012, 09:31 AM #32
11-13-2012, 09:48 AM #33
11-13-2012, 10:08 AM #34
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.
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