China's victory was carved out in an emphatic fashion - Lin Dan clinching his first ever win over Datuk Lee Chong Wei in Malaysia, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong failing to win a set and Wong Choon Hann's sad exit from international badminton.
What next for Malaysia?
If heads were to roll, can that transform our fortunes?
Study these facts:
* The Thomas Cup victory in 1992 was the Thomas-Uber-Olympic (TUO) project launched in 1988 coming to fruition. Remember Fang Kai Xiang's appointment, followed by Chen Changjie, Han Jian and Yang Yang? They masterminded Malaysia's victory over China in the semis and Indonesia in the final, with Tan Sri Elyas Omar, as the BA of Malaysia president, strategising behind the scenes and Punch Gunalan executing the plans, with the players delivering on the courts. Making cameo appearances in the 1988 and 1990 finals were a portent of things to come in 1992, whereas our last appearance in the final prior to this year's edition was 2002.
* Malaysia's over-reliance on Chong Wei and doubles specialists Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong is dangerous. Neither Chong Wei nor Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong have ever won a major championship, namely the Olympics and the world championship. Lin Dan and Taufik Hidayat, by contrast, seem to know when and how to win the tournaments that matter! Time to stop glossing over the All England!
* Internal strife that led to secretary P. Ganga Rao's sacking had a slight effect on the team, among them the delay in booking for practice time at the tournament venue.
* Time for Syawal Ismail, Misbun Ramdan Misbun, Zulfadli Zulkifli and Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin to mature and make up for the shortage of singles players in Chong Wei's class.
* BAM is an example of a sports association being helmed by a corporate figure Datuk Nadzmi Salleh but he has admitted that he has had to play ball with the rest of the volunteers and behave like a politician in order to survive...so is it a case of personnel or system?
Loose cannon, in John Travolta's 1970s suit, had the pleasure of interacting with Nadzmi, Rexy Mainaky and Fairuzizuan Tazari two weeks ago in Kafe Sukan
And among the issues discussed were the criticism hurled at BAM
LIN DAN NOT INTERESTED IN BEING WORLD NO. 1
KUALA LUMPUR (14 MAY 2010) – Three time world champion Lin Dan is not interested in chasing the mantle of being the World No. 1 ranking badminton player.
The Chinese ace bluntly told a press conference that the 'world No. 1 status does not interest him at all' as he has gained everything possible as a badminton player.
“I won everything that the badminton world has to offer. I have the Olympic gold, the world championships and the All England plus numerous other titles. What more do I want to prove my worth?,” said Lin Dan after he outplayed current World No. 1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the first singles in the Thomas Cup semi-final against China at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil tonight.
Lin Dan won 21-17, 21-8 to hand Chong Wei his first defeat in 19 matches with the much awaited Chong Wei-Lin Dan encounter lasting 48 minutes.
The win stretched Lin Dan’s wins over Chong Wei to 14 against six defeats.
Lin Dan, however, praised Chong Wei and said: “Chong Wei is the most difficult opponent to beat. He is one tough player to overcome on court.”
He rates Taufik Hidayat and Chong Wei as the best players with whom he would like to be friends with 'although I do not speak much English.'
“I want to be a better friend with Chong Wei and Taufik,” he quipped with a smile. - www.thomasuberkl2010.com
Lin Dan's statement, if one were to dissect it objectively, is proof enough that BAM ought to revise its incentive scheme which currently rewards players based on the world rankings rather the major titles that matter!
Badminton, nonethless, remains a sport that requires our support.
Former South Korean No 1 lady shuttler, Bang soo-hyun, with loose cannon - Hilton Jakarta, 1994
Loose cannon outside the Queen Elizabeth Stadium which hosted the 1998 Thomas/Uber Cup finals