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Discussion in 'German Open / All England / Swiss Open 2012' started by abedeng, Mar 10, 2012.
Not a bad pair in looks, skills or both?
Not in uk.............
Quarterfinals Day - The End of the British Challenge
Team GB banked their hopes on their upcoming mixed doubles World Championship Runners-up pairing of Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier, as well as the semi-ancient Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork.
Adcock and Bankier had recently turned the tables on their conquerors, Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei in the first round, which partly contributed to the extended opening round day of action to 3 am the next day.
Against them were the Malaysian pair still recovering from back injury and permanent service problems, Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon.
Robertson and Wallwork, meanwhile, looked confident and mean against Indonesia's Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad.
The prim and proper British crowd transformed their, err, stiff upper leap persona, and came closest to upstaging the smaller Malaysian and Indonesian contingents during this phase of the competition. Thus the two rival cheerleading teams with more than 60 years of "hostile cheerleading history" brokered truce for the day and were able push their pairs to drive Team GB away.
Ah, the things we do to set up an Indonesia vs Malaysia showdown.
Adcock/Bankier vs Chan/Goh
If you dare lose, I will whack you!
Adcock loose serve
Arching his back to maintain the attack
Chan Peng Soon flying high
Goh Liu Ying drives a winner
Robertson/Wallwork vs Ahmad/Natsir
Shapely Wallwork posing to receive serve
What goes up ......
..... must be assisted up
INA pair, keeping the shuttle low
A focused Liliyana Natsir, preparing to pounce
Here are more close up pics of the Olympic Park. Just don't go there to watch the badminton competition in August .......
Monument at the Centre of Westfield Stratford
Nice graffiti walls hide the Olympic Construction Site Office
Wonder how it would look like at night with glowing flames?
The Olympic Complex comes with planned rail links
But there is still lots to do on the landscaping end
These creatures implore you to help donate to a lost, err, I mean overblown budget cause. And help avoid another Greek tragedy.
Next, we graduate to the situation within the National Indoor Arena. Not much different from before, just more of the same Yonex booths, food and beverage area, etc. Pics here:
Citroen, vehicle sponsorship partner of Badminton England. And you get to be Sebastian Loeb in simulator
Avenue of Champions - roll back the years when Peter Gade won the title at a very young age of 22
The history of badminton - told in pictorial form by Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg
No strings badminton booth - try to serve to the holes.
Badminton England booth
Stringing team at work
Yonex official souvenir T-shirts for this year's event
I bet Yonex didn't tell him about the, ahem, side effects of stiff shoulder and pain in the underarm.
Really?! What can an athlete gain wearing jewelry to contest in this event?
Excellent thread Abedeng! Thanks so much for relating your experiences and images.
Ever think of being a sports writer?
Hmm sports-travel a whole industry in itself.
And Now .... to Semifinals Action
Again, not that many pictures of the action. But here are the more interesting ones to me .....
First - Lee Hyun Il vs Lee Chong Wei
By this time, it was said that LCW was already feeling some pain. Having said that, he still had too much in reserve for LHI. Despite a late challenge from the Korean, the match was actually not as close that the scoreline suggested.
Next - Li Xuerui vs Tai Tzu Ying
It was a match full of suspense. Li Xuerui was full of grace, personified by her, ahem, BWF-approved playing attire. Whereas Tai Tzu Ying was more like a cat, pouncing left and right and clawing all the energy-sapping moves, including English Premier League goalkeeping dive saves. Pretty much like our resident BC Cat when playing BC Super Series tournaments ........
In the end, the cat was expertly bagged by Xuerui's graceful moves - creating an All-England Record of 14 unanswered points from 6-9 to 20-9.
Next : MD Denmark vs Korea
The haggard looks of the defending champions did not inspire confidence. Unlike their clean shaven selves of 1 year ago, this time they looked like they just got out of bed to play. Easily put to pasture by the fit and fast Koreans.
Next: Lin Dan vs Kenichi Tago
Really, LD was just toying with Tago. Like what LCW did to Tago back in January. Yup, the rest of the other players are still mere mortals compared to LD and LCW.
Finally : The Battle Royale of the day - INA XD vs MAS XD
A fitting battle if it were the final itself. Younger and less experienced Malaysians gave it their all, and the first game alone needed a total of 8 gamepoints before closure after 30 minutes. But the World Championship pedigree of Liliyana Natsir stood tall.
If not for the service issues of Chan Peng Soon though, Malaysia could have at least bagged game 1. Nonetheless, the Indonesians were the better pair and deserving winners.
P/S : Malaysian and Indonesian supporting camps had a very good time "fighting" each other in this match.
Future Stars: CHN pair Huan Xia and Tang Jinhua
Here's a peek of the future Chinese stars. Lasted less than 30 minutes against the current World Champs. Good looking girls too .......
Seriously, I could do the job, but I don't think I would make as much as I do now ..... without compromising family life.
Besides, it will become a job, rather than just sharing experiences without obligations. In which case I shall have to charge BC - which would be a shame ....... wakakakaka.
Birmingham By Day .....
Enough of Badminton for the time being, let's see what the City of Birmingham has to offer.
Technically, the whole City Centre area is within walking distance from one end to the other. Good for maintaining your budget and fitness levels, not good enough fitness to beat the lowest ranked All-England participant ......
Here are some pictures of the City in the day:
Baskerville House, Broad Street
One of my favourite food joints, Bugis Street Brasserie, within the Copthorne Hotel
Where these defeated members of the Chinese Men's Singles squad stayed in
The Museum at Chamberlain Square
This is Victoria Square - just beside Chamberlain Square
Ancient Clock, still works
Where cheap entertainment is still available
The Birmingham New Street Rail Station, just below the Pallasades Shopping Centre
If you want to stay cool, there's no better place than to stay cool at The Rotunda. Let's not discuss the price, though ........
And look, The Rotunda has it's own Bull!
More Birmingham Pix:
The NIA at night
Inside the Birmingham ICC
Which also houses the Symphony Hall
View of Birmingham from my room
The War Memorial
I have no idea what this, err, traffic light is for ......
Finals Day .....
Now it's time to show the experience of the Finals Day. A day where an outnumbered Indonesian crowd got the better of the bigger Danish opposition.
Also a day where Lin Dan gets a hug from a another girl ....... hope Mrs Lin Dan at home doesn't get too jealous .....
Sizeable crowd at the main entrance of the NIA
Stadium was packed - better attendance records than last year. Mainly Chinese (below) and Malaysian (above) supporters.
The best seats of the house made a reappearance
Citroen DS3 shares in the limelight
These were what they were fighting for
Women's Singles winners, Li Xuerui and Wang Yihan
This Indonesian Cheerleader ........
...... spelt the downfall of Danish support
And thus the Indonesians are on top once again .......
...... and proudly hoist their trophies aloft
But the day actually belonged to the Koreans ......
..... and a generous Jung Jae Sung threw his racquet at the crowd ......
...... while Lee Yong Dae shows off his PR skills.......
...... before receiving their winners trophies.
Hugs and Kisses - for the Men's Singles Winner, and a Shower for Both Players
Err, not too sure about the kisses part, but the lady was surely very happy with Lin Dan's victory.
An unfortunate shoulder injury stopped the battle between the two titans before conclusion. Nonetheless, both sets of fans applauded both players for great sportsmanship and civic duty (aka at least playing one game instead of just quitting).
Here are the pictures:
The defending champion gets treatment, and finally threw the towel .....
..... and the two gladiators step onto the podium.
LCW accepts his consolation prize ......
...... while LD gets a bonus hug ......
.... before taking over the trophy
And now, for a shower!
Of course i have tried them. 70% cheaper than hotel prices.
Good job Abedeng. It's like you brought me to Birmingham to watch with you. It would be nice to show your pic also.
What is shown is only a smattering of the experience. People don't actually realize what they are missing when they are not there. Sure there is live telecast, but it doesn't capture even 50 per cent of what happened.
The crowds in Europe have graduated into more excitable ones like in Asia. Case in point, notice how much noise they make when the GB Mixed Doubles pairs fought tooth and nail against the Malaysians and Indonesians respectively.
Previously, and up to the 90s at least, the crowds were more robotic (like in tennis), applauding only during a break in the game. And then, silence. Badminton needs passionate crowds, it is one of the differentiators between it and other racquet sports.
To find my pic, you gotta visit the older threads circa 2007 - 2011. I tend not to get myself photographed during events.
Things to do ..... at the Birmingham Canals
Birmingham's history has a lot to do with the Canals. And so, before we leave this great City, let us explore the various activities related to the Canal. You would be surprised as to how the Canal has graduated from being the source of water supply and transportation, to the source of enjoyment for the locals and visitors alike.
Although I must say, the general cleanliness of the Canals is, err, somewhat lacking .........
So, what can we do at the not-so-clean Birmingham Canals?
Well, we could take a boat ride ......
.... and good looking boats they are too.
Of course, the boats must be narrow enough to pass through restricted spaces ....
..... or we could just walk along the canal, here are some views of the Hyatt from the Canal
How about a drink at a bar in BrindleyPlace? Not for me, of course, I don't drink .....
...... instead, I went to this restaurant for food .....
..... a restaurant with a good view, I might add .....
..... where you can see girls on canoes while enjoying your food .....
.... and finally, do a spot of fishing!
Emirates ..... and Layover in Dubai
As I get, err, aged, there is less tolerance to direct flights above 10 hours, as I shuttle back and forth from East to West and back.
Enter Emirates, the Dubai based airline with one of the newest aircraft fleets in the world.
With the Emirates main hub strategically located exactly at midpoint between South East Asia and Europe, it is just the right tonic for the reduced tolerance long distance passenger ..... The fact that it has the biggest Airbus A380 fleets in the world is a bonus - trust me, once you are in the A380, all other planes are inadequate.
During the layover in Dubai on the way to London, there was an exhibition of the history of Dubai Aviation, with Dubai Airport now probably the most congested airport in the world during peak hours.
Pictures of the exhibition:
50 years of Aviation in Dubai - in partnership with BP
How it all started .......
..... with this old Airport ..... must have been an unhospitable place then ....
..... because this camel died ........
..... but now it has undergone rapid modernization ....
...... in order to meet future traffic growth demands.
The Emirates Lounge
What I love most about this place is the free lounge. All First Class, Business Class, Skywards Gold and Silver members can have complementary use of the two lounges. First Class has a separate lounge of its own, the rest share another lounge.
Passengers checking in at the Emirates Business Class Lounge
Accurate timekeeping, courtesy of Rolex
Here, you can play games on the PS3 ....
...... indulge in good food .......
.... without worrying if you will miss your flight
And free Internet access comes with printing facilities - great!!!