Monday, 16 January 2012

Badminton Live - 14 Jan 2012

We watched the Malaysian Open badminton semi-final in Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil. It's the first time we watched live sport. We arrived at about 5.30pm and saw a steady stream of vehicles at the stadium, as there were two events that night, the badminton as well as a football match. Along the way, we could see stalls outside and inside the stadium selling food, jerseys, horns and noisemakers to help create fun and excitement in the stadiums. We got our tickets very fast, perhaps it was past the opening time of the semi-finals. Only the upper tier tickets were available, which were RM25 and RM20 each for adults and children respectively.

The atmosphere at the stadium was carnival-like - it was a colourful and deafening scene. The support of the Malaysian fans was overwhelming. There was almost a synchronised rhythm from the home fans, cheering and anticipating for their local hero, Lee Chong Wei with inflatable noisemakers, horns, drums, banners etc.

We watched a part of the men's and also the women's doubles. By this time, the kids were quite restless and nobody has any clue of the match lineup. When Chen Jin appeared in the men's singles, the crowd was excited again. But it did not last long as there was a drama in the match when Chen Jin had to retire due to an ankle injury. This was followed by another women's singles match, both from China. The fans were very impatient by now.

Thanks to Chen Jin's decision to concede, we managed to hold the kids till Lee Chong Wei's game at 8.30pm. It was the most anticipated game of the night. He's the only Malaysian who made it to the semi-finals. The atmosphere in the stadium was alive again.

Both Lee and Chen Long were top players and it was an electrifying match right from the start, filled with awesome rallies as both tried to outwit each other for one hour and 15 minutes. Lee led in the 1st game but Chen Long stormed back in the 2nd game. In the decider, it looked hopeless for Lee when trailing 4-8. Perhaps driven by the overwhelming support from the home fans, Lee changed the tempo of his game to go all the way in attack and fought back for a deserving win

It was such a different experience for us to watch it live in a stadium. If you like the sound of a packed stadium, with thousands of rowdy folks cheering and bantering their hearts out, full of emotions displaying support for their local hero and distracting the opponent in every permissible way - then this is the place for you! 

We were exhausted from absorbing the games and atmosphere and could not stay a second longer to see the home fans' reaction of the victory. We had managed to leave the stadium before the crowd dispersed.

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