Early Olympics Predictions: Who Will Take Gold?

Discussion in '2021 Tournaments' started by greek_foot, Jul 14, 2021.

  1. greek_foot

    greek_foot Regular Member

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    Good evening all,

    Obviously with all the chaos this past year there are a lot of unkown variables heading into Tokyo this month. Still, now that we know the draw, I'm curious to know everyone's thoughts on who you favor to take gold. I'm not particularly confident in any of my picks, but I'll share my thoughts first and hopefully other fans will join the discussion.

    Cheers!
     
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  2. greek_foot

    greek_foot Regular Member

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    MEN'S SINGLES

    My pick:

    Victor AXELSEN

    Thoughts:

    I know the home crowd will be rooting for MOMOTA, and he certainly was on a tear pre-COVID, but his injury, personal health, and long absence are all cause for concern. I just don't know how much we can reasonably expect from him at this point in his recovery.

    Prior to the draw I was actually favoring CHEN Long to defend his title as I'm a big fan of his new coach LI Mao. If you've ever seen videos of him teaching, you'll know that he has a lot of unique insights and isn't afraid of taking heterodox positions on a number of technical and strategic issues.

    During his tenure, he's helped CHEN develop a more compact and efficient smashing motion as well as improved net play and a more balanced tactical mix of offense and defense. These improvements, along with CHEN's already proven elite defense, in my opinion, give him the most complete skillset in the tournament.

    Still, age and inactivity were already concerns, and now with his challenging position in the draw, I'm no longer picking him as my favorite. LEE is clearly a beast when he's in top form, and GINTING, if he can advance past ANTONSEN, has typically been CHEN's worst matchup, with GINTING being the only player in the tournament with an overall winning record against him.

    So, for me, that leaves AXELSEN. He's been the most active, most successful elite player of the lockdown season heading into Tokyo, and while no one can say his side of the draw will be easy by any means, I do think he'll have a less dangerous match in the round of 16 compared to CHEN, so my pick is AXELSEN.
     
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  3. greek_foot

    greek_foot Regular Member

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    WOMEN'S SINGLES

    My pick:

    CHEN Yufei

    Thoughts:

    Prior to her injury and withdrawal, I was favoring MARIN by a considerable margin. I suspect now most are leaning towards TAI, but even before the draw was announced I wasn't 100% sure about her chances.

    TAI has clearly been more active during the lockdown season and at first glance has an impressive record against CHEN, but in big matches, especially finals, they're pretty much dead even by my count.

    As much as I'm a fan of TAI and her dynamic game, I do feel CHEN's exceptional focus and mental toughness allow her to make more consistent and tactically sound choices in extremely high pressure moments.

    I feel that both CHEN and TAI will have a challenging path to the finals with many opportunities for upsets, OKUHARA in particular will be looking to please the home crowd, but should it come down to the two favorites, I ever so slightly favor CHEN even with her lack of recent international competition.

    They're both sweethearts, and I hope they both play their best, but CHEN has historically played very well under pressure, and I think the domestic competition and training opportunities within China will have been enough to keep her game sharp.
     
  4. greek_foot

    greek_foot Regular Member

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    MEN'S DOUBLES

    My Pick:

    ENDO/WATANABE

    Thoughts:

    They're an elite pair with home court advantage, recent international success, and in my opinion, a tactically favorable draw.

    Among the top seeded pairs on their half of the draw, they seem to be the most successful in handling SUKAMULJO/GIDEON, who, even after their long absence, still seem to be favorites according to media I've seen.

    The other half of the draw, at least to me, seems to be a bit more dangerous, though regardless of who emerges, I still favor ENDO/WATANABE.

    Interestingly, CHEN Long recently said that he favors SETIAWAN/AHSAN to win it all. I guess we'll see.
     
  5. greek_foot

    greek_foot Regular Member

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    WOMEN'S DOUBLES

    My Pick:

    MATSUMOTO/NAGAHARA

    Thoughts:

    With the Korean, Japanese, and Chinese pairs not competing head-to-head for such a long time, along with Indonesia being forced out of the most recent All-England, there's a lot we really don't know.

    FUKUSHIMA/HIROTA seemed to be the slight favorites pre-lockdown, but MATSUMOTO/NAGAHARA have been in good form most recently, will enjoy home court advantage for most of the tournament, and seem to have a fairly comfortable group stage draw.
     
  6. greek_foot

    greek_foot Regular Member

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    MIXED DOUBLES

    My Pick:

    WATANABE/HIGASHINO

    Thoughts:

    ZHENG/HUANG, Dechapol/Sapsiree, JORDAN/OKTAVIANTI, WATANABE/HIGASHINO all seem to have a fair chance at gold, while also having a fair chance of getting upset early based on their several most recent major tournament results.

    Pre-lockdown and on neutral ground, I would probably favor ZHENG/HUANG based on them generally being the most consistent, but WATANABE/HIGASHINO will enjoy home court advantage and have been in good form most recently, so I'm going with them.
     
  7. rhoder

    rhoder Regular Member

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    Interesting picks. I find it too difficult to predict given the lack of recent matches but I’d give a few thoughts.

    MS: I think it’s too close to call. I think Momota will in all likelihood be very rusty, coupled with the pressure, I think he has a high likelihood of underperforming. Axelsen is the favourite in the top half imo as long as the coaches provide him a good mental foundation in his match against Momota. For the bottom half, I think Antonsen or Ginting are the most likely to make it through to the finals. Chen Long has not shown any evidence of being a more offensive player that he needs, Chou is just a consistent player that lacks an extra gear for major games, and in my opinion, Zi Jia’s AE win is a just a one time phenomenon due to lack of match fitness of the other more established players, they will be better prepared for him this time. Regardless, I agree that Axelsen has the highest chance of taking it.

    WS: Chen Yufei is the clear favorite imo. Good draw + demonstrated mental strength in major tournaments. I’d be surprised if she doesn’t get this one.

    MD: Too close to call. Group stages can easily spring surprises, I’m expecting upsets. Setiawan/Ahsan I think is the most prone, the Koreans are really good defensively. I can’t pinpoint any pair with any degree of certainty.

    WD: Lee/Shin. Du/Li isn’t that tough to get past in their group, whereas Group D is tougher although Chen/Jia and Kim/Kong are very good. The Japs tend to crumble under pressure, and they lack a flexibility in their gameplay. This time the pressure is greater than ever.

    XD: Zheng/Huang. Only pair that have a legit chance to beating them when they play well is Jordan/Oktavianti. But the Indonesians have the toughest group stage with Yuta/Higashino. Zheng/Huang are clear favorites imo. Yuta/Higashino are technically inferior to the Chinese pairs, I don’t think they really stand a chance honestly.
     
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  8. greek_foot

    greek_foot Regular Member

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    I like your picks as well. For men's singles, I do hope you're wrong about LEE's future prospects as I think he could bring a lot of excitement to the field, but of course his consistency against a full draw of elite players has yet to be proven. Unfortunately for me, as a fan of CHEN and his camp, your point about his attacking game is well taken - developing new skills is one thing, applying them in critical moments is another.

    For women's doubles, you also make a very interesting point about perceived home court advantage. For some players it might actually be a burden depending on their mental state, so if LEE and SHIN are really out to kill, being on the away team against a disfavored regional rival could actually work in their favor.

    For mixed doubles, I also think you're right about ZHENG/HUANG, assuming they're in respectable form they should still be considered favorites. Still, for me, WATANABE seems like the type of energetic young player that gets a boost from the crowd, but I'm also subject to fan bias as WATANABE's defense on the men's doubles side is one of my favorite things to watch as a spectator.
     
  9. CzechKronner

    CzechKronner Regular Member

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    My predictions:
    SF1: Momota Vs Shi Yu Qi 2:0
    SF2: Antonsen Vs Chen Long 2:1
    Finals: Momota Vs Antonsen 2:1

    I think Momota will play better than he ever has. He'll be faster than all the other players and will finally win Gold which he should have already taken in Rio if Japanese Badminton team wasn't so silly.
     
  10. vozer here

    vozer here Regular Member

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    silly because doing the rule? I adore them for that
     
  11. Mark A

    Mark A Regular Member

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    I like Endo/Wata for the MD, personally, and Momota is hard to resist for MS.

    Chen YF's eas(ier) draw puts her ahead for me, but Tai can never be counted out.
    But it's not gonna be Marin - *chortle.

    XD is, to me, the most interesting one - Jordan/Okta, Sapsiree/Dechapol, Zheng/Huang, Wata/Higa, Seo/Chae... pretty much any of them are capable, at their best.
     
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  12. Yoji

    Yoji Regular Member

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    MS : Axelsen vs Antonsen/Ginting
    WS : ChenYufei vs Intanon ( its unlikely TTY that make the Final) with that goes the top 2 seeds
    MD : Li/Liu vs EndoWata / ShettyRR
    WD : I havent picked this yet
    XD : my picks are Yuta vs Praveen / Seo . Any 3 of these who win , id be happy.
     
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  13. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    removed poll. due to 1) lack of coverage of potential winners in MS. 2) mismatch with content as only covering MS. Basically, a poorly thought out poll which is better not be there. ;)
     
  14. rhoder

    rhoder Regular Member

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    I like Watanabe’s chances more in MD than XD. Higashino is not good enough to support him in XD, and his lack of power is a big problem when Higashino can’t defend anywhere as well as Endo as a partner. Naturally a fan would hope he can go far in both disciplines, but I’d rather he perform his best in MD, he has a good draw there. I’d be very very surprised if he can snatch a win over either Chinese XD pair.
     
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  15. Yoji

    Yoji Regular Member

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    Playing against double Right Left combination will be interestin
    Playing against double Right Left combination will be interesting for EndoYuta, its probably why their advantage is neutralised and H2H is equal against both Denmark and Russia pair. Watanabe has to be at his best.
     
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  16. Nine Tailed Fox

    Nine Tailed Fox Regular Member

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    Crazy Picks for Gold

    MS : JoJo Christie
    WS : Michelle Lee
    MD : Ahsan / Setia
    WD : Du/ Li
    XD : Ponappa/ Reddy Sai
     
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  17. Baddyforall

    Baddyforall Regular Member

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    Lol. What is this?.
    I hope you aren't mocking those predictions.
    Where does Ponappa/ sai reddy(?) come from?
    They didn't even qualified.
     
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  18. Airos

    Airos Regular Member

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    If anyone get all 5 gold+ 5 silver + 5 bronze predictions correctly, then that person deserves a gold medal itself.

    In fact, even guessing all the finals correctly(gold and silver) deserves a silver medal.
    And guessing all 5 champions (gold medal winners) correctly deserves a bronze medal.

    However, the prediction has to be finalized before each player has played their second match.
     
    #18 Airos, Jul 22, 2021 at 6:09 PM
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021 at 6:14 PM
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  19. greek_foot

    greek_foot Regular Member

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    To be honest, this past year was so crazy I'd be impressed if any of us can guess even half the results correctly.:D
     
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  20. CLELY

    CLELY Regular Member

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    It's really really tough to make prediction here in this abnormal pandemic situation because only few tournaments to gauge player's performance prior to Tokyo OG even CHN shuttlers had been absent in 16 months since YAE 2020.
     
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