IHG 14/15: Badminton (M) Prelim 2

Written by: Adila

Edited by: Shervin Lim


I’m not going to lie, guys. When I stepped into MPSH 5 on the 13th of January, I thought to myself, ‘What did I get myself into?’ For all 19 years of my existence, I have never understood the game of badminton, and this marked the first time I was going to watch a badminton match. Or should I say, badminton matches. Either way, I thought I was screwed.

Throngs of supporters from each hall gathered around their athletes, buzzing with excitement as they waited for the Preliminary Round to begin. Before it all started, Lucinda gave me a one minute breakdown on the difference between scoring for the singles and doubles matches. I could not be more grateful. With a pen and notepad in hand, I was all set for the badminton male prelims against Temasek Hall.

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Singles #1: Samuel

First up was a singles match and Samuel stepped onto the court, all geared up and ready to go. It must have been daunting being the first player on court, especially in an intense individual sport like badminton. But Samuel was as cool as a cat, trying his best to return all the hits that were headed his way. After a tough first set, the score was 21-3 to TH.

Picture 1

Ivan and Nelson still trying to figure out the rules of badminton after the first set.

Samuel returned to the court after the break, still determined to play his best. But his opponent was far too agile and experienced, finishing the match with a score of 21-5.

Match Tally: 2-0 to TH (21-3, 21-5)

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Doubles #1: Shi Jie and Zhao Ming

After surviving the first badminton match, I was all psyched for the first doubles match and representing KE were Shi Jie and Zhao Ming. This dynamic duo fought hard in the first set, attempting to counter all the cheap shots their opponents took. Unfortunately, they were unable to keep up with the pace of their opponents and conceded the first set, with a score of 21-15.

Picture 2

“Zhao Ming, please. I’ve got your back.”

After a few minutes of rest, the referee gestured to the players, indicating that the second set was about to begin. Throughout the set, Shi Jie and Zhao Ming displayed amazing teamwork, rotating their positions within the tiny court, and covering for one another. It was such a close match, with the KE pair trailing in the first half, but they fought back and even equalized at some point. However, the TH pair placed smashes after smashes and eventually won the set 21-18.

Match Tally: 2-0 to TH (21-15, 21-18)

*

Singles #2: Ren Wei

Thunderous claps and cheers from the KE supporters continued to resonate within the hall as Ren Wei warmed up for his turn on court. Despite trailing behind the first half of his first set 7-11, Ren Wei kept his composure. He didn’t give up and continued smashing his way to victory, winning the first set with a score of 21-19.

Clearly Ren Wei’s victory in the first set had upset his opponent who was all fired up to make a comeback. His opponents swift and hard strokes somehow always manage to get past Ren Wei’s racquet, and the set was wrapped up with a score of 21-17 to TH.

Picture 4

I believe I can touch the sky~

This was it. The deciding set. Both men were determined to win the match, and they were definitely not going to go easy on the other. I’m pretty sure I was even more nervous watching the match than Ren Wei was playing it. I swear my heart was beating so fast, I thought I was going to get a cardiac arrest. Every time Ren Wei scored, the KE supporters would cheer in victory and every time he conceded, there would be heart-warming shouts of “Jiayou Ren Wei”. After a long battle, the third and last set ended with a score of 21-16 to TH.

Match Tally: 2-1 to TH (19-21, 21-17, 21-16)

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Doubles #2: Zher Yin and Zhen Ning

Zher Yin and Zhen Ning were up next, as the second pair for the doubles match. Yet another inspiring display of teamwork, Zher Yin and Zhen Ning showed that they were not to be taken lightly. They took hits after hits, and tried with all the heart and soul to land their shuttlecock in the opposite half but alas, they had no luck. The first set ended with a score of 21-7 to TH.

Still not willing to give up, Zher Yin and Zhen Ning took the second set in stride. However, their TH opponents took the lead from the very start, and managed to keep it till the end, finishing the set with a score of 21-8.

Picture 5

“Oh no, I forgot to do my laundry!” “Aiya, just don’t wash your clothes lah…”

Match Tally: 2-0 to TH (21-7, 21-8)

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Singles #3: Jin Hui

Finally, it came down to Jin Hui for the final match for the badminton male prelims. After a long wait, it was clear that he was all pumped up for his turn. As the preliminary round drew to a close, scores of people started leaving the hall. All the attention was focused on him and yet he was not deterred. Jin Hui’s opponent left no mercy on him, sending shots that made him run across the court. After a nail-biting fight, TH won the first set with a score of 21-17.

Jin Hui poured his heart and soul into the second match, trying his very best to even out the score. He kept trying to return all the shots, but unfortunately, his opponent was quick-witted and managed to land his shots in Jin Hui’s half. Despite his valiant attempt, the score was settled at 21-11 to TH.

Reach out for the skies, with wings, you’ll soar up high!

Reach out for the skies, with wings, you’ll soar up high!

Match Tally: 2-0 to TH (21-17, 21-11)

Final Tally: 5-0 to TH

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After a whole day spent watching the badminton prelims, I have undoubtedly gained a lot more respect for badminton as a sport, especially for the players. I know for sure I wouldn’t be handle all the pressure if I were to step into the court alone so kudos to all the badminton players and a big thank you to all the supporters who came down!

Photos courtesy of KE Vision.

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