Friday, August 10, 2012

London 2012, from a fan's viewpoint

A diary written by Lee Hui Seng, from the Famemas Malaysian Supporters' Club.

The Lees - Chong Wei and Hui Seng

Goodbye London 2012! We would have been at the top of South East Asia on medals table, but it wasn’t to be. I was ready to celebrate at 19-17 in the 3rd set.

Lin Dan always goes for the kill when he is a few points down. DLCW lost 5 points after a disputed line call. Lin Dan looked troubled by his errors in 3rd set. LCW looked up to where we sat a few times to gain composure.

Malaysian fans were outnumbered by Red Army fans by 5 to 1. Alas, its just a distant memory now. Let's live to fight another day.

And Hello KL, great to be home again! During my one week in London for Olympics 2012, I met many Malaysians in stadiums who have migrated. They may be earning fat salaries there but they still miss home. Cheering for Lee Chong Wei in a stadium filled with Jalur Gemilang flags made them feel even more sentimental.

So, the grass is not necessarily greener there. Every Malaysian fan I met at Wembley Arena gate here complained they can’t buy tickets online or at door. Yet, I see empty seats despite public outrage on unused VIP & sponsor seats. Assurances by LOCOG were not yielding the positive results. Luckily, I got in for some sessions through the generosity of British fans who overbought tickets. How are our fans going to cheer DLCW (Don’t Let China Win)?

Sports is a passion and should be enjoyed by all, near or far. Severe tension also built up outside Wembley Arena for the Mens Doubles semi final Game between Koo Kien Kiat-Tan Boon Heong and World No 1 Cai Yun-Fu Hai Feng of China!

What impressed me about London 2012 was hordes of volunteers consisting of doctors, lawyers, elderly and students, stationed in every street corner. You won't get lost in London... Volunteerism at London Olympics 2012 here is just top class!

Every volunteer I met, goes all the way to make us sports tourists feel so welcome indeed eg. crossing road or giving directions to venues and Games info despite having pink signboards everywhere. If we are going to organize Olympics Games anytime in my life time, I wonder if we can get all 27 million Malaysians with 'Satu Hati' to share the same fire, passion and voluntary spirit.

DLCW (Don't Let China Win) has singlehandedly in one night, succeeded in uniting all 27 million Malaysians where politicians of all divide failed. All races, ages, political and professional backgrounds, even foreigners here, cheered for DLCW. He won all our humble hearts and shall be cherished for many years to come in our living memory.

 I was wearing Tiger T-shirt in London streets and a British woman stopped me in the street and said to me.. 'LCW is best'

 I suggest to parade Lee Chong Wei in an open top double decker bus around KL and Penang City Centre (his hometown). It will generally sum up people's current mood towards his heroic London Olympics Final act against Lin Dan... Owners of residences and houses on main London streets and roads leave their front gates open overnight. Here, a neighbour will call me in the middle of night to remind me to lock these gates, if I have forgotten.

Great British pastimes inside trains: do a Sudoku puzzle to tease the brain. Or read a book. Or try to read a newspaper in a packed train, while standing up, and after folding it into four pieces. Then leave it on seats after disembarking for next person that boards train. The typical British train is like a library..

Steps to improve public transportation in Malaysia: lessons from London 2012: Increase frequency of trains to reduce waiting times. Have coffee expresso kiosks at various locations in stations for commuter convenience.

There’s no rubbish bins anywhere in stations due to terrorism risk, Yet stations are so clean due to regular cleaning by platform cleaners every 10mins.

Train operators allow bicycles to be brought into trains for those who wish to ride train and cycle to work in city, to reduce environmental pollution and carbon footprint Cycle lanes in Hyde Park, London are exclusively for Boris bikers. (concept named after Mayor of London).

You will be shouted at if pedestrians or cars go in their way. Here, the reverse is true!:-) Iconic, but that’s how you would describe the derelict Battersea Power Station on River Thames edge, as seen from British Rail train from London Victoria to East Croydon stations.

Said to be bought by a JV Malaysian consortium comprising SP Setia Bhd &  Sime Darby Bhd, who beat Chelsea Football Club boss Abromavich to it. It remains the same shell structure since 1980s and has brought me sweet memories. Pink Floyd played a concert on the rooftop in the 80s.

                                                         The Battersea Power Station

Now it has Malaysian interest in it for a proposed development project that will change the landscape of London London 2012

Diary Footnotes:

Departed KLIA to London Heathrow with Malaysian 400m Woman Hurdler Noraseela Khalid, High jumper Lee Hup Wei,coach Jorge LuIs Alfaro and a MAU official Arrived at London Heathrow safely with Athletics team, Noraseela Khalid and Lee Hup Wei.

                                                                    Upon arrival

Stayed in Croydon, South East London, Joined Londoners at BT London Live Olympics at Hyde Park, complete with 4 large screens of the Games action. Had hoped more tickets would be put on sale due to public outrage on empty stadiums. Met many friendly volunteers at Heathrow airport and Underground stations to sort out first day problems. Biasalah...

Malaysian Secretariat members were also at airport. Its like back to future and a homecoming..revisited some nostalgic places in Croydon. Certain places there haven't changed 19 years!

1 Aug: 9.45am Lin Dan bt Taufik.12.30pm Jan Jorgensen lost to Lee Hyun Il. 3pm Lee Chong Wei bt Simon Santoso 21-12,21-8. 3pm Diving-Bryan Nickson & Huang Qiang, 8th with 405.09 pts. 5pm,Peter Gade bt Shon Wan Ho. 5pm Chen Long bt Wong WK. 5.45pm Chen Jin bt Mark Zwiebler.6.30pm Kevin Cordon lost to Sho Sasaki.

8pm,walkabout- Big Ben,London Eye, Horse Guards Parade, Beach volleyball venue, Chinatown. Retire for day at East Croydon Yay! Yay! Managed to buy a ticket from a British fan who can't come, for Lee Chong Wei vs Simon Santoso Round of 16 game at 2pm (Malaysia time 9pm on Wed 1 Aug).

Tickets were sold out on London 2012 website, no ticket booth at venue, only for collection. And not gonna come thousands of miles all the way here just to watch in hotel on BBC TV, Hyde Park 'Live' big screen or You Tube website.

Need to cheer Lee Chong Wei all the way to nothing less than historic first Gold Medal for Malaysia.LCW and Malaysia Boleh!

My London Olympics Diary on Thurs 2 Aug: Badminton, Wembley, 9am-11am, Men Doubles QF. 9am Koo KK-Tan BH bt Isara Bodin-Jongit Maneepong (Tha).9am,Cai Yun-Fu Hai Feng bt Chai Biao-Guo ZD. 9.45am Mohd Ahsan-Bona Septano lost to Chung JS- Lee YD.9.45am Fang CM-Lee SM lost to Boe-Carsten.

1pm,visited an old friend Mr Ho JT at Cricklewood. 5-8pm,Men Singles QF. 5pm Lee Chong Wei bt P Kashyap, Chen Long bt Gade. Lin Dan bt Sho Sasaki, 6.30pm Lee HI bt Chen Jin

BBC Top news on 2 Aug: 4 badminton Women Doubles pairs were disqualified. China asked its players to publicly apologise. Indonesia says its players were wrong and hope it won't happen again. Bigger scandal is players are pushing blame to coaches, saying they were 'under instruction' to lose. Incident is a terrible shame to world badminton & could affect badminton's inclusion in next Olympics.

BWF say they will review Group Stage play.

 Malaysian athletes' action at London Olympics 2012 on Fri 3 Aug: Archery, St. Johns Wood, Men Individual, Khairul Anuar Mohamed won, 9am, R16. Badminton, 13.30-5pm, Men Singles Semi Final ,Lee Chong Wei beat Chen Long, Mixed Doubles Final. Track Cycling,at Velopark, Stratford, 4pm-7pm, Keirin, Women, Fatehah Mustapha. Malaysia Go Go Go..Malaysia Boleh! (all UK times).

On Day7, London Olympics 2012,Great Britain got 6 Golds to bring total to 13 Gold. 3rd in medal table behind USA (26 Gold) & China (25 Gold). My darling athlete is adorable Jessica Ennis who won Woman Hepthalon. GB did well in rowing, track cycling eg Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Bradley Wiggins.

British loved her dearly; so much coverage of her on BBC.I have never seen such display of patriotism among public. Bring kids to stadium to expose them to sports. People display flags wherever they go,in parks, stadiums, pubs, trains

Malaysian athletes in action on Sat,4 Aug: 9am-12pm, Men Doubles, SF,Koo Kien Kiat-Tan Boon Heong lost to Cai Yun-Fu Hai Feng.Diving,3m,2.30pm,Semi, Women Ind. Cycling, Men Sprint, Azizul hasni Awang, 10am, Qualifying, 1/16 Final.4pm-7pm, 1/16 Final, R16, Finals. Malaysia Boleh! Malaysian athletes in action on Sunday, 5 Aug: Badminton,9-11am,MS & MD Bronze Medal Match,1-4pm,Men Singles & Men Doubles Gold Medal Match. Diving, 7-8.30pm, 3m Springboard Individual. Final. Cycling, Men Sprint,Azizul hasni Awang, 4.30-7pm,QF & Finals. Malaysia Boleh!

1 comment:

HSKAMAL said...

LCW lacked the killer instinct when it matters most.
Leading the 3rd set at 19-17 was the turning point, instead LCW applied the wrong approach by playing base and net which resulted in his defeat.

Imagine, if LCW went for attacking instead? I can assure the Malaysians LCW would have backed the gold.

Why the wrong approach and who to be blamed?