Malaysia Triumphs in All-England

Discussion in 'All England 2003' started by Loh, Feb 17, 2003.

  1. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Messages:
    16,700
    Likes Received:
    873
    Occupation:
    Stock Broker
    Location:
    Singapore Also Can
    At long last, after 37 years, Malaysia won the coveted All-England Men's Singles crown from mighty China. And it was won by "unseeded" Muhamed Hafiz Hashim, the recent Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist, over top-seeded Chen Hong, whom he beat in straight games of 17-14 and 15-10 in 53 min. Tan Aik Huang last won it in 1966!

    Except for the newly-crowned Lee Chong Wei, who was knocked out in the first round by experienced Ng Wi of Hong Kong and second-seeded Wong Choon Hann, who was unfortunately defeated by unseeded compatriot, Yong Hock Kin, 15-9. 15-5 in 40 minutes in the second round, all the other Malaysian players acquitted themselves relatively well. Unfortunate for Wong because Yong must be very familiar with Wong's game, having trained together within the Malaysian camp for years. Yong was himself rather unfortunate subsequently to meet fellow countryman and eventual winner, Hafiz, in the quarter-finals and lost 6-15, 10-15 in 40 min. Hafiz went on to scalp another Chinese, Chen Yu, in the semi-finals with a score of 15-12, 15-12 in 48 min to set up a golden encounter with Chen Hong and made his mark in Malaysian and All-England Badminton history with his illustrious victory!

    As fate would have it, it would have seemed that the Malaysians had "plotted" the downfall of Chen Hong. During the quarter-finals, Lee Tsuen Seng almost defeated Chen when he went down narrowly in three games of 4-15, 17-16 and 11-15 and engaged Chen in a marathon 89 min. And Hafiz's elder brother, Roslin aged 27, added to Chen's "torture" in the semis with 70 min before succumbing 16-17 and 6-15. Therefore, it was left to the younger Hafiz, aged 20, to demolish Chen in a relatively shorter time! Not to demean Hafiz, who has trained very hard after his defeat at the recent Thailand Open and took to the All-England with measured stride and self-confidence. I like his positive mental attitude towards the competition.

    Of particular note is that both the Hashim brothers, Roslin and Hafiz, are actually from the famous professional club, Nusa Mahsuri, where the Sidek brothers esp. Misbun and Rashid, are the chief coaches and certainly have a hand in developing Roslin and Hafiz. When Misbun became the Malaysian Chief Singles coach, the two Hashim brothers were allowed to train together with the rest of the BAM players. Yong was an "independent" player but was also allowed to train in the same camp as he was ex-national player and coach.

    It would appear that Misbun had passed his first test as chief coach with flying colours although the bigger prize is the Thomas Cup. We can't say the same for chief doubles coach, Yap Kim Hock, although his top doubles pair of Chan Chong Ming and Chew Choon Eng, who were surprisingly seeded second, were unfortunate to retire in their first match in the second round owing to an ankle injury sustained by Chew(?). Veterans, Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah managed to qualify for the quarter-finals but lost to first-seeded, Jens Eriksen & Martin Lundgaard Hansen of Denmark, 10-15 and 8-15 in 38 min.

    All said, it seems the lesser the politics within BAM, the better the results. Hope the current situation will continue to prevail to allow the coaches the "freedom" to mould their players and bring back the Thomas Cup to Malaysian shores once more.

    My congratulations to Hafiz and may he continue to train harder and maintain his good form both physically and mentally.
     
  2. Yodums

    Yodums Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Messages:
    973
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanks for the info! Man I wanna see these matches. It seemed as if I missed out big!
     
  3. bigredlemon

    bigredlemon Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,096
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    T.O.
    Interesting strategy... i wonder if Misbun tired him out on purpose. If so, then that explains why he was so eager to have the max amount of players allowed in.
     
  4. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Messages:
    16,700
    Likes Received:
    873
    Occupation:
    Stock Broker
    Location:
    Singapore Also Can
    BRL

    I tend to agree with you on Misbun's "Chinese Wheel Battle" (for want of a better description) strategy although he has no control over the draw. I'm sure Misbun was rather disappointed that the high hopes he has placed on Wong Choon Hann, who defeated Chen Hong at the recent China Open, dissipated into thin air in the second round, when Wong lost unexpectedly to wily Yong Hock Hin. In any case, with an entry of six top-class singles players, Misbun must have calculated that about half of them will be drawn into different halves. As it turned out, Misbun was right on the dot. But it took young and talented Lee Tsuen Seng to start the "wheel" rolling when he exacted blood on Chen Hong during the quarter-finals when he must have tired Chen out in 89 min. It was then Roslin's turn in the semis. and he made Chen stayed on court for another 70 min! Of course, along the way, Ng Wei of Hongkong helped Malaysia's cause by inflicting the longest 91 min. wound on Chen in another titantic 3-game struggle during the second round.

    The "CWB" strategy aims at tiring the enemy out in stages and injecting into him one very potent dosage (Hafiz) at the very last battle so that he could never quite summon enough energy to deal with the situation and therefore, he is destined to lose.

    Not that the Chinese are less intelligent than Misbun for they also fielded six players. Unfortunately, Lady Luck was not present and China saw a slightly uneven
    draw of two players in the top half and four in the bottom half. Of course, this would mean that the Chinese players may have to face each other earlier than if they have less players in the same half. However, strange things can happen at the draw and it was just that Malaysia emerged the luckier and their players somehow acquitted themselves better in general.

    To illustrate the implication of the CWB strategy, Chen Hong was made to stay on court before his final match for a total of 327 min. or 5 hr 45 min - his last two rounds against his Malaysian opponents, Lee and Roslin, perhaps being his toughest! On the other hand, his younger rival, Hafiz, played a total of only 211 min or 3 hr 52 min, almost 2 hours less, which gave him more time to recover. That contributed to Chen Hong's most unglamorous defeat in a mere 53 min by "unseeded" Hafiz.

    I think it was Misbun's other 'subtle' strategy which tilted the balance in Hafiz's astounding victory. Misbun has been directly involved in coaching Hafiz in his own club, Nusa Mahsuri, before becoming BAM chief coach. One of his conditions before accepting the appointment was to ensure both the Hashim brothers are allowed to continue their training under his charge with the national players. All along, Misbun must have held high hopes in Hafiz and took it upon himself to personally groom Hafiz into a world-class player. Not that elder brother, Roslin is not himself talented for he has won many international titles himself and in the second round of this All-England Open, defeated Ronald Susilo, Hafiz's conqueror in the Thailand Open. The fact that Hafiz is able to win the Commonwealth Games gold testifies to his ability. But Misbun himself was a talented player during his youth and should have won the All-England title (he was only a finalist just like younger brother, Rashid) perhaps if he was less controversial and had better guidance. As chief coach, he must have experienced the different personalities of his trainees and their "antics" and "big-headedness" and seen the similarities to his younger ambitions. I think he purposely side-lined Hafiz by not allowing him to compete in the China Open after he lost 10-15 and 7-15 to Singapore's Ronald Susilo in the semi-finals of the Thailand Open in January. Hafiz must have been given a good "lecture" by Misbun and realised he must train harder to achieve his goals. By not being allowed to go to China, Hafiz has one distraction less and psych himself to do well in the All-England with a preparation the found him creating perhaps the biggest Malaysian badminton history for a long, long time! Wong Choon Hann, former World No. 1, and seeded second with a high possibility of beating current All-England title-holder, Chen Hong, whom he defeated at the China Open, went out in the second round with a whimper! What an irony? What could have gone wrong? One is the luck of the draw - in his case, unfortunate, as he met his teammate, Yong Hock Kin. The other could be peaking at the wrong time. Or do you think he took Yong too lightly?

    Let's hope Hafiz remains down-to-earth and with Misbun constantly within his earshot, he is reminded not to be swell-headed and that "practice makes perfect".
     
    #4 Loh, Feb 17, 2003
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2003
  5. Bbn

    Bbn Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,004
    Likes Received:
    2
    Don't have chance to watch match yet, according to Martin Dew in Badders,

    it was all about stroke deception.

    Hafiz himself credited the victory to exploiting CH's weaknesses, probably

    defense, flat strokes which he noticed from CH's game against Lee Tsuen Seng.

    Hafiz 's 3 victories over Ch involved using 3 strategies in different scenarios,

    that speaks sth about his knowledge of strategy.
     
  6. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Messages:
    16,700
    Likes Received:
    873
    Occupation:
    Stock Broker
    Location:
    Singapore Also Can
    Bbn

    Yes it was reported that Hafiz employed more flat and mid-court shots esp. in the second game. Apparently Chen Hong likes higher shots which he can hit or even "kill" with ease. He did that to Ronald Susilo at the Singapore Open finals and left Ronald with no chance. It's the hallmark of an intelligent player like Hafiz to exploit Chen's weakness and not play to his strengths.

    Like you, I have no chance to watch the match yet. I was disappointed that TV Malaysia didn't show it. Maybe they didn't expect Hafiz to get that far! Hope not to miss this final on TV at the earliest opportunity.
     
  7. rejang

    rejang Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't think there was any pre-concieved strategy of a group approach to tacle C Hong by the M'sians. Who can predict the draw and whic player would want to be used as a pawn for the final match?
    The only strategy I believed is the way to play against C Hong. C Hong is a strong attacker but not a very fit player. Remembered his really tortured win against Rosin a couple of years ago in the semis of AE. He has to be treated for cramp on the court side to complete the match against Roslin.
    I think the current crop of Chinese players generally are more attacking-type (maybe with the exception of Bao) and are not particularly fit. A good eg is Xia and also Bao. That would be the area where the M'sians have a distinct egde over them and is capitalising on.
    On another front, Misbun tend to be producing players of great ability mould on his own style. In his heydays, Misbun was more a stroke player, not an attacking one. I remembered the only lethal "attacking" weapon he had was a deadly overhead flick smash. Both his proteg, Roslin and Hafiz are playing the same style as him; more pronounced in Roslin.
     
  8. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Messages:
    16,700
    Likes Received:
    873
    Occupation:
    Stock Broker
    Location:
    Singapore Also Can
    rejang

    If your observation is correct that Chen Hong is not that physically fit, then his having to stay much longer in court to do earlier battle with his opponents would have lessen his chances for victory over Hafiz. As I have noted, Hafiz has had the benefit of almost 2 hours' rest over Chen in this tournament and being younger and supposedly fitter, and also by not participating in the China Open, Hafiz must have a decided advantage.

    I have had the opportunity of watching Hafiz at the Singapore Open and was impressed with his style of play - very efficient with his strokes, which he takes as early as possible and his unhurried footwork. I thought he is more an attacking player than Misbun, whom I have also watched many years ago. Yes, I would agree with you that Misbun is more a stroke player. Maybe Roslin is more like him but I don't think Hafiz is.

    I will have to watch that Chen-Hafiz match to really say for sure.
     
  9. Bbn

    Bbn Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,004
    Likes Received:
    2
    Really surprised that Singapore did not air the match. Maybe Supersports later ?

    I don't think Ch is unfit, remember the match in 2001 against Roslin was 2 hours !

    Neither is Bao unfit, maybe he needs to vary his pace sometimes.

    Against Hafiz CH might have been a bit jaded esp in 2nd set, but it is just to

    emphasise that Hafiz is a very street-wise player who knows enough about the

    game to beat more experienced opponents.He thrives on waiting for the right

    moment,opportunistic may be the word.I think it is good for international

    badminton.Maybe the Malaysian team has learnt a lot from Sun Jun.
     
  10. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2002
    Messages:
    21,081
    Likes Received:
    2,869
    Occupation:
    wannabe badminton phototaker
    Location:
    Outside the box
    Not fit enough.???? sorry guys. These people train very hard and probably play several practice matches a day.

    If top ranked player feels tired, it is going to be mainly mental strain affecting the physique. Not a 90 minute match the day before with 24 hours to recover.

    Loh, you mentioned Hafiz needs to work harder. Always easy to say that. In fact, almost every new coach that coaches the M'sian team says that!!

    Perhaps more fair to say that by not going to China Open, Hafiz was made to realise he can't expect automatic selection to tournaments if he relaxes too much in training even is he is the protege of the head coach.

    I would suggest the term 'work more efficiently on consolidation of strengths and covering weakneses' than the term 'work harder'.

    Just to put my point across on a more academic analogy. A student can spend many hours on a problem and very diligently as well. But if they neglect the other parts of the course, they would still fail even though they 'work harder' ;)

    OR, one can always 'work harder 'on smash technique to get a powerful smash. BUT if other parts of the game are neglected, not much will be gained.
     
  11. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2002
    Messages:
    16,700
    Likes Received:
    873
    Occupation:
    Stock Broker
    Location:
    Singapore Also Can
    For those of you who still have doubts that the Malaysian teamwork has a part to play in Chen's downfall should read wl2172 thread on "Hafiz is an inspiration to us all". For it was revealed that Tsuen Seng, sensing that he would not be able to beat Chen in their QF match, purposely wanted to keep Chen on court for as long as possible to "tire" him out for Roslin and possibly Hafiz in the final. I'm sure Roslin did likewise to pave the way for Hafiz.

    An added insight came from Singapore's Ronald Susilo, who had beaten Hafiz twice before. He said that although Chen is still the more complete player, as defending champion, the top seed and world no. 1, he was under a lot of pressure. Being unseeded and the underdog, Hafiz was very relaxed and was playing as though he had nothing to lose. Susilo said that "the turning point in the final was when Hafiz staved off a 9-14 deficit in the first game to win 17-14. After that Chen just gave up." Susilo had the same feeling when he lost his second round match to Roslin after leading 14-11 and still lost the first game. So, apart from physical fitness, the mental game can have the final say.

    The report confirms that Hafiz has a fast and powerful "attacking" game especially suited to the earlier shorter 7-point scoring system and Hafiz's lack of stamina, which was cited as one main reason why he was not selected for the China Open - so that he could spend time working on his fitness for a 15-point game. Of course, it finally paid off as he demolished Chen. Not that it came easy as Hafiz admitted that he was totally drained by that famous and historical victory. So much so that he will give the Swiss Open a miss and instead to proceed home to a hero's welcome!
     
  12. Bbn

    Bbn Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,004
    Likes Received:
    2
    True. even Peter Gade commented that

    CH gives in easily ie. easily discouraged, even Hafiz noticed that.

    But there were times in other matches when CH had nerves of steel.

    Still room for improvement maybe. There's still the World Champs and Olympics,

    and this time I'm sure Bao Cun Lai is going to be on the way up.
     
  13. rejang

    rejang Regular Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does anyone know if the AE matches are to be boardcast (albeit delayed) anytime soon on TV, satellites or cable in M'sia and/or S'pore?
     

Share This Page