London 2012: Day 1 – Session 3: Australians’ Fighting Spirit to the Fore

Australia’s Men’s and Women’s Doubles teams went down fighting on the first evening of Olympic competition at Wembley Arena tonight.

Glenn Warfe and Ross Smith faced a tough opening encounter versus the well-oiled machinery of world number two pair, Fu Haifeng/Cai Yun of China.

If the quality of short serving is any indication of nervousness, the Australians maintained their rhythm and put the shuttle into play without service errors and were able to live with the pace of the smashes for most of the rallies until they would occasionally strike it long of the back line.

The second-seeded duo claimed the first game 21-11.

“We played better in the second and we were 17-17 against the world champions. It shows we can perform at a high level but the Chinese played the big points better,” assessed Smith candidly.

The Chinese closed out the match 21-17 but the crowd showed appreciation for the tall Australians’ enterprise in the front and back attacking formation for the majority of the points, keeping their opponents side by side instead of allowing Cai – one of the best net players in the sport – to advance and attack like in the first game.

The Australian women’s should long remember their match against Indonesia’s top pair and world number 12, Greysia Polli/Meiliana Jauhari. Overcoming a slow start, Leanne Choo/Renuga Veeran (featured image) adopted their trademark all-or-nothing game plan which almost paid dividends.

The Indonesians – helped by their opponents’ unforced errors – initially exploited gaps in the Australians’ defence to take the first game, 21-11. Undaunted, the Australians regrouped in the second game as a tighter configuration with both women adept at taking turns executing winners from the rear court and forecourt. They also read their opponents’ movements and Veeran at one point moved forward to put away a Jauhari drop shot.

An Indonesian service fault near the end benefitted the Australians who had seen their four-point lead eroded, but a shuttle Veeran let fall following a long rally was called in on the back line; evening the score 20-20.  Persistence by Veeran paid off as she didn’t wait to be gifted the remaining points but took them instead, ultimately with a winning smash at net to seal the second game 22-20.

Stung by the Australian offensive, Indonesia attacked with new vigour in the decider; Polli squealing with each exertion as she determined to smash through the Australians.

“We prepared for this match against the Indonesians. They changed tactics in the third game and we continued doing the same thing as the second and did not readjust, that was the difference,” reasoned Choo of the Indonesians leading all the way to 21-13 in the decider.

This match was the highlight of the night as the most persons cheered for the underdogs from Down Under.

“The Aussies in the audience were right beside our court and it was like playing at home.  I could hear it and feel it.  (It) gave us such a boost during the toughest points,” said Choo of the watershed match.

Just as the Indonesians had gained confidence by pushing Chinese world number two pair, Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei, to three games in recent months, now the Australians had achieved a similar breakthrough.

 

Olympic and Paralympic News

History-Making Danes Thwart China – Day 6 Session 1: Rio 2016

History-Making Danes Thwart China – Day 6 Session 1: Rio 2016

16 August 2016
London 2012: Day 9 – Men’s Doubles: Careers Complete with Golden Sweep

London 2012: Day 9 – Men’s Doubles: Careers Complete with Golden Sweep

5 August 2012
London 2012: Day 9 – Men’s Singles: He’s ‘Dan’ It!

London 2012: Day 9 – Men’s Singles: He’s ‘Dan’ It!

5 August 2012
London 2012: Day 8 – Women’s Singles : Li Xuerui Repays Country’s Faith with Gold

London 2012: Day 8 – Women’s Singles : Li Xuerui Repays Country’s...

4 August 2012
London 2012: Day 8 – Women’s Doubles: Double Take for Zhao Yunlei

London 2012: Day 8 – Women’s Doubles: Double Take for Zhao Yunlei

4 August 2012
London 2012: Day 8 – Men’s Doubles Semis: Korea’s Loss is Denmark’s Gain

London 2012: Day 8 – Men’s Doubles Semis: Korea’s Loss is Denmark’s...

4 August 2012
London 2012: Day 7 – Men’s Singles Semis: Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei in Golden Showdown

London 2012: Day 7 – Men’s Singles Semis: Lin Dan, Lee Chong...

3 August 2012
London 2012: Day 7 – Zhang-Zhao Tops World of Mixed Doubles

London 2012: Day 7 – Zhang-Zhao Tops World of Mixed Doubles

3 August 2012
London 2012: Day 7 – Women’s Singles Semis: Wang Yihan Routs Nehwal

London 2012: Day 7 – Women’s Singles Semis: Wang Yihan Routs Nehwal

3 August 2012
London 2012: Day 6 – Session 3: Lin Dan, Chong Wei in Semi-finals

London 2012: Day 6 – Session 3: Lin Dan, Chong Wei in...

2 August 2012
London 2012: Day 6 – Session 2: China Assured of Mixed Doubles Gold

London 2012: Day 6 – Session 2: China Assured of Mixed Doubles...

2 August 2012
London 2012: Day 6 – Session 1: Four Countries Eye Men’s Doubles Gold

London 2012: Day 6 – Session 1: Four Countries Eye Men’s Doubles...

2 August 2012
London 2012: Day 5 – Session 3: Great Medal Expectations for Saina

London 2012: Day 5 – Session 3: Great Medal Expectations for Saina

1 August 2012
London 2012: Day 5 – Session 2: Juliane Schenk Crashes Out to Ratchanok

London 2012: Day 5 – Session 2: Juliane Schenk Crashes Out to...

1 August 2012
London 2012: Day 5 – Session 1: Final Bow for European Greats

London 2012: Day 5 – Session 1: Final Bow for European Greats

1 August 2012
London 2012: Koreans’ Appeal Rejected; Indonesia’s Withdrawn

London 2012: Koreans’ Appeal Rejected; Indonesia’s Withdrawn

1 August 2012
London 2012: Four Pairs Disqualified

London 2012: Four Pairs Disqualified

1 August 2012
London 2012: Badminton Players to Answer Charges

London 2012: Badminton Players to Answer Charges

1 August 2012
London 2012: Day 4 – Session 3: Lee Yong Dae Looking to ‘Double Up’

London 2012: Day 4 – Session 3: Lee Yong Dae Looking to...

31 July 2012
London 2012: Day 4 – Session 2: Cordon Creates Continental History

London 2012: Day 4 – Session 2: Cordon Creates Continental History

31 July 2012
London 2012: Day 4 – Session 1: Chinese Doubly Surprised!

London 2012: Day 4 – Session 1: Chinese Doubly Surprised!

31 July 2012
London 2012: Day 3 – Session 3: Korea’s Top Guns Bow Out

London 2012: Day 3 – Session 3: Korea’s Top Guns Bow Out

30 July 2012
London 2012: Day 3 – Session 2: Injury Pulls Poles Apart

London 2012: Day 3 – Session 2: Injury Pulls Poles Apart

30 July 2012
London 2012: Day 3 – Session 1: Olympics Gets Even Better for Sri Lankan Flag Bearer

London 2012: Day 3 – Session 1: Olympics Gets Even Better for...

30 July 2012
London 2012: Day 2 – Session 3: Chinese Focused on Golden Finale to Careers

London 2012: Day 2 – Session 3: Chinese Focused on Golden Finale...

29 July 2012
London 2012: Day 2 – Session 2: Beware the Baby-Faced Assassins

London 2012: Day 2 – Session 2: Beware the Baby-Faced Assassins

29 July 2012
London 2012: Day 2 – Session 1: Brits Going Home from the London Olympics

London 2012: Day 2 – Session 1: Brits Going Home from the...

29 July 2012
London 2012: Day 1 – Session 2: Anu ‘Finnish-ed’ Losing at Olympics

London 2012: Day 1 – Session 2: Anu ‘Finnish-ed’ Losing at Olympics

28 July 2012
London 2012: Day 1 – Session 1: Russians Surprise British Hopefuls

London 2012: Day 1 – Session 1: Russians Surprise British Hopefuls

28 July 2012
London 2012: Weight of Country and Continent on Schenk’s Shoulders

London 2012: Weight of Country and Continent on Schenk’s Shoulders

27 July 2012
London 2012: Lin Dan: ‘I was just an ordinary kid like anyone else’

London 2012: Lin Dan: ‘I was just an ordinary kid like anyone...

27 July 2012
London 2012: Lee Chong Wei takes on ghost of Wembley

London 2012: Lee Chong Wei takes on ghost of Wembley

27 July 2012
London 2012: Another Starry Accomplishment in Li Lingwei’s Brilliant Career

London 2012: Another Starry Accomplishment in Li Lingwei’s Brilliant Career

26 July 2012
London 2012: BWF President Hails ‘Worthy Recognition’ For  Sir Craig Reedie

London 2012: BWF President Hails ‘Worthy Recognition’ For Sir Craig Reedie

26 July 2012
London 2012: Self-belief breathes new life into Kashyap

London 2012: Self-belief breathes new life into Kashyap

26 July 2012
London 2012: Brother and sister create badminton history

London 2012: Brother and sister create badminton history

26 July 2012
Robertson lights up Wembley Arena with Olympic torch

Robertson lights up Wembley Arena with Olympic torch

25 July 2012
London 2012: Cai and Fu: Seeking the missing piece to their collection

London 2012: Cai and Fu: Seeking the missing piece to their collection

24 July 2012
London 2012: Olympic Games LIVE DRAW

London 2012: Olympic Games LIVE DRAW

23 July 2012
London 2012 Lilyana Natsir: The key to Indonesia’s golden hopes

London 2012 Lilyana Natsir: The key to Indonesia’s golden hopes

19 July 2012
London 2012: World Championships bronze inspires Ponnappa

London 2012: World Championships bronze inspires Ponnappa

16 July 2012
London 2012: India’s chief strategist plots London game plan

London 2012: India’s chief strategist plots London game plan

15 July 2012
London 2012: ‘Czech’ out Petr in Opening Ceremony – badminton’s gritty warrior leads country

London 2012: ‘Czech’ out Petr in Opening Ceremony – badminton’s gritty warrior...

12 July 2012
London 2012 Olympic Games Qualification: Li Xuerui’s London calling

London 2012 Olympic Games Qualification: Li Xuerui’s London calling

10 July 2012
London 2012: Malaysia’s golden boy still hunting for titles

London 2012: Malaysia’s golden boy still hunting for titles

29 June 2012