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Friday, March 31, 2017

Malaysia Open 2017 Blog/vlog

The Malaysia Open this year will be held not in Kuala Lumpur but in the Kuching, the island of Borneo.

This time, I will try to vlog about it.

Videography seems like a challenging trade, but very exciting as well.

Combining being a director, actor, producer, cameraman and editor...

But definitely I continue to blog using photography.

Travelling light, I will probably bring a gimbal to stabilise my videos.

Previously Bangkok,  I was using handheld shot which results in severe camera shake. Will try to stabilise the shots using a monopod as well.

A cameraman videotaping the event using a pro camcorder, in Bangkok.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Badminton Holiday Bangkok, Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters 07-12 February 2017

I have just returned from Bangkok, watching the Thailand Masters at the Nimibutur Stadium.

The stadium is located in the sports/stadium cluster. There is the BTS stadium called National Stadium.

Below are the views, shot from the Holiday Inn Hotel's top floor.

                                          Picture 1. The indoor stadium, where the game was held

                                          Picture 2. The track and field stadium

                                         Picture 3.The main stadium

Centrally located at the Pathumwan area, the Stadium is next to the famous Mah Boon Krong or MBK.

Tickets cost 200 Baht for quarter-finals and 400 Baht for semi-finals.

The stadium is dimly lit with the main lights focus on the courts.

There is also tight security where policemen and policewomen will check your bags after you pass through the metal detector.
Picture 4. Policeman manning the entrance to the seating area

There is a Yonex booth, media booth and history booth.

                                          Picture 5. Yonex booth

Local Heroine, Ratchanok Intanon was spotted signing autographs and taking photos with fans during the semi-finals.

The Yonex booth displayed latest gears like racquets, bag and clothes.

The latest, Duora Z-Strike was available at the booth as well.

However, the price is retail price and I did not buy anything. Besides the Thai sports shopping street is just behind the stadium and prices are much lower.

The stadium is a bit old, but it is well maintained though.
                                         Picture 6. Layout of the stadium

The atmosphere was quite lively as other Thai athletes came in a group, singing and chanting,'Thailand! Thailand!" accompanied by drums and dancing.
                                         Picture 7. One of the colourful Thai supporters

Surprisingly, the stadium is so near the hotels that the players were seen walking to the stadium on foot. Besides after the game, many players can be seen going to MBK and Siam Paragon.

Although less lively than the Indonesian Open at Istora Senayan, badminton watching in Thailand is an interesting experience. The Thais are very polite, well organised and respectful of opponents.
                                          Picture 8. Thai player doing the 'Wai' to the supporters and spectators.

All in all, my first experience watching badminton in Thailand. Of course, a great holiday, which I thoroughly enjoyed; combining eating, shopping and watching badminton.

Here is the mini movie I made about the trip. I realised that I still need a lot of experience/skill to edit a proper vlog. My editing and story telling, will need improvement, though.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Race to Dubai 14-18 December 2016

The last month of the year, December is on us.

Hence all good things must have a closure.

The points accumulated through 2016's Super Series, Grand Prix and others...will pit the top 10 ranked players in the world for a Super Series Finale.

The competition will last 5 days from 14th-18th December at Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai, UAE.

This is the third time in a row for Dubai to hold the Super Series Masters Final.

Geographically, I need to fly there to watch the game.
Ruefully, I was able to watch the 2009 and 2013 Super Series Masters held in Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur respectively in Malaysia.

If I remember correctly, with all the top 10 players in the world, I had ample opportunity to take photos and obtained autographs from the players in the stadium.

Checking the price of the hotel and flight, may not be worth it for me, perhaps All England or Japan Open will be on my radar as I attended the Super Series Masters before in Malaysia.

However, I applaud that Badminton Super Series Masters is getting good exposure as it is held in the Middle East, ideal geographically for European players and Asian players.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Lin Dan two time...r...(champion)...

A shocking news reported and uncovered by Chinese netizens.

Lin Dan admitted to having an affair with a model while his wife Xie Xingfang was pregnant.

I thought as a two time Olympic champion he didn't have two time his wife...

I also did not realized Lin Dan is two years younger than his wife.

Well, I guess if you are as famous as Lin Dan in China, getting laid is easy even if you are married.

Ref: 1.http://www.thestar.com.my/news/regional/2016/11/17/lin-dan-affair-badminton/

What do retired professional badminton players do after hanging up their racquets?

 I was staying in a hotel at Kota Damansara KL and spotted two familiar faces smiling back at me.

Wait, it's ex national player Lee Wan Wah and Chan Chong Min.

Haven't seen them in the badminton stadiums for ages.

Spotted the large poster, where they are marketing the Fleet brand racquets - Wan Wah wrapping his left hand around Chan Chong Min in a bromance embrace.

Apparently, I did not follow their post professional badminton careers.

Upon further research, they open some badminton courts with other ex-national players and doing coaching for a living.

References here: 1. 
I visited their Sunsuria pioneer badminton hall.

It is next a indoor soccer court. Courts are rubberized mat with good lighting.

 I did not bring my racquets and didn't get the chance to play with the locals.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Shirt throwing insult-A new way to piss off your opponent

Granted it's not easy to get your opponent's shirt and able to toss it onto the floor while your opponent watching the act...

That's exactly what Jan Jorgensen did in a semi final match between Malaysia's Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin. Jan Jorgensen gets to throw away a shirt with a Malaysian flag printed on it onto the floor.

What seem like a minor incident became a national/personal insult. Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin felt disrespected and insulted, by the act of tossing aside of his shirt by Jan O Jorgensen.

Nationalistic Malaysians will feel that mr. Jorgensen acted like he defeated Malaysia and the symbolism of the act sure felt like the victor tossing aside the defeated. That's what happens when nationalism gets involved-National pride at stake.

Jan O Jorgensen offered an apology in his facebook account here.

Is the apology sincere and all is forgiven?

Netizens be the judge.

References:1. NST
                   2. thestar

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

2 dollar or 100 Yen racquet - cheap racquet

I saw a racquet at Daiso which cost 2 Singapore dollars or 100 Yen.

The racquet is pretty basic and cheap. I wonder how would this racquet perform?

If I were to review this racquet I would rate it as 10/10 for value...

The 2 dollar racquet even comes with free shuttle cock.

Grip is pretty slim around G5-G6 in diameter.

Strings are basically fishing net type with 10 lbs tension and flexy shaft.

Imagine if there is a Pro Player Cheap Racquet Challenge, something like DigitalRev's Pro Photographer Cheap Camera Challenge.
i.e. Lee Chong Wei using this racquet in a match.
That would be a cool documentary to shoot.

I actually have the tools to shoot a documentary or a indie film.

I need a cool story though...and the time.