Monday, August 18, 2008


Being a poor Malaysian, I could not afford to subscribe to Astro. Therefore, I have to resort to watching sports live coverage elsewhere in the public area. I was at Danga Bay last night. There were two seaside eating areas with projectors projecting ESPN and STAR Sports simultaneously. I thought I should sit at a strategic location to be able to watch both Chelsea VS. Portsmouth as well as the Beijing Olympics 2008 badminton men's singles final at the same time.

I saw Deco (underwear), Lampard (guy's family jewel) but no Drogba (owe a hitting) in the starting eleven. The football match started first on ESPN while STAR Sports just shown the final moments of the badminton mixed doubles final and later the medal ceremony. Ordered a drink each and wanted to order some finger food but the guy told us all the fried food cannot be done today because the machine handling them is spoilt. Well, as expected, Chelsea were the better side, attacking and controlling possessions. It was weird to see Deco in the Blues' jersey but he seemed to blending well there. It is as if he had played there for a long time alongside Ballack, Cole, Mikel Obi and Lampard.

Then, there was a stage facing the sea which normally has some really nice singers singing. The screens of the live sport events were facing the opposite direction of the stage. Last night's singers were not that great compared to the ones I heard previously but I love their versatility to sing a wide range of songs, including Black Eyed Peas' My Humps and Madonna featuring Justin Timberlake's 4 Minutes. Nice combinations and it was great. They danced to the beat very nicely too! After that, there was even a Chinese lady singing very old Chinese songs! However, last night's crowds, like me, had to put our priorities right and sit facing the opposite direction to watch the badminton men's singles final.

Yes, you need to do multitasking if you were me. Enjoying your drinks, listening to live performances at the back, watching the Chelsea VS. Portsmouth match on the front left side and the Lee Chong Wei VS. Lin Dan match on the front right side. I think I am just too damn greedy. This is the time when I thought Intel's Core 2 Quad chips will come in handy for my brain. Haha!

Anyway, Chelsea played Anelka alone upfront. I am always a big fan of this big guy and of course enjoyed his many tries attacking Portsmouth's penalty box. I saw big mouth David James there and I declared Chelsea will win big just because of having him in front of the goal! It was not surprising then that Cole opened the scoring, Anelka got the second and Lampard scored from the penalty spot. Deco added his debut goal in his debut match in the English Premier League in the dying minutes. I missed that goal because I had already left after half-time as the 39 minutes to settle the match for Lee Chong Wei had ended.

I did not watch all the matches which Chong Wei played to reach the final. Before the match, many people told me Chong Wei has a good record against Lin Dan. However, I told them this is hosted in China, Lin Dan's territory. It is like going into the lion's den to invite the lion to fight. Lin Dan will have superior home grown advantage and support. I was expecting Chong Wei to have a very tough fight if he wants to get the gold medal.

The final was a tremendous letdown. Chong Wei looked pale, very nervous, very timid, without confidence and only wanted to be there just to play long rallies. He was very slow and at times, given such big opportunities to kill off the ball but he wasted too much time dragging to nail some points. Lin Dan was the opposite. He looked very determined, very optimistic, very confident, very enthusiastic, very energetic, super-charged, very sharp and extremely fast. Chong Wei only managed to expose the left handed Lin Dan's backhand to earn enough points in the first half. Apart from that, he was struggling to keep up with his pace.

After the first set was done, I declared I will order the Tom Yam soup if he could win the second set. I was expecting him to fight ferociously in the second set. This is an Olympics final anyway and you only get this chance once in four years. You should not surrender a final in such tame fashion. I was expecting Chong Wei to fight back to at least win the second set. I thought perhaps the 'wind' or luck was not his at the other side of the court.

I was very disappointed with Chong Wei despite getting the silver. Overall, he did not give Lin Dan any furious fights at all. There was no challenges whatsoever. There was no urgency or determination to win the match. It was as if he was there to lose. There was no threatening moments at all to chase or overtake Lin Dan. No intimidations at all. I don't know how well he played in the earlier matches to reach the final. If I am to just judge the final, he was really not deserving the final at all.

39 minutes. Straight sets. Most backhand weakness shots to gain points. Lin Dan won 21-12, 21-8. He saluted at every side of the stadium to the crowds who supported him. He threw a racket to one side, threw one shoe to the other side and another shoe to another side of the stadium. Those fans who got the Olympics gold medal winning attires of his must be going nuts. Hehe! As for Malaysian badminton, well, please wait at least another 4 years before dreaming of a gold medal.


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