“Zhongguodui jiayou (Go Team China)!”
“Thailand su su!”
As a Singaporean watching the game, without our national team playing – they have since been knocked out – it can be really difficult to choose a team to root for, especially when both opposing teams are so good. Should I join the crowd seated around me to support Team China or should I support underdog teams like Team Japan? However, once the players got on the court and unleashed a flourish of shots at each other, all those thoughts just disappear, with the crowd cheering on both opposing teams for the impressive display.
Fans of the Japanese Team. Photo: Randi Ang/ Team Nila
Like any great game, it is never complete without some drama of its own; a heart stopping moment for China’s Sun Yun as her lifeline to stay in the game hung in the balance as the umpire reviewed a shot by Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon that had landed right at the boundary line at match point with a score of 12-20 in the third game.
Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon celebrating her win prematurely against China's Sun Yun in the Women's Singles finals. Photo: Randi Ang/ Team Nila
It was a surreal moment in the stadium with the spectators pounding their clappers to the heartbeat played in the background as the umpire reviewed the instant replay. And in an anticlimactic moment, Ratchanok’s celebration of her supposed win was cut short to her disappointment, with the umpire declaring the shot out of bounds. However, with such a large deficit, Sun Yun was unable to prevent the Thai from driving in the final nail to take home the gold with the final score at 21-18, 11-21, 14-21 (China-Thailand), and also pulling off a hat-trick of winning three badminton Super Series in a row – respectively at the India, Malaysia and Singapore Opens.
Goofy-looking mascots waving to the audience. Photo: Randi Ang/ Team Nila
The last match of the day also did not disappoint, with an intense match-up between the Chinese Men’s Doubles Duo Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan against their Japanese rivals Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda. It was a pairing like David and Goliath, with the larger sized Chinese duo raining down smashes at their more slightly-built Japanese counterparts.
Japanese duo Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda worn out by the onslaught from their Chinese rivals. Photo: Randi Ang/ Team Nila
Forced into defence under such onslaught, the Japanese defence were literally bent backwards to the ground, before collapsing and ceding the first game 21-11 to the Chinese duo. Not to be beaten so easily, Kamura and Sonoda fought back in an astounding rally in the second game with a nail biting finish where both teams were locked at game point. However, it was not David’s day, with the Chinese Duo ultimately besting them again, ending with a final score 22-20. For Fu and Zhang, this victory was even sweeter after being able to finally claim the crown after having it slipped out of the hands in the finals of last year’s OUE Singapore Open.
This article was by Randi Ang, a volunteer with