Adrian and I left Germany on Saturday morning for Birmingham because we decided to fly to Heathrow and take the train instead as it probably saved us a bit of money (since we will not be going to Swiss Open). We booked the train ticket early, so it costed about 15 GBP for a roundtrip train ride to Birmingham, and another 10 GBP to get to London Euston station from London Heathrow. However, it was a long 'journey' as the English would say, because we pretty much spent the whole day traveling. We flew at around 11:30am Germany time and arrived at about the same time in London, as England has a -1 hour time difference. We went through immigrations a little easier, as we flew from Germany so we arrived in Terminal 1. International flights from further places usually land in Terminal 3, where the immigration officers question you endlessly and the waiting times are enormous. When I had arrived prior to Germany, I was lucky to go into the express lane for immigrations, but ended up having to answer why I was going to Germany, which countries are good at Badminton, and I even had to NAME top players, which the immigration officer wouldn't know anyway. However, to give him some credit, it would be tough to make up a bunch of names on the spot. Since I wasn't lying though... whatta jerk :P
|On the train... see the rainbow?|
|Nothing like the Sunday Roast with a drink for 5 GBP!|
|Hey look... Canadians! :P|
Play began on Tuesday, with Derrick and Alex in the Mixed Doubles against Korea. They gave a good shot but fell to the Koreans in 2 sets. Michelle and Alex also had to play later in the day, as they had a bye in the qualifications but lost to England's very own Jenny Wallwork and Gabrielle White. Nicole Grether and Charmaine Reid, also in the qualifications with a bye lost to a Malaysian team. On Day 2, in the Main Rounds, we were treated by a visit by Arak Bhokanandh, a good friend of ours who was working in Vancouver for a while, but he moved back to England for schooling. But it was nice of him to stop by and cheer for us and hang out as well :) Michelle started off the day for the Canadians against Liu Xin of China. Despite losing a very close first set, she came back and took the 2nd set. However, China really picked things up in the 3rd and closed the match. Good effort by Michelle though, as it's really great to see her challenging the better players. It's only a matter of time before she starts pulling off those huge "Double-u's" ("W"). Following her match was my mixed with Grace against Indonesia. We were up against Hendra Setiwan and Vita Marissa, a very new mixed doubles team but consisting of very experienced players. However, I knew that they weren't very interested in playing Mixed Doubles together so it was definitely a match we could win! We started off fairly well, staying close at the interval in the first set. Things soon started falling apart though as they took a bigger lead and ended up closing the first set. We started off well again in the second set, but this time we took a lead after the interval and took that set. Finally in the third, we trailed a bit before switching sides, then things started massively falling apart :( Despite the 3 gamer, we only spent about 35 minutes in the entire match, meaning about 10 minutes per set. That only means short scrappy rallies usually, as I think higher level doubles/mixed play will have about 20 minute sets... so still a ways to go to reach a higher level. Ironically, we get interviewed after the match, despite my protests of "But... we lost?". Special thanks goes to Jennifer Lee for coaching our Mixed match against Indonesia!
|Coach Jennifer Lee with Alex and Derrick|
|Michelle with her coach Jennifer|
|Player's seating area on the left... pretty sad :(|
Last up for the day for Canada was Adrian and Derrick against World #1 Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng of China, also top seeds for the tournament. Despite all their efforts, China had little difficulty defeating them, but Adrian and Derrick played well enough that they had to TRY to win. Even though it was a short match, there were a few good rallies to watch in the match. Click below to see Adrian and Derrick's interview on YouTube.com by the Badminton World Federation!
That was pretty much the end of our tournament, despite play ending at about 2am that night. We spent Thursday training and watching some matches and many of us left Friday to go home because we weren't playing the Swiss Open. Adrian and I took the train back, though the scheduling was a little tight, we made it with a bit of time to spare despite checking in a little later (arrived at the airport about 1.5 hours before departure time). However with our Elite statuses with Air Canada, check-in was quick and security wasn't too bad either. We were in the lounge in no time, but boarding was shortly after. I did manage to eat 3 hot dogs though. Fortunately, I was able to get upgraded to Executive First (business class) so the flight home went quite smoothly :) That's pretty much my 2012 All England experience, so now I'll be home for a while! It will be nice being home long enough to implement a more regular training program as my next planned tournaments will be Peru and Tahiti in April!
Full Results via TournamentSoftware: [2012 All England Super Series Premier]
Matches via YouTube.com/towbsss:
XD R128 (Qualifier): KIM Sa Rang/CHOI Hye In [KOR] vs. Derrick NG/Alex BRUCE [CAN]
WD R64 (Qualifier): Jenny WALLWORK/Gabrielle WHITE [ENG] vs. Alex BRUCE/Michelle LI [CAN]
WS R32: LIU Xin [CHN] vs. Michelle LI [CAN]
XD R32: Hendra SETIAWAN/Vita MARISSA [INA] vs. Toby NG/Grace GAO [CAN]
MD R32: CAI Yun/FU Haifeng [CHN] vs. Adrian LIU/Derrick NG [CAN]
That's all for now! I'm planning to do something special for the Badminton Canada Players Association though! I hope to have it done before Peru and released at the beginning of April... so stay on the lookout for that! Meanwhile, I'll see if I can blog about other things... we'll see ;) Thanks for visiting!