WORLDS 2010 – Taufik gets a second chance

Taufik Hidayat gets a second chance to earn his second world championship crown after his first title in Anaheim 2005.

afa5019Taufik Hidayat will get a chance to earn his second World Championship crown after his first title in Anaheim as the Indonesian brought some of his 2005 form to the semi-final of the 2010 Yonex BWF World Badminton Championships in Paris.

By Tarek Hafi (live from Paris).  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

The Indonesian ace entered the court of the Pierre de Coubertin stadium against Park Sung Hwan from Korea with a fortified confidence built through seven consecutive wins over the Korean player. And it was indeed arduous for Park Sung Hwan in the first game, directed by Taufik’s superb play, as the former World and Olympic champion varied his shots, not even bothered by the Korean’s fast attacking game.

I committed way too many mistakes, which absolutely need to be corrected when I’ll be back in Korea with my coach Li Mao,” admitted Park Sung Hwan afterward.

However the Korean is not one to abdicate and he started responding and decided to be impertinent. Helped by impressive court coverage and much more precise smashes, the world number 16 took an easy lead in the second game and challenged Taufik in his favourite area of the court – the net. The tall Korean was close to pushing the match to rubber game with two game points at 20-18, but the unpredictable Taufik Hidayat turned the tables around to level at 20-all.

Yesterday I had a talk with my coach and he wanted me to finish the game in two sets.  Therefore, even when I was behind 18-20, I was confident and still knew I would win it,” revealed Taufik Hidayat during his press conference.  At that point, the Korean committed easy mistakes that saw the chances of a decider vanish, assuring a ticket to the final for Taufik Hidayat after five long years.

It’s true, it has been five long years since I last won this competition. To be honest, I still target the Asian Games, mainly because the are now held every year.  It’s like any Super Series.  If you lose you can still root for it the following year.  It’s not as prestigious anymore, and if the BWF changes it to once every two years like before, it will be for the best.

The now independent player will confront Chen Jin from China.  At their last encounter, during last year’s World Championship semi-final in Hyderabad, it was the latter who emerged as the big winner in straight games.

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