Monday, January 21, 2008

Malaysian Open 08

By the time you read this, the Malaysian Open (or should I called it Super Series?) will be all over and Lee Chong Wei had been crowned champion for the 4th time.

Nevertheless, this post is about my experience watching badminton live for the 1st time.

Me and my friends (11 of us in total) went to catch the quarterfinals held last Friday in Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil. We bought the cheapest tickets available (RM18) for a seat on the upper tier of the stadium. Usually, I just pay RM1.20 for a teh tarik in a mamak stall and watch the big screen if I want to catch some badminton action.

The experience is certainly different.

From the upper tier we had a good view of all 4 courts but everything looks tiny from above. The mixed doubles matches started 1st. Obviously, nobody was interested. Most of my friends were busy gorging down pieces of KFC during those matches.

Look at the empty seats during the mixed doubles matches

Stands now full during the match involving Wong Mew Choo

Next up were the women's singles matches involving Wong Mew Choo against some Japanese gal. This is what we came to see. I mean Wong Mew Choo, not the Japanese gal ; ) We cheered and screamed for the duration of the match. When she won, the entire stadium erupted in joy. The atmosphere is electrifying!!

This is taken using my phone so it's kind of blurry

Lee Chong Wei versus Simon Santoso is next. The match is less exciting because Chong Wei dominated from the start till finish. The crowd was behind him and he won in straight sets.

After that came the women's doubles matches, the perfect time for a toilet break. Many of the spectators were apparently thinking the same too because the stadium became half empty during that time.

Ah Mok & Tze Quan pays close attention to the match involving Japanese women's doubles for some 'special' reason

For the men's doubles, we managed to sneaked into the more expensive lower tier. The view was so much more clearer.

I almost can touched them. Almost....

We even saw this uncle, the head cheerleader of the Malaysian team you often see on TV.

We were able to watch closely how the 2 Malaysian pairs lost so easily to their opponents. In one of the match, during the rubber set, Tan Fook-Wan Wah was actually 0-11 behind their opponents. How pathetic! The crowds were streaming out and I don't blamed them. Still, we stayed on to watched till the end of the game.

Actually, we stayed on to avoid the crowds & as a bonus managed to get a pic of Wong Choon Hann with Chandra Wijaya.

All in all, an enjoyable experience. Hopefully, our players will have better luck in the Olympics and Thomas Cup. Time to start praying guys.....

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