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Newsletter on Indian Badminton October 2007

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INSIDE 1 ARVIND BHAT talks to GUTS about the Czech Open and his newly developed mental toughness

2 Karnataka win South Zone TINE RASMUSSEN: Europe's great hope Editorial: Groom umpires

4 ANUP SRIDHAR Ringside view of how Anup beat Taufik and Hafiz

Arvind Bhat’s title triumph at the Czech Open in September marks a special point in his career. Coming back after a year-long layoff due to injury, Arvind beat a tough field in Prague. A special interview with the champion after his victory. Your thoughts on winning? I lost one year to injury, so I’m desperate to make up. I had a good off season, and secondly, the format is not as demanding as earlier. But it was a tough draw, and it’s very satisfying to have won the title. Mentally, how did you handle the pressures of the tournament? I’m far more cooler now. Earlier I would get excited. I’ve learnt this the hard way – that if I hurry up things, it never works. So even when going to a shop, I should tell myself not to hurry. After I win the match, I continue with this approach – so it’s not something that happens in a day or two. I’ve been doing this since three months. And it’s working. Earlier, I would lose from 15-10, but now I not only win at 21-10, I can win without giving him another point. I think I’ve found the correct mixture, between being cool and aggressive. I got that at the Czech Open – that’s the only thing that was different. It doesn’t work if I’m only aggressive, or very relaxed. (Contd. on page 3)


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Editorial... Guts was an idea that sprang up during the ECA tournament in Indiranagar last month. A few of us talked about the need for a badminton newsletter or magazine that could talk about issues on the circuit. Thomas Kunnath took up the idea seriously and found the sponsors. We hastily put up the content and the newsletter was done in a day, because we realised the Union Bank tournament was round the corner. We will begin with some modest promises. We don’t know how long we’ll be around. We know this looks amateurish, but we wanted to distribute it during this tournament and get the momentum to publishing, hopefully, a more professionallooking product. But the point is that we felt there was no ‘right’ time to start – it was better to come up with whatever we could now, rather than put it off endlessly. One of the issues that we debated that day deserves attention: umpires. Karnataka has long been served by some of the most sincere people in Indian badminton. With the state having a hectic junior circuit, the fraternity could do with additional help. There is urgent need of young umpires who can conduct matches in another five or six years. Perhaps it’s time the KBA thought of grooming young umpires by conducting clinics and encouraging umpiring. Another issue that requires attention is that we need a community that debates badminton. In the world of films or books or theatre, there are active communities that meet to discuss the issues of the day. This enables a culture of seeking fresh ideas and helps us look outside our own narrow spheres of experience.

Quiz Time

Guts - Newsletter on Indian Badminton

October 2007

Karnataka men top zone

Standing (L to R): Vineet Manuel, D. Guruprasad, Arun Vishnu, Ajit Wijetilekk, SDS Krishna. Sitting (L to R): R.B. Ganesh (Asst. Coach), Mohit Kamat, K.R. Dayananda (Team Manager), N.C. Sudhir (Hon. Secretary-KBA), M.S. Nagarjuna (Coach) and V. Amar

Karnataka retained the Men's South Zone Inter State Badminton Championships held at Kakinada from 28th September 2007 to 30th September 2007. Karnataka beat Kerala-(3-1) for Rahimtoola Cup Mohit Kamat bt Sanave Thomas (21-13, 11-21, 21-19). Ajit Wijetilekk bt Y. Arun (21-16, 21-13). Guruprasada & Arun Vishnu lost to Jasil P. Ismail & Sanave Thomas (13-21, 14-21). SDS Krishna bt K.A. Aneesh (21-15, 11-21, 21-16). In Junior Girls Finals Karnataka lost to AP (2-0). V. Ruth Misha lost to Sikki Reddy (15-21, 18-21), G.M. Nischitha & Nitya Sosale lost to Sikki Reddy & Shruthi (16-21, 23-21, 16-21).

Tine shows how it's done Tine Rasmussen’s victory at the Japan Open in the second week of September is perhaps the most encouraging result in women’s singles in a long, long time. Not since Camilla Martin’s World Championships win at Copenhagen in 1999 has a non-Chinese player so dominated a major event by upsetting fancied Chinese players. Indeed, even those who manage to prevent a Chinese whitewash, such as Wang Chen at the Asian Games in December, are actually expat Chinese, and the badminton world was wondering how long it would be before the Red Army would be stopped in women’s singles. Tine’s win might lead to fresh confidence in Europe, and some anxiety in the Chinese ranks, for they would have expected a definite women’s singles gold at the Beijing Olympics. Rasmussen’s astounding run saw her

upsetting four Chinese players in a row, including last year’s world champion, Xie Xingfang, in the final. “It’s an amazing tournament. I had never won any big international tournament before, and winning here, a Super Series, is very special. I had faith I could do it and all the Danish players showed me great support, which helped me get through. Also, having Peter Gade on the bench to support me was great as we are good friends and he knows exactly what to tell me at the right time. Morten Frost, my coach here in Japan, deserves credit for my victory. My coach is usually Steen Pedersen but having Morten on my side made a difference,” said the Dane to On the way to the title, Rasmussen beat Xu Huaiwen, the German of Chinese origin; Jiang Yanjiao, top seed Zhang Ning in the quarters and Lu Lan in the semis.

win attractive prizes

1. When was International Badminton Federation (IBF) formed? 2. Who won the first men's singles official world championship? 3. Who is the current National Men's Singles champion? 4. Name the Indian players who have reached the quarterfinal stage and above in world championships? 5. Name the Indian singles players who have reached the final of the Junior World championship? Please send your answers through sms: 9844546292 or through email: Questions compiled by U. Vinod, Former International Badminton Player

October 2007

Guts - Newsletter on Indian Badminton

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(Contd. from page 1)

Arvind: I'm very fit now

Has the injury healed? How are you feeling physically at the moment? I’m very fit – the fittest I’ve been in my career. It helped that I took a year off, because I had a lot of niggles. The whole season has been excellent, with a title in New Caledonia and now at the Czech Open. I had to play qualifying at both places, so it’s quite satisfying. At the Czech Open I had to play three rounds on the first day, two rounds each on the second and third days. I owe a lot to Vinod Kumar (trainer at the academy). We worked for six weeks before he joined the academy – and they were actually testing him on me. In fact, I took him for two weeks to Hyderabad for the camp as it was a six-week programme. I asked Gopi and he didn’t have a problem, so I took Vinod to Hyderabad. You called this your best ever result. But you’ve had bigger wins, such as over Kenneth Jonassen… I was coming back from injury, and there were a lot of good players in the draw. Beating Chetan Anand in the quarters was good. Usually I relax if I beat somebody like him in the quarters, but this time I kept up the level. I had a tough first round against Koen Ridder of Holland (21-13, 22-20). He is a leftie, moves well, hits hard, just like Jan Jorgensen, whom I beat in the second round (21-9, 22-20). I had beaten him in Turkey as well, but there I didn’t know he was so highly regarded. He even had match point there. After the match Vimal Sir told me that Morten considered Jan a very good player. At the Czech Open I was leading 11-7, then he started playing fearlessly and hitting smashes and started getting good angles. He even had game point at 20-18. Jan is a good player, he moves well and hits hard, but he’ll have to control his emotions. He’s tall and has deep smashes. But it’s hard to say where he will go… maybe in two years he’ll crack the top 20. I don’t know – you can never say. You’re playing with a German club now. How long are you going to be there? I’m now with Neubeberg, it was in the first division earlier, but now it is in the second division. After my one-year injury layoff (July 2006 to July 2007), I played in New Zealand, came back to Bangalore, and flew to Turkey first week of September. I played Turkey, Belgium and Czech. Coming next are Bulgaria and Dutch. I’ll be based in Europe as much as possible. When I started in July I didn’t have a ranking. Now I’m close to 100, so it’s been a good season so far. The club allows me to play international matches – that was part of the deal. When I’m in Munich I play a couple of matches every week, both singles and doubles. I’m playing matches on Saturday and Sunday, so no weekend off, and that’s good.

Message I am very happy to note that Bangalore Badminton lovers are bringing a Monthly Magazine by name GUTS. I wish them all the best and all the cooperation from Karnataka Badminton Assocaition in making the magazine a Big Success. N.C. Sudhir Hon. Secretary Karnataka Badminton Association

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Anup does it!

Guts - Newsletter on Indian Badminton

October 2007

ANUP SRIDHAR was the talk of the World Championships in August. Everybody – former legends such as Eddy Choong, veteran journalists, and even the common viewer – talked excitedly about this 'boy' who had upset reigning Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat and 2003 All England winner and local hope Hafiz Hashim in the pre-quarters. One journalist, who had watched Anup’s mentor Prakash Padukone in his prime, even spoke of the possibility of Anup winning the championships! Watching Anup’s matches from the stands, it was apparent that he had climbed a rung or two over the last six months. The alpha and beta of his game against Hidayat and Hashim were his pinpoint accuracy with his tosses, with which he prevented the big smashes from coming in, and an exceptional defence. Yet another facet to his game that he has slowly worked on his is unwillingness to give in. Against Taufik he trailed in the third game but refused to fold. When Hidayat served at 18-13, third game, there were few in the stadium who believed Anup still had a chance. But it was at this point that Anup showed

his newly-acquired steel. He hung on, engaging the Indonesian in rallies, using his height and reach to retrieve everything that was thrown at him, and crafting points patiently. It was this patience, he said later, that helped him. "I was upset at having lost the second,'' he said. "But at 13-18, I decided to be patient and stay the course". Such was his body language and confidence that

came as no real surprise when he dumped Hafiz in the pre-quarters. He manages to stay in the game even when his opponent takes five or six points in a row; he has developed the ability to steal the odd point and keep the score within range. By the time he faced Lin Dan, however, he had run out of fuel.

Dev S. Sukumar

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Edited by Dev Sukumar. Printed & Published by Dev Sukumar, Biju Prasad, Thomas J. Kunnath. P4, KSSIDC Industrial Area, Mahadevapura, Bangalore. Printed at National Printing Press, Koramangala, Bangalore-560 095.

GUTS - Oct 07  

The very first issue. At the time, we thought it would be a 'newsletter' on Karnataka badminton in particular.