Saturday, 26 July 2014

Badminton – Glasgow2014

24th July 2014

Australia v Wales

Badminton was one of the few sports I became remotely proficient at during my youth, although it has never struck me as much of a spectator sport.  Therefore I have to say I only pitched up at this particular event at Glasgow2014 for no other reason than I had a few hours to kill between attending sessions of the seemingly infinitely sexier sports of Track Cycling and Swimming.  

Entering the Emirates Arena with five matches already in play was a rather disorientating experience, and it took me a few minutes to work out exactly what was going on; what with the scores from all matches being announced by the umpires a constant distracting backdrop to proceedings.  I knew this to be the group stages of the Mixed Team event, so decided the best approach would be to settle down and concentrate on the tie closest to my seat – Australia v Wales - and to attempt to shut out the rest. 

Sarah Thomas & Oliver Gwilt v Ross Smith & Renuga Veeran

Daniel Font v Jeff Tho

Daniel Font v Jeff Tho

The moment Daniel Font clinches his win.

Carissa Turner v Verdet Kessler

Carissa Turner v Verdet Kessler

Joe Morgan & Nicolas Strange v Ross Smith & Robbin Middleton

Ross Smith leaps.

There was a real contrast between the Australian pairing of Runega Veeran & He Tian Tang who never stopped encouraging each other, and the Welsh partners Sarah Thomas & Carissa Turner, who at times could barely look at each other.

The chaps and chapesses from the Principality certainly did not stint on the effort, but really found themselves sorely outclassed in four of the five matches which constituted a tie.

The exception was a dogged display by Welshman Daniel Font who refused to buckle down to his rather more assured looking opponent Jeff Tho in the men’s’ singles match, eventually winning by two games to one.  This, however, proved to be the only real glimmer of light for Wales in what was a routine win for the Aussies.  Although Carissa Turner certainly made her opponent Verdet Kessler work hard in the opening game of their ladies’ singles encounter.

Whilst, as I said , I did my best to tune-out of the four other ties going on adjacent courts, I could not prevent my attention occasionally wandering to my far left, where a pair of disgustingly fit South Africans were handing out a severe pasting to a brace of distinctly un-athletic looking individuals.  This latter pairing, I discovered, were representing the Australian dependency of Norfolk Island – a tiny outcrop of rock in the Pacific Ocean, home to just over 2,000 souls. 

Now I do appreciate that my own rapidly increasing rotundity means I should not be throwing any stones within my glass house, and I am not one to deny these folks the right to compete in international competition, but………………well, let’s just say the Norfolk Island's men’s doubles team really looked and played like a couple of the arena’s janitors who had got lost.

But hey, that is all part of the fun of The Friendly Games is it not?

The Norfolk Island's men's doubles pairing of Michael Donahoe (left) and Jason Quintal

These chaps (Terry Hee & Danny Chrisnanta) from Singapore looked as if they could play a bit.

The Emirates Arena - Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Emirates Arena - Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Emirates Arena - Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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