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   Badminton Making a Comeback 追“球”乐: 羽球赛强势回归 Triumphantly returning after two years, the Malaysia Open set off a wave of badminton fever once again. 阔别两年,大马羽球公开赛强势回归,掀起“羽球热”。 This year’s BWF (Badminton World Federation) World Championships were held from 22 to 28 August 2022 in Tokyo. The Malaysian duo of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik defeated three-time champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan (nicknamed “The Daddies”) from Indonesia, claiming Malaysia’s first men’s doubles title at the World Championships. Coinciding with Malaysia’s 65th Independence Day, it was an especially joyous occasion! The excitement of the fans at the World Championships reminded me of the BWF Super 750 Malaysia Open, which I attended not long before. After two years in which many sports events had to be suspended due to COVID-19, this year’s Malaysia Open returned, free of the impact of the pandemic. Badminton is known as the national sport of Malaysia, and the Malaysia Open is one of the major events on the calendar. Superstars From All Over the World Taking place from 28 June to 3 July 2022, the Malaysia Open kicked off at the Axiata Arena in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. To promote the event, the organisers set up giant models of shuttlecocks in various locations across Kuala Lumpur, including the KLCC Petronas Twin Towers, Bukit Bintang, and Bukit Jalil, encouraging badminton fans to check in. Gathering top badminton players from all over the world, the stadium was packed every day with enthusiastic fans, and the atmosphere was electrifying. Even now, I still recall the breathtaking quarterfinals match between Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying and India’s PV Sindhu. Tai’s superb technical ability allowed her to rescue the shuttlecock when it had gone behind her with a backhand, igniting rapturous cheers. Legends of the Game With the various matches whipping up the excitement of fans to a fever pitch, many queued for hours in advance just to secure good seats for the Legends’ Vision Exhibition Match. This one-hour exhibition match featuring four icons of the game: Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei; Taufik Hidayat from Indonesia, who famously completed a grand slam of titles; the generational talent of Peter Gade from Denmark; and South Korean doubles superstar Lee Yong- dae. As they stepped into the arena, the cheers of the fans reached a crescendo. These four badminton legends led a team of young players against another team led by Pearly Tan, Thinaah Muralitharan, Ng Tze Yong, and Shaqeem Eiman, pushing the exhibition match to a thrilling climax. The Malaysia Festival Outdoor Carnival The lively atmosphere in the competition grounds was matched only by the Malaysia Festival Outdoor Carnival, where stalls sold snacks and drinks, as well as various badminton-related supplies and merchandise. The organisers thoughtfully installed a large screen outdoors, featuring a live stream that would showcase matches taking place in the stadium, ensuring that everyone could enjoy their food and badminton at the same time. When the next badminton competition rolls around, why not come down to the arena to experience the electric atmosphere in person? (Translated by Daryl Li) By Lee Shu Qin (Malaysia) 文:李淑勤(马来西亚) 142 popularnews - 29 

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