This week, we had the opportunity to watch the Yonex All England Open Badminton 2010 live. I, along with Chia Khuan, Pei Hau, Ivan, and Joel, boarded the six o’clock train to Birmingham.
We stayed at Hatters Hostel Budget Accomodation, which costed only £20 per night! I slept on the upper bunk. The bed is fairly comfortable, but the bathroom…. gosh! There was barely any warm water to shower; imagine yourself, bare in a 2m x 1.5m cubicle , drenched with ice cold water, twice. Not an experience I would like to remember.
This picture was taken on the last day, right before we walked to Nia Stadium to watch the finals. Clcokwise from top; Yi Lyn, Pei Hau, Chia Khuan, Ivan and Joel. I know you can’t see anyone’s face but Yi Lyn’s and Joel’s, but i don’t think it’s a big deal. :p Tian Ji, who stay in the same room (at the bottom bunk), had left for Warwick for Warwick game, and got second in the badminton competition.
Let’s get to the game part:
Friday 12th March 2010; Quarter-Finals
We reached the stadium (the Nia Birmingham) at around 8-ish.
No photographs are allowed in the stadium, probably to prevent any distractions to the players. If any players lose, they can’t blame it on the flashes of cameras, just like if we score badly in our test, we can’t blame it on the constant banging on the flat door at night. There are guards constantly preventing people to take pictures, or even hold a camera in hand. But then again, you can’t catch all the fishes in the sea, can you? I’m one of the fish has been caught several times in the net of rules yet able to escape into the deep ocean.
This (below) is the how crowded the stadium looks, before the England lost a game to another country. After that, half the stadium emptied and we rushed forward for nearly front-seats to watch the nation’s pride .. eerm.. make the nation proud?
Funny, back in Malaysia I couldn’t even be bothered to switch on the tele to watch Lee Chong Wei during the olympics, and here I was, watching him play live. There were many Malaysian flags swinging around, probably as much as China’s, and our population is five times less than theirs. There were about seven flags once, but the picture was blur.
Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia)vs. Shon Wan Ho (Korea)
When Lee Chong Wei (LCW) started playing, you can hear “Malaysia Boleh” echoing throughout the stadium in unison. No surprise. Malaysians memang memupuk semangat cinta tanah air when we’re away from our homeland. In fact, the phrase “malaysian boleh” reminded me of a joke during a Malay tuition session. You see, boleh is a Malay word, when translated to English it’s “can”, which means that if the nation wants to succeed, we need to ask for permission. ROFL. (if you don’t get what I mean, just pretend I never say it 🙂 )
The result : 14-21, 21-14, 21-14 which brings LCW to the semi-finals 🙂
In a separate matches (for men single)
- Peter Gade (Denmark) won the match against Taufik Hidayat (Indonesia) with the scores 20-22, 22-20, 22-20.
- Kenichi Tago (Japan) won the match against Chen Jin (China) with scores 22-20, 19-21, 21-13
- Bao Chun Lai (China) won the match against Lindan (China) with scores 21-16, 18-21, 21-17
and the next Malaysian pair,
Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah
Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan (Indonesia)
the two malaysians were not as “hangat“-ly welcomed as Lee Chonng Wei, poor them. They were even mocked by some Malaysians (pffft) for having a belly. lol. Malaysians lost to the Indonesians, not that badly, I supposed.
When we reached back our hostel, it is way past midnight. And I had an ice-cold shower, the water was probably two degree or less. After that, I couldn’t sleep that night. There’s something about my biological clock that slows down when i’m supposed to sleep in another bed other than my own. Joel was nice enough to accompany me to talk till around three in the morning, though i must have distract him from his assignments.
Saturday, 13th March 2010; Semi-Finals
That morning, I discovered two things about boys. They do camwhore occasionally take pictures of themselves with messy hair and all. And that they do enjoy exploring and shopping as well. We went roaming around Birmingham city. We went to Museum of Jewellery Quarter. There are many antiques display, and I found out that my birthstone is Emerald, though i really wish it were Amethyst.
At around noon, we walked to the stadium to watch the semi-finals. We went early because LCW is the first match! We roamed around for fun. There were many stalls selling fast food and sports accessories. Nanospeed seems to attract my attention. Nanoparticles, nanotechnology.. nanospeed.. nanochips, nano-love.., blah.
Lee Chong Wei vs Peter Gade
where LCW won gracefully with scores 21-17, 21-14
The next match (after lunch) was Kenichi Tago vs Bao Chun Lai. Whoever who is not from China supports Japan, including us. You can hear Malaysians screaming “Tago 加油” . Not sure if Japanese learn Chinese as some of the Korean do, but if he didn’t, for all he know, we could be asking him to lose.
And the craziest thing was, Tago did win with scores 21-16, 18-21, 21-17. Poor Chun Lai, won the olympics champion and not having to go to the finals. 😀
knowing that LCW will be going to the finals with Tago, the rest of the game seemed to disinterest us, so we went to had our lunch at Apres, an italian restaurant, for some specials.
Chargilled Chicken Breast, Sweet Cure Bacon, Gem Lettuce, Pamesan shavings, Garlic Croutons
Tomato sauce, Peking Duck, spring onion, hoi sin sauce, mozzarella
We roam around Birmingham city once more, this time with some pictures taken
a wild guess… Town Hall?
Sis follows us in name, all the way to Birmingham! lol!
and my favourite:
note the reflection on the water? so picturesque.
Sunday, 14th March 2010; Finals
Tian Ji left around seven thirty in the morning for his competition in Warwick, and he mentioned something about hot water in the shower (which is sacred in Birmingham :D) At nine, when i took a morning shower, nothing comes out of the shower head but cold water!!!’
The first friendly match is between the coaches;
I don’t remember which country apart from Denmark and Indonesia.
China vs Indonesia
and China won!
China vs Denmark
and Denmark won!
Lee Chong Weivs Kenichi Tago
the score: 21-19, 21-19
watch it in Planet Badminton
walking up the stage
Malaysia and Japan sharing the winner’s stand.
i think they were about to hug.
that night, we wanted to eat at a famous Malaysian restaurant at Chinatown but it was so packed and we had to leave or we would have miss the train. They had some takeouts from Burger King but i can’t seem to fork out any more money for unhealthy food. We reached around midnight and part our ways.
The trip was unforgettable, you know, with ice showers and all… lol. okay seriously, it really was unforgettable, and no words i could use to describe the immense feeling… that one day I hope I would be able to share.