Friday, December 22, 2006

Asian Games- I

I'm back to writing again after a long break. I'm trying to figure out how to manage my time more efficiently so I can find more time to write so forgive me for the delay.
The Asian Games recently came to an end and India did quite well. I'm not too sure about how we did compared with the previous edition in Busan,Korea but I think we were better this time around.
As far as badminton goes, the team championships actually started on 30th November, a day before the opening ceremony. This seemed strange to me but there were some other sports that started on the same day. There were a total of 9 countries in the team championships with 3 groups of 3 teams each. India was placed in Group A along with China and Indonesia! To top it off, the schedule was such that we played both China and Indonesia on the same day! This was extremely surprising considering our creditable performance in the Thomas Cup and Commonwealth Games, specially since the other groups were much easier than ours. But then again, IBF or BWF or whatever it is called now has a history of making clueless decisions so this crazy draw did'nt really surprise me too much.
So, it was China that we were up against on 30th Morning. We lost 0-5, but considering that China won all their matches in the Thomas Cup without dropping a single match, it was always going to be very hard. There were a few games where we came close, with me losing my first game against World no.1 Lin Dan 19-21 and Kashyap losing his second game to Chen Jin 19-21.
Later that day we played Indonesia. Once again we lost 0-5 but it was a much tougher fight than the score suggests. I played first singles against Taufik Hidayat, the reigning Olympic Champion and lost 21-23,16-21. I was extremely close in the first game and really should have won it. I get a little too anxious in the end and Taufik was getting better and better. I was close in the second game as well until 16-16 but then again made a few unforced errors which I could'nt afford and lost it at 16-21.
Kashyap then played a very good match against Simon Santoso and almost won but Simon proved to be better at the crucial points and ended up winning 21-16 in the third game. Both out mens doubles pairs also gave a very tough fight to the Indonesian pairs and lost in 3 games.
I enjoyed playing Lin Dan and Taufik and found that while playing at this high level, I cant afford to give away easy points. It becomes too hard to fight back if I give away even a few unforced errors in a game. Also, its extremely important to be able to keep focused and have a clear mind when the score is close and the game is coming to an end. I found both Lin Dan and Taufik raising their game and playing at a faster pace towards the end of the game, just when they needed to.

The opening ceremony was held the next day on 1st November. It was the first time I was going to an opening ceremony of a Multi Sport event like this since at the Commonwealth games in March, I did'nt attend the opening as I had a match on the next day. It turned out to be very disappointing. All athletes were taken to a gym where we sat waiting for about 3 1/2 hours. There were a couple of big screens where we could watch the ceremony going on in a stadium next door. To be frank, it was pretty boring to watch on the screen, could'nt understand half the stuff that was going on. But it was a chance to catch up with Indian athletes from other sports so it was'nt a total loss. We were eventually led to the stadium where we walked around the stadium once and waited for the other teams to come in. After all the teams were in, there were a few speeches made, not really sure about what but they seemed pretty long cos we were standing the whole time. The fireworks display towards the end of the ceremony was very nice, as expected, so that cheered us up. After the ceremony we were making our way along with all the other athletes to the exit when it actually started to rain. Considering the fact that we were in a desert, it was a big surprise. The rain started off slowly but was soon a heavy downpour. All of us got wet, were led around in circles until we finally spotted the buses and managed to get in. We were all completely drenched in the rain and it was also very cold so it was'nt a happy end to my first opening ceremony. I dont think I'll be attending too many of those in the future.

The individual events started off on the 5th of December and got over on the 9th. I'll write about that in the next post. Hope you had fun reading this one. Please leave your comments!

30 comments:

Wendelin said...

I went to the Asian Games site to look up your results, but man, that site's design sucks, I couldn't figure out head or tail of what to do and where to go for the results (kept coming up with the schedule instead). How did it go? How did you do? No matter what, we're all madly proud of you!

abaddon_67 said...

Hey Anup .. Had read about ur blog in one of the newspapers , and then came across the link on orkut.
Loved the post .. Hope u manage to find some more time to put in your thoughts.

I've been an avid sports lover since dunno how many years. And have always felt cheated whenever India hasn't done too well at the various international events.I've ridiculed,abused,(sometimes praised ) performances by sportsmen like you. But now I realise how wrong I have been all these years. Sportsmen like you rise against the system , with meagre resources , not the best training facilities , minimal encouragement , and still make a name for themselves. Yes .. you probably don't have an Olympic/Asian Games medal to show for all your efforts over the years , but I really appreciate and respect sportsmen of your ilk ( albeit a little late ).

All the best.

devsan said...

Dear Anup,
Wonderful post. Nice to see you writing after such a long time.
Didn't you get my mail? Wishing you a great year ahead... and looking forward to seeing you defend your national title.
I covered the Games for www.badzine.info and Badminton Asia. Do check badzine for the match reports...
Take care.
Dev

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Anonymous said...

Hi Anup, Watched your match against Taufik at the Asian Championships on Youtube.com. You played very well, I agree that Taufik was able to play tight shots and maintain a flat and quick game and was able to control the rally during significant times. Good luck for upcoming tournamets and training, you are doing great!!
Sabarish.

Amit Panhale said...

Anup, I and a couple of other guys are in the process of launching a sports portal. We hope to go online next week.

We would love to get an interview with you for our badminton section.

Please let me know when it is possible. We could do it through mail or even over the phone.

You can mail me confirming your willingness to do this by dropping in a mail at amit.panhale@gmail.com or edit@isport.in.

Thanks and Goodluck.

Mahesh said...

Congrats for defeating Taufik Hidayat today in WC2007. what a match .....I am very much excited.
Thanks
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KAL said...

Congratulations Anup on the stupendous courage and temper you've displayed en route defeating Taufik Hidayat. I know I am saying this on behalf of entire nation: YOU'VE MADE INDIA PROUD. Wish you a great success and would be great if you can drop in a word or two about the match in your blog.

Saral

madhugr said...

Congrats on your win over Taufik. All the best for your next match.

regards
Madhu

PS - Please turn on moderation on your page so that you dont get spam comments.

Ajay said...

Congrats on entering the quarterfinals! You have really made us proud.. Good luck against Lin Dan.

Anonymous said...

well done Anup. i saw you at KL thsi week. all the best for the rest of the tournament. I will watch the match tomorrow for sure when u play the quarters..i work at AFC in KL , but i come from Keral in India . Anytime you come for tournaments , email me at zachariahjoseph@gmail.com

x

Manu said...

Congrats on the performance so far in the world championship. All the best for the next match....

NewZulfi said...

Great man..U did India proud..Congrats for defeating Taufik Hidayat... I am happy that u had entered Quaters..Iam sure it wwill be easy for you to win over Lin Dan.I am one in the billion who wanna see u lift the WC.Keep updating your Blog..all the Best...

Anonymous said...

Hey Anup,

I used to watch Prakash Padukone in Malleshwaram (Canara Union) practice/exercise during the time he won the World Champiionships in 1980/81. I loved all those guys -- Prakash, Syed Modi, Vimal Kumar, the Mallu guy who was a doubles specialist (George Thomas?), etc. We used to regularly check for results in Sportsweek and later, Sportstar.

My point in writing this was to tell you that your victory over Taufiq really sparked some old memories, man. I have always loved the game of badminton though i myself never played it under a coach. As a fellow Bangalorean, I am proud that namma Bengaluru boy is creating ripples. I am excited to see some of your postings.

Really wish you the best and hope Indian badminton gets some much needed coverage. Also, please don't fall prey to overexposure, like P. Gopichand did -- the media took him to the stars and then just dumped him. All the best, man.

Sriraj

Shantanu said...

Hey Anup,

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!

Taufiq is my favorite player in Badminton. His game and the different attitude is very refreshing(Something like Goran Ivanisevic in Tennis)

I was lucky enough to play with you in my junior years. Your win certainly instills the belief in me that we can beat the people who we think are next to god in the field.

Thank you and keep DOing it. Please blog about the game and these emphatic wins.

Anonymous said...

Well done Anup!!! Go for the gold at Beijing :)

Anonymous said...

hi anup :) i met u in d lrt during d world championship..nice hanging out wit u :) shima

zewt said...

good fight you gave there to lin dan. wanted u to win there man.

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Mihir said...

Hi anup, followed your play closely at the world championships this year.
please keep posting, it feels good when a player himself keeps posting about his own performances. your articles make a good read..
all the best.

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Anonymous said...

Halo Mr.Anup!
I'm so amazed by your performance in the World Championships and I was cheering so loud for you at home when you defeated Taufik!!!I actually wish to see more from you in India Open but as I know it has been postponed due to security concerns after bombs killed 40 people in the city.And I hope I will be able to watch you playing in stadium when there's a chance....make sure you let me take photo with you..haha!Keep on the badminton spirit in you and defeat Lin Dan too one day...

Ann
-Malaysia fan-