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Discussion in 'China Professional Players' started by cobalt, Jun 6, 2012.
Ahem....! As I was saying.....
On this very thread, there was some doubt and questioning about the title of "Golden Era" for the past 5-10 years. Many people felt this title was not deserved. Lets take a look.
China has dominated TC, UC, SC, and World Championships, and the OG. In fact they swept Golds in the WC and OG recently. Their players have consistently held strong representations in the top 5 BWF rankings, in all 5 disciplines, and in some instances and for some periods, even monopolised those rankings.
While some people may argue this era does not have more than a couple or three legendary players as opposed to some other eras that saw a few more legends, I would argue that the overall performance and consistency of the present lot (past 5-10 years) has overshadowed the achievements of their predecessors. They have hunted successfully, often in packs, and have achieved historic results. And that is why I consider this era to be the CBA's golden era.
But, I have no doubt in my mind, the era is already winding down... and maybe, it is going to come to an end more quickly than the 2-3 years that I had anticipated...
Most probably, the London Olympics clean sweep is CBA's peak. That unprecedented record took Li Yongbo by a big surprise, that's why he's given the entire team a well-deserved break, including himself. Pre-Oylmpics he had predicted 3 gold medals as the likely outcome, the 4th would be a bonus, as for winning all 5 ,that would have to wait the next Olympics or to the future if ever the day comes.
Li Yongbo himself, a pragmatist and realist, has also acknowledged that the rest of the world is catching up, the gap is closing, which explained his Olympic forecast. If we equate dominance with Golden Era, then the thread title seems justified though still arguable. At any rate,Chinese badminton has never or not yet attained the total dominance of their table-tennis. Whether they will do so going forward is an open question - only the future can tell.
But if we don't require dominance,let alone total domination, as the benchmark of Golden Era, then I suppose we can quite confidently say China will still continue to rule the badminton world as the sole superpower for a reasonably long time. In other words,as long as China keeps on winning more medals, titles, and championships in both individual and team events than any other nation, the extension of her Golden Era is assured albeit perhaps not in the most convincing manner as one would have expected or demanded.
Talking about CBA this past 20 years during which her Golden Era culminated in the London Olympics clean sweep of medal haul, I cannot help but say a few words about the man who helms it, Li Yongbo. I am sure if he is aware of Peter Gade's autobiography title 'The Winner is Always Right', he would have nodded in approval as striking a chord in his heart. I'm not saying Peter's intended meaning is exactly the same as how LYB felt, I'm merely taking the title at face value to make a conjecture to elaborate on what I am going to say next.
In 1993 when LYB first took over as head coach of CBA after his retirement as a successful MD player, the first thing he wanted to do was to replace all the window wooden frames to aluminium ones in the training center hostel the better to keep out the cold and wind, but his request was flatly rejected for lack of funds; that to him was a rebuff and he realized it was because he had no results to show.
Then months later in the Asian Games,he led China to seven bronzes. Instead of getting some credit or words of praise and encouragement for his team,the medals, all bronzes,were described by the media as 'a heap of scrap metal'. It pained him so much that he made a vow to seek for gold medals.
He said 'the gold medal may not look big,the award ceremony short, but what it brings is huge, you can imagine how great it is. If you fail to get the gold medal, then all your effort is called in question,doubted.' He added: 'In the arena,gold medal is the only standard, the only one.' Ever since, he has made it his lifetime goal to see his team and players win the titles,the medals,the championships, step onto the winner's podium, watch the national flag raised,and hear the national anthem played. The rest as they say is history.
Let's be more specific.
In MS, after Lin Dan,what? PG once said China badminton is all about Lin Dan. As we know,Lin Dan is taking a long six-month break. Will he be the same, as fearsome and formidable when he comes back? Meanwhile, and in the future as well, can Chen Long fill his shoes?
For the time being at least, Lee CW is the number 1 and Chen Long a close second at most. Other than CL, I admit I don't see anyone else in China rising to step up to the plate. Du Pengyu may have performed admirably against LCW last month in the French Open, but it seems to be a one-off achievement, a one-hit wonder as some would say.
Chen Jin, we know how far he can go. At age 26 now, I doubt he can surge to a new level better than he ever was before.
Wang Zengming, apparently still quite a long way to go.
Conversely,for the ROW, after LCW,who? Lee has said his marriage won't affect his badminton and he's confident of maintaining his form for at least another two years.
Darren Liew, Viktor Axelsen, how do they stack up to Chen Long? We may know the answer the next few months to a year. So far, among the new cohort, Chen Long has been the outstanding one.
In MD, apparently still CHN's weakest link. Cai/Fu was magnificent in reaching their second peak to win Olympic gold. Admittedly,Cai at 32 years old is due for retirement as a matter of time. At best his partnership with the four years younger Fu may last another two years or so at or near their top form. So it's crucial for CBA to act in preparation of their impending retirement.
Nonetheless, CBA as always is anticipating the problem and working actively towards a solution. Their new and not-so-new MD pairings are forming up and finding their footing gradually. However,in this aspect, the KOR at the moment appears to be doing a better job. This discipline is indeed China's most worrisome one.
For WD and XD, we're happy to say CHN is as powerful as ever. Ma Jin's recent double-double SS title wins in WD and XD is testament to that. The young WD pairing of Bao Yixin and Zhong Qianxin is coming on strong.
Nothing much need be said in these two disciplines, CHN is in very safe hands.
As for WS, CHN's 'Great Wall' is being tested the last couple of months after the Olympics.
Wang Xin is still nursing her injury and at age 26, her return to tip-top condition is facing some challenging obstacles.
Wang Shixian's decline from before the Olympics until now is not over yet although she is persistent in trying to get back on her feet;she is relatively young at 22, time is on her side but that is for the future to say.
Wang Lin,we know her story. Jiang Yanjiao and Han Li are their second stringers, not in the same mould as the top 3, and at times beatable by the best of ROW.
That leaves Wang Yihan and Li Xuerui. The former is CHN's mainstay while LXR is having the post-OG blues. LXR is highly gifted and her menacing style is awesome at best, shaky at worst making her less consistent than WYH in dealing with ROW.
Personally, I have faith LXR will steady herself soon and as she matures and gains in valuable experience, she together with WYH should give us many years of their arch rivalry on top of fending off the ROW challengers. However,neither of them is as awesome as their male counterpart Lin Dan is in dominating the MS, which means either one can be beaten occasionally by the best in the ROW. Indeed the ROW WS is narrowing the gap with CHN's top guns.
CBA just announced some organizational changes a couple days ago. http://sports.qq.com/a/20121228/000339.htm
One is the division of the National Team players into first and second teams is abolished and combined into one National Team.
Second, the Coaches Team of whom a few new ones are inducted are divided into groups of five, one for each discipline, as follows:
[FONT=&]新教练班子 New Coaches Team ：
[FONT=&]男单组Men's Singles Group：夏煊泽 Xia Xuanze、李志锋 Li Zhifeng、陈郁 ChenY u、吴云勇 Wu Yunyong、邱彦博 Qiu Yanbo
[FONT=&]女单组Women's Singles group：唐学华 Tang Xuehua、张宁 Zhang Ning、杨代明 Yang Daiming、韩晶娜 Han Jingna、陈天宇 Chen Tianyu
[FONT=&]男双Men's Doubles：张军 Zhang Jun、 王伟 Wang Wei、陆亨文 Liu Hengwen、于洋 Yu Yang、谢中博 Xie Zhongbo
[FONT=&]女双Women's Doubles：刘永 Liu Yong、陈其遒 Chen Qiqiu、贺向阳 He Xiangyang、潘莉 Pan Li、潘攀 Pan Pan
(Mixed Doubles not mentioned)[Also not sure if the Yu Yang and Pan Pan refer to the women's doubles players or coaches of the same name]
By the way, Zhang Ning is on six-month maternity leave after giving birth; I supposed she'll be back coaching next June 2013.[/FONT]
According to my observation over the last few months, I can't see golden era is going to end soon. Master Tang has left the team. He is currently in charge of a top class badminton school in china. His goal is to bring up more lin dan like players for the chinese team.
In men single, the only person can challenge the chinese team is lee chong wei but he is a 30 year old man who was just married. I think it will be quite difficult for him to keep up with what he did over the last two years. Over the last few months without Lin Dan, the man to beat in men single is Chen Long. I predict Chen Long's game will go up further and win more titles this year. Last year, the chinese team put a lot of effort to drag chen jin into Olympics at the expense of WZM. WZM was bascially a foot soldier to clear the obstacles for his senior players. After London olympics the situation is different, WZM will be one of the key player for Rio 2016. The chinese team will spend more time and effort on him. To me his talent is the top among the younger players (even above Chen Long). We will also see WZM winning titles this year.
In women single, LXR will dominate for some time with the assistance from her team mate WYH.
In Women double, WXL and YY will continue to dominate. Chinese team have too many talented female double players.
In Men double, I believe a new dominant combination will be formed this year. They just have to find a suitable partner for Zhang Nan. I wonder about Hong Wei.
In Mix double, I think XC and MJ will continue to improve. Without Z/Z they are the team to beat.
Please note that the badminton events should be spelt as follows:
MS = Men's Singles
WS = Women's Singles
MD = Men's Doubles
WD = Women's Doubles
XD = Mixed Doubles
As badminton fans we should try to convey to especially those new to badminton that we use the right terms.
Please do not take offence.
Some days ago, on a CCTV program, Li Yongbo was interviewed during which he hailed Lin Dan as a national hero in the company of the likes of Liu Xiang, the 110m hurdler, and Sun Yang,the swimmer, among others. http://sports.qq.com/a/20130128/000418.htm
He also took the opportunity to correct a misconception where he previously was reported to have said that winning gold medals is the only yardstick for sporting success.He explained to the interviewer:" Why do you only talk about gold medals, what about national glory and honour? Let me rephrase it,I urge my players to strive towards the raising of the national flag and playing of the national anthem in the arena, as such would anybody still doubt me? So in future I 'll change my statement to - gold medal matters not, I only want to do my nation proud."
The Men's Double coach named Yu Yang (M) is Zhang Ning's ex-husband. Pan Pan used to a women's doubles player.
I remember reading somewhere that Zhang Ning's maternity leave ends in Apr, so I supposed we should see her back coaching in May, just in time for the Sudirman Cup.
Pan Pan is Xu Chan's wife, i think, right?
I think still far to judge that CBA's golden era in sight. In each tourney they participated, seems they always take more gold than any country.
And i have question, where are ZQX, XH, CXJ, LX, are they have very serious injury or get degradation ??
Regarding the results, one cannot deny the success of the CHN team in the recent 10 years. In that respect, it is indeed a golden era.
But that is not the only criteria. Some badminton fans, including a lot in China, do find the team's style annoying under LYB. They all play the same style, it is all about nation's glory, there is no sense of freedom or joy. There is less and less respect for the world of badminton or sport.
For me CHN team inspire awe but do also has its flaws ; it do not enhance the badminton world. Perhaps I am asking too much?
Under LYB leadership, CBA got many gold medals.
But CBA lost glory, honours and pride. Ever heard of the Wang XiaoLi story?
As expected in this English-speaking forum, there is apparently quite a lot of misperceptions and misconceptions about CBA. I attribute it mainly to a dearth of Chinese articles published or translated into English in the news media.
At the same time, the situation is aggravated by a number of anti-CHN elements taking every opportunity to misrepresent, misinterpret,miscommunicate, misinform,exaggerate and even distort the truths, often without bothering to check with or at least cite authentic sources of their information or attributing them so that others can judge for themselves. Bear in mind that opinions are not facts.
Take the Wang Xiaoli story fully recounted in the link kindly posted by pcl99 above - for those who can read Mandarin, I urge you to do so and form your own opinion. It was about the news of WXL's grandmother passing away and only told to her after the Uber Cup finals was over for fear that it might affect her performance. Presumably according to the article, the decision to withhold the news from WXL was made by her mother together with and after consulting the government official concerned at the provincial level. Needless to say, the incident was hotly debated in the Chinese social media with severe criticisms or sympathetic understanding shown on either side. It demonstrated how free and open,lively and healthy the Chinese online media at least is today on matters of public interests as far as sports are concerned. As for WXL herself, well, she bore no ill feelings towards anyone and has put the incident behind her and is happily back with CBA playing badminton. Actually this topic was fully discussed before in another thread, I don't wish to revive it here. Personally, I'd much prefer WXL be told of it and for her to decide what course of action to take; naturally, her mother too has her rights and consideration to take into account.
Another example was recently in the CHN Nat'l Team C'ship, Lin Dan out of frustration with himself for mishitting a shot during his match with Chen Yuekun vented it out by throwing his racquet to the floor and was immediately issued a yellow card by the umpire, that's all. But a certain ill-intentioned poster here without revealing the details nor citing his source of information (misinformation?) dubiously wrote:"yes,he answered it with a flying racquet and yellow card yesterday". Well, you know the bad implication and the kind of mistaken queries it provoked until the matter was clarified by simply referring to the report itself. You'd have thought that's the end of the matter but no, the recalcitrant poster not only ignored the clarification but went on to repeat the similar insinuating remark in another thread, good grief!
As I've said, there are nearly twenty million followers on Lin Dan's microblog. If just 1% of them can write acceptable English and join this forum, I'm sure we'll get a fairer, balanced, more representative and clearer picture of Chinese badminton. Don't worry that they'll be all CHN fans and supporters. My impression is they can be outspoken, giving credit where due, criticism where justified; just see how well-received and highly regarded many of the foreign players are in CHN till today, such as Taufik Hidayat, Peter Gade, Lee CW, just to name a few of the better-known ones who together with Lin Dan are regarded in China as the 'Four Heavenly Kings'. Even the commentator, Gillian Clark, herself said she is recognised on the streets and in the taxi whenever she's in China.
To be honest,it very much benefits China when not only they hold themselves to the highest standards and demand the very best from themselves but the foreigners too expects as much from them, and that not just purely in terms of badminton. To CBA's credit, since its inception, she has been fortunate to be blessed with many great talents and characters. Of course, all this did not come about by mere chance but through their concerted efforts, perseverance,dedication and hard work. Without doubt, nobody or organization is perfect; as long as CBA is willing to admit her shortcomings and learn from mistakes whilst constantly consolidating her strong points, she will continue to grow from strength to strength well into the future.
Well, what we don't need is more of "love China thus love CHN team, criticize CHN team means you hate China". It is precisely this equation that the present management of CHN team over-emphasize and is not good for the sport. Beside, I think the style of play in the national training center is becoming more and more standardized. All the shuttlers play alike! Though they all play well
Good reading. Thanks for citing the source and the translation, as always.
Liu Xiang is indeed a national hero. I like Liu Xiang for the same reasons I like LCW. They are respectful of their opponents, be they stronger, weaker or equal; they try their best even when their bodies are full of injuries and strains; they have boldly go where no one from the countries have gone before.
They are real national heroes.