Sunday, August 14, 2011

Red Clean Sweep of Gold at Wembley

With the 2011 Badminton World Championships acting as a trail event for the 2012 Olympics we had a good indication of where most of the medals for Badminton in 2012 will be going – to Asia and in particular most of the Golds will be heading for the hosts of the last Olympics, China. The ray of hope for the rest of the world where the GB pairing of Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier – the only Europeans to make it to the finals, the Dane Peter Hoeg Gade was the only other non-Asian to make it to the semi-finals… Being 20th seeds in the mixed doubles the team GB members did remarkably well – powering through their semi-final, but then themselves being over powered in the finals by the number one seeds – who completed a deserved clean sweep by the Chinese, for only the third time in the history of the championships.

I’m not sure of the events value to the Olympics as a trial run – semi-finals day didn’t appear to be sold out, and even on finals day the dominance of players from outside Europe meant not all the seats where filled…

<Rant Warning>

There was also the usual farce of inconsistent policy on cameras – the posted notices at the entrance where that as long as your lens was less that 6 inches you would be OK – and the notice displayed on the main screen clearly only asked for their to be no flash photography during play – but the venue had printed “absolutely no photography” on the tickets and hadn’t taken down venues standing notice for music events that photography in the main arena, even with camera phones, was prohibited. Many of the staff had also clearly not been told the correct policy for the event… With the large number of tourists from all over the world going to be present in 2012, the stated sensible policy that the Olympic team have communicated of any camera, as long as the lens is less than 6 inches, being allowed, needs to be consistently communicated – and the stewards properly informed of it…

From Badminton World Championship Semi-finals 2011

I’m really hoping that the policies adopted by Wimbledon, Twickenham and Wembley Stadium (at least for football) will be more widely taken up – allowing SLRs with sensible small to medium sized lenses will improve the quality of pictures of events – there are going to be pictures no matter what – these days every phone has a camera – some actually quite capable and it simply isn’t practical to ban them or prevent their use as cameras! So lets make the pictures that portray the events as well as possible…

</Rant Warning>

Anyone lucky enough to have been allocated tickets for the Badminton during the Olympics is in for a treat – it was one of the most entertaining racket sporting events I’ve spectated at. Even travelling at 290+ KPH the shuttle was always clearly visible and the skills and reflexes display incredible – continually returning a barrage of smashes at those sorts of speed was impressive. During one particularly fast rally one play managed to change out a racket with a broken string while his double partner continued defending the volley of smashes… There was also no decent at line calls, which given the speed of the shuttle, must have been difficult to get right all the time  – players even asking for permission for refreshments of the umpire – and occasionally they where declined without issue – even after a long rally…

Lets hope the performance of Adcock and Bankier boweds well for team GB and home advantage can at least see some GB medals.

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