August 14, 2011

There will probably never be another like him

An hour ago the world watched as Lin Dan picked up his fourth World Badminton Champion title, the same time millions of Chong Wei supporters cringed, sadding-ed, slumped and so on. It was a damn close fight, Chong Wei winning the first set 22-20, dropped the second at 14-21, and was on the verge of becoming our country's first ever world champion at 20-19. Alas, Lin Dan made sure he wouldnt be finished off and turned the tables on Chong Wei to win 23-21.

I really do take my hat off to Chong Wei for the brilliant (although admittedly slightly imperfect) game he played tonight, and still managed to hold his nerve in the final set right up to the last points, but perhaps he just cracked a little too much and allowed Lin Dan to take advantage. Otherwise, he definitely deserved to win the title.

It wouldnt be so painful if Chong Wei still had a few years left in him, but now aged 29, at the peak of his fitness level, with news and speculations going around that he may retire after the Olympic Games next year, there may not be another great player that can fill in his place. Just look at the next generation of players, i.e Chan Kwong Beng, Liew Darren, and the mens-doubles-players-whom-I-have-no-idea-what-their-names-are, they've never made any sort of impact that says "Watch out world, we're still here to fight". Have you ever noticed almost every tournament is about depending on Chong Wei (and perhaps Kien Keat-Boon Heong), and nothing about rising youngsters?

There was once a time when Malaysia's football team was also a force to be reckoned with when the likes of Mokthar Dahari, R. Arumugam and Soh Chin Aun took to the field. What has happened since then?

The exact same thing may very well happen with badminton. We once had Wong Choon Han, the Sidek brothers, and now Chong Wei. Given the current condition of our back-up shuttlers, I cant help but wonder will the same fate befall badminton?


“I may have lost the opportunity to become the country’s first champion but I am coming back. I will be back in 2013 to get it right,”

Lets hope he does~

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