Senior shuttlers shine Down Under

(From left) Team Baddies shuttlers Fang,Chan, Ong, Sim and Tan with their bronze medals from the 13th World Chinese Badminton Team Championship in Melbourne.

Veterans bag bronze at badminton tourney in Melbourne

THREE Malaysian veterans showed grit and skill by clinching the bronze medal in the 13th World Chinese Badminton Team Championship (WCBF) men’s doubles 65-69 age category.

Seasoned shuttlers Chan Wan Seong, Ong Then Lin, US-based Malaysian Stephen Tan, Singaporean Victor Sim and Kiwi David Xu Fang formed one of the two WCBF New Zealand teams called “Baddies”.

Ong and Sim are the reigning 2023 BWF World Senior Championships men’s doubles 65-69 champions, while Chan was the men’s singles 60-64 age category two-time bronze medallist in the 2017 and 2015 BWF World Senior Championships.

They managed to reach the semi-finals but lost to the eventual champion NZ65M1, which was the other WCBF Kiwi team at the tournament.

The championship was held last month at the Altona Badminton Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

It was open to players in the 35-70 age groups, and attracted participants from China, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

In the team event, groups of four played against each other in a 60-point scoring format where a player from each team would then swap on a rotational basis with fellow teammates after that team scored 15 points first.

Chan hits a return during a training session at Selangor Badminton Association Hall in Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur.Chan hits a return during a training session at Selangor Badminton Association Hall in Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur.

Whichever team reached 60 points first won the match.

During the men’s doubles 65-69 age-group semi-finals, Team Baddies had an intense contest with Team NZ65M1 consisting of notable players such as Singaporean Foo Kon Fai – the reigning 2023 BWF World Senior men’s singles 65-69 champion, and Indonesian shuttler Arnold Dendeng – the 2019 BWF World Senior men’s singles 60-64 champion.

Chan said Team Baddies was trailing team NZ65M1 in the first 45 points, and its last pair narrowed the gap but eventually lost 55-60 in the semi-final.

Chan added that the unusual scoring format put tremendous pressure on teams.

“If the first two pairings trail their opponents by a wide margin after the first 30 points are scored, the next two pairings have to score more points to catch up and reach 60 points,” he said.

“It was a rather fascinating experience playing under such a scoring format as it is akin to a 4x100m relay where the two strongest players should play the first and fourth legs.

“Despite the tough competition, our team is quite satisfied that we won the bronze medal, although the luck of the draw did not favour us.”

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