USA Made History in 2005 IBF World Championship Men's Doubles Source: BadmintonCentral.com Author: Kwun Han Today USA Men's Doubles pair of Tony/Howard made badminton history by beating Candra/Sigit in the 2005 IBF World Championships finals in 3 games. Read on to find out more about the game and my reaction to the historical win. Before today if you tell your badminton friends that USA can win the World Championships, they may think that you are completely out of your mind. However, today many badminton fans, including myself, have been rendered speechless. USA pair of Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach played brilliantly in the WC finals against legendary players Candra Wijaya/Sigit Budiarto (INA). A powerful Bach mainly handled the attack at the rear court while a completely refreshed and improved Tony Gunawan put enormous pressure on Candra/Sigit at the front of the court. The lethal combination has toppled one pairing from Malaysia and Denmark, and two top pairs from Indonesia to rise to this year's crown, solidly proved that it wasn't merely a lucky affair. The crowd in the Anaheim Arrowhead Pond was one of the best that one will ever find in the western hemisphere, with the whole crowd chanting "USA! USA!" against a smaller group of Indonesian supporters. I have rarely seen badminton fans so emotionally engrossed in a badminton match, and for sure never seen anything close to that in the USA. During the press conference, Candra and Sigit clearly showed their disappointment with their lost, and while this is the second time in a row they lose in the WC finals, they showed their sportmanship as they cheerfully congratulated their former close teammate and buddy Tony Gunawan for their win. It was a heart warming moment when Tony hugging Candra/Sigit as well as Indonesia head coach Christian Hadinata after the win. Howard Bach also ran into the audience stand to hug his mom for the longest amount of time. This local boy worked all his life for badminton, and today he got his recognition for it. It has been mentioned numerous times by Badminton Central Forum members that a big win by the USA team is needed to lift the status of badminton in the USA. While everyone thought that it was an improbability, today it happened. Only time will tell if this becomes the launch platform of badminton popularity in the USA. I am sure all badminton fans who have been frustrated by the lack of popularity will hope this will be so. Tony has said numerous times that his goal is to raise badminton's status in the USA. He have played badminton from 5 years old and badminton has been his life for the last 25 years. He has won all the championship that most badminton players can only dream about. Now he is fighting to make badminton a popular game in the influential country the USA, which may be his toughest match so far. Personally, it took me a while to digest what happened tonight, words like "stunned", "perplexed" regularly popped up in my head. Despite so, the reaction was probably due to a conflict between reality and my predictive system prior to the World Championships. And I believe that is understandable. I can tell that other reporters in the press room showed similar reactions in their faces. However, after watching all the matches that Tony/Howard has played, where they nearly anniliated all their opponents before the final and passionately fought in the final despite trailing in the 3rd game, I really think that Howard/Tony truely did outplay all their opponents and they truely deserved their 2005 IBF World Championship. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE USA TEAM! GO USA!! GO BADMINTON!!