Commonwealth Games Introduces Badminton22 February, 2018
The first Badminton tournament to be held within the framework of the British Empire and Commonwealth Games was an undoubted success, if one is to rely on the general consensus of opinion.
After four days of play England emerged in the possession of three gold, two silver and two bronze medals; Malaysia obtained two gold, two silver and one bronze success. They were the principal winners, but additionally Canada secured a silver medal and India and Scotland each a bronze.
As is well known, the 8th Games were held at Kingston, Jamaica, during the first fortnight of August, and the Badminton tournament took place in an excellent specially constructed hall which cost half a million pounds! Normal play in Jamaica had usually been in the open air, but of course this was anything but desirable for such an important event. The specially built National Arena was also used for wrestling after the Badminton tournament was completed.
Eleven nations entered the Badminton tournament for which there was a restriction of four men and four ladies from each country. This of course had the effect of severely limiting the numbers, so that only 54 players' names actually featured in the draw sheets. But those 54 included some of the world's best, for all the countries naturally treated the tournament with the importance which it deserved.
Four courts were used, though the beautiful hall could easily have accommodated as many as twelve without any trouble at all. Hova courts were available by kind co-operation of R.S.L. and most effective movable stands surrounded them.
Apart from the countries successful in winning medals, there were also teams from Australia, Jamaica, New Zealand, Singapore and Wales. Bahamas had also entered but withdrew for some rather obscure technical reason.
Jamaican heat was something which those from cooler climes found very trying. On the opening day of the tournament the thermometer registered 98 degrees in the hall, and on other days it was even higher. It was clear therefore that nobody could be asked to play more than one round of singles in any session, and if at all possible not more than one other match as well. I had been invited to act as the referee of the meeting, and the various team managers were in full agreement with my suggestion that there should be a 5-minute interval between the second and third games of any match if any of the players wanted it. There was no instance of such an interval being waived!
The four days were each divided into afternoon and evening sessions, the times being fixed in accordance with the necessary programme for each day. Between sessions the interval of about two hours was utilised by all concerned to go back to where they were living in order to get a meal.
At was to be expected, the Malaysians rather dominated the men's singles. Their two top men, duly seeded to do so, reached the final, and the All-England champion, Tan Aik Huang, duly collected his expected gold medal without loss at: a single game. He was always in command of all his matches, and at times he was even able to indulge in the luxury of slight let-ups as the fancy and the heat dictated. Yew Cheng Hoe, his final opponent, also got to that stage without undue trouble. He is of course an immaculate stroker of the shuttle, but Tan Aik Huang was a little too good for him.
Seeded to reach the semi-final were yet another Malaysian in Tan Yee Khan, Wembey's conqueror of Erland Kops, and the Indian, Dinesh Khanna. The latter reached the penultimate round pretty comfortably, though England's Roger Mills gave him a very good run in the second game. Tan Yee Khan fell in the last eight to the Scot, Robert McCoig, in quite an exciting match.
Before those two came to grips, however, Tan Yee Khan was in severe trouble in the first round against the Singaporean, Omar Ibrahim, and it was only the interval which saved the Malaysian, for he had indicated when throwing the second game that he was far from well; he was suffering from food poisoning. By the evening he was feeling a good deal better as Colin Beacom discovered. The latter had eliminated the very promising Canadian, Rolf Paterson.
McCoig's Fine Play
In the third round Tan Yee Khan met his Waterloo against McCoig who can never have played quite so well. He was clearly the master of the Malaysian and never more so than when he found himself 5-13 down in the second game. The Scot had a well deserved game in hand, so most of us thought that he made a mistake in not conceding that second game. But McCoig was ever a fighter and be probably knew that he could outlast his opponent in the end. So he plodded on and finally reached 13-all at one stage it quickly became clear who was the fitter man when Tan Yee Khan declined to set. That was all the encouragement which McCoig needed and he soon ran out to record his best victory on the singles court.
After losing the semi-final to Yew Cheng Hoe, McCoig then tackled Dinnesh Khanna on the following day for a bronze medal. He again did well, but the errorless play of the Indian was such that the Soot could not overcome it, though the match was far closer than the score might indicate.
The other two Englishmen, Tony Jordan and David Horton, fell in the first round. Neither is at his best at singles, and both were probably wise in conceding the fact that they had better chances of success in the doubles events.
There was one astonishing first round match which saw the at one time unexpected demise of the New Zealander, Richard Purser. He was up against the seeded Indian, Suresh Goel, to whom he had narrowly lost in the All England. Purser might have won in two games; in the third he stood at 14-7 up but failed inexplicably to score another point. This was the nearest to defeat which any of the eight seeds came before they met one another.
The Ladies' Singles
In the 21 entries in the ladies' singles, three of the four seeded were English, the exception being the tall Canadian, Miss Sharon Whittaker, who had twice within the preceding few months upset Miss Ursula Smith. All four reached the semi-final round without particular difficulty though Mrs. Horton had her moments of trouble in disposing of the acrobatic young Canadian, Miss Jean Humber.
Having got over that hurdle, Mrs. Horton came very close to beating Miss Whittaker, and it is only due to record that she was beaten by he heat as well as by a physically stronger opponent. The English player held on until quite near the end of the match which saw her in quite an exhausted condition, so much so that she was clearly still suffering from the strain in the evening session some hours later.
Miss Angela Bairstow appeared to revel in the heat, rather than the reverse, and she never appeared to be other than heading for victory in any of her matches, except when opposed to Miss Pat Espley, another young Canadian, who rattled up the first four or five points against England's number one in such rapid time that it was quite staggering.
In the final Miss Bairstow was rather too good for Miss Whittaker and actually beat her in two games in a shorter time than it took England's two men's pairs to settle only the third game of their bronze medal match. Previously Miss Bairstow had beaten Miss Smith in a match which showed her to be undoubtedly the superior player, particularly in the conditions.
Miss Smith would probably have preferred to fight against Miss Whittaker for the bronze medal and thereby to have endeavoured to revenge herself for two previous defeats, but this was not to be, and she recorded her expected victory over Mrs. Horton.
Unexpected Doubles Winners
With Malaysia providing both final pairs, and England both losing semifinalists, the mens' doubles lacked international competition in the closing stages. This was a great pity, of course, but the last matches had their climaxes.
The result of the principal match was quite staggering in that never previously can Ng Boon Bee 'and Tan Yee Khan have played so badly or combined so poorly. They made mistake after mistake against their compatriots, the two singles finalists, in what was quite a poor match considering the identity of the players.
In contrast, the bronze medal struggle between England's two pairs went on and on, as already indicated. They must have been on court for well over an hour, and the destination of the two medals (which counted only as one in computing the overall successes in the Games) was only decided after the score of the third game had reached 17-all. So, Horton and Beacom, both out of both other events, had a one-point scrap for a medal! Beacom was unlucky in being the only English player to come home empty-handed.
Both English pairs reached the final of he ladies' doubles, and here Mrs. Horton and Miss Smith triumphed, the former and her husband together thereby acquiring one medal of each sort. The two young Malaysians, the Misses Rosalind Ang and Teoh Siew Yong, captured the bronze honours from the equally young New Zealanders, the Misses Alison Glenie and Gaynor Simpson. Athletic ability and sheer determination to prove that Malaysia had some girl players as well as men won the day for them. They had previously disposed of two other pretty strong pairs.
The mixed doubles finished surprisingly in the defeat of Jordan and Mrs. Horton at the hands of Mills and Miss Bairstow in a very gruelling final which one feels was decided by the few extra years carried by the losers and the extreme beat of the evening. Jordan was particularly done up at the end even though it was his only match that evening. However, the winners did play well and one must not detract from their success. And it was quite remarkable that neither, at any time during the tournament, appeared to be troubled by the heat.
It was in this event that the only seeding upset occurred. This was when M. Henderson and Miss Dunglison of Scotland fell to the elder Paterson and Miss Whittaker of Canada. Rolf Paterson showed himself to be a fine doubles player, though Mills knew a little more about the mixed game in their semi-final clash, and be did have the better partner. Of the other English pairs, Beacom and Miss Smith struggled to defeat against Henderson and his partner, and Horton and Mrs. Rogers went down rather surprisingly to the other Paterson and Miss Daysmith of Canada in two games.
The winners proved no match for the enthusiastic McCoig and Miss Ferguson, who later, and most deservedly, brought some honour to Scotland by a convincing bronze win over the top Canadian pair.
Pleasing all concerned, not only the players but also those who gave of their time on the organising side, was the remarkable attendance of some 2,500 spectators on the final evening.That the programme placed before them was appreciated was left in no doubt at all. It was the first time that world class Badminton had been seen in Jamaica, and one may be sure that the inclusion of Badminton in the Games in Jamaica must result in that relatively small country becoming another hotbed of the game.
The General Organisation
As has been said before, the hall was most capacious, and the courts were all surrounded by really excellent stands which, being movable, literally very easily, enabled them to be placed so as to surround only two courts after the second day's play. The lighting was not perfect, however, though quite adequate; it consisted of fluorescent lighting running in strips over and beyond the length of the courts, though not always down the middle of them.
But a big feature of the overall organisation was the ready co-operation of so many of Jamaica's players who provided many of the umpires and all the linesmen. Every match throughout the meeting had its full cohort of linesmen whose organisation was a great credit to those responsible. The latter were Messrs. Tai Ten Quee and Frank Parslow, both of whom had kindled so much enthusiasm into the Kingston fraternity that umpiring and lining practice had been going on for many weeks in advance of the Games. Several umpires had also come from England, and the experience of Messrs. F.E. Hinchcliff, A. Mutch, C.G. Cookson and I.E. McEwan was of great value. Another umpire, Mr. John Robinson, had travelled all the way from New Zealand to render equal assistance. There were many other people, too, all willing to give a hand and undertake responsibility for something or other, once they knew what it was. But Badminton was new to these Games, and the overall Jamaican Games organisation was naturally rather in the dark as to Badminton's requirements in such a big way, so that outside the hall some inexperience had to be overcome.
RESULTS - 8th Commonwealth Games
(A) Australia; (B) Bahamas; (C) Canada; (E) England; (I) India; (J) Jamaica; (M) Malaysia; (NZ) New Zealand; (S) Scotland; (Sing.) Singapore; (W) Wales.
* denotes seeded entrant
MEN'S SINGLES (32 players)
First Round: Tan Aik Huang )* beat K. Turner (A), 15-8, 15-4. N.M. Natekar (I) beat K.L. Palmer (J). 15-5, 15-3. W.B. MacDonnell (C)* w.o., P. Ball (B) retired. Yeo Ah Seng (Sing.) beat D.O. Horton (E) 15-7, 15-4. Dinesh Khanna (I)* beat D. Bennett (J), 15-4, 15-3. E.M. Paterson (C) w.o., I. Davis (B) retired, R.J. Mills (E)* beat D.B. Higgins (N.Z.) 9-15, 15-7, 15-1. P.A. Seaman (W) beat M. Henderson (S) 15-9, 7-15, 15-13. G. Robotham (A) beat R.D. Roberts (J) 15-5, 15-9. R.S. McCoig (S)* w.o., K. Parker (B) retired. C.J. Beacom (E) beat H.R. Paterson (C) 17-14, 1510. Tan Yee Khan (M)* beat Omar Ibrahim (Sing.) 15-12, 1-15, 15-7. H.R. Jennings (W) beat A. Garcia (J) 15-8, 15-5. Suresh Goel (I)* beat R.H. Purser (NZ) 5-15, 18-13, 17-14. Y. Pare (C) beat A.D. Jordan CE) 15-3, 15-6. Yew Cheng Hoe (M)* w.o., J. Briers (B) retired.
Second Round: Tan Aik Huang beat Natekar 15-5, 15-10. MacDonnell beat Yeo Ah Seng 15-9, 15-12. Dinesh Khanna beat E.M. Paterson 15-1, 15-4. Mills beat Seaman 15-6, 15-1. McCoig beat Robotham 15-4, 15-9. Tan Yee Khan beat Beacom 15-7, 15-4. Goel beat Jennings 15-3, 15-2. Yew Cheng Hoe beat Pare 15-10, 15-8.
Third Round: Tan Aik Huang beat MacDonnell 15-10, 15-6. Dinesh Khanna beat Mills 15-3, 15-11. McCoig beat Tan Yee Khan 15-7, 15-13. Yew Cheng Hoe beat Goel 15-8, 15-10.
Semi-finals: Tan Aik Huang beat Dinesh Khanna 15-6, 15-12. Yew Cheng Hoe beat McCoig 15-10, 15-7.
Final: Tan Aik Huang beat Yew Cheng Hoe 15-8, 15-8.
Bronze Medal Match: Dinesh Khanna beat McCoig 15-8, 15-7.
LADIES' SINGLES (21 players)
First Round: Miss J.E. Humber (C) beat Miss G.J. Simpson (NZ) 11-2, 7-11, 11-9. Mrs. J. Twining (A) beat Miss C.E. Dunglison (S) 11-2, 11-5. Miss Teoh Siew Yong (M) beat Mrs. B. Tai Ten Quee (J) 12-9, 11-6. Miss R.S. Ang (M) beat Mrs. K. Nesbit (A) 11-6, 11-5. Miss A.L. Daysmith (C) beat Mrs. P. Laman (J) 11-1, 11-0.
Second Round: Miss S.A. Whittaker (C)* beat Mrs. W.C.E. Rogers (E) 11-6, 11-2. Mrs. C. Bennett (J) w.o., Mrs. D. Ball (B) retired. Mrs. D.O. Horton (E)* beat Miss Humber 11-5, 12-10. Miss Teoh Siew Yong beat Mrs. Twining 11-4, 11-4. Miss Daysmith beat Miss Ang 4-11, 11-7, 12-9. Miss U.H. Smith (E)* beat Miss M. Ferguson (S) 11-1, 11-7. Miss P. Espley (C) beat Miss A.J. Glenie (NZ) 3-11, 11-8, 12-10. Miss A.M. Bairstow (E)* beat Mrs. S. Phillips 11-0, 11-0.
Third Round: Miss Whittaker beat Mrs. Bennett 11-0, 11-3. Mrs. Horton beat Miss Teoh Siew Yong 11-5, 11-5. Miss Smith beat Miss Daysmith 11-1, 11-5. Miss Bairstow beat Miss Espley 11-6, 11-2.
Semi-finals: Miss Whittaker beat Mrs. Horton 4-11, 11-4, 11-7. Miss Bairstow beat Miss Smith 11-7, 11-3.
Final: Miss Bairstow (E) beat Miss Whittaker (C) 11-5, 11-3.
Bronze Medal Match: Miss Smith (E) beat Mrs. Horton 11-8, 11-1.
MEN'S DOUBLES (16 pairs)
First Round: Tan Aik Huang and Yew Cheng Hoe (M)* beat H.R. Paterson and E.M. Paterson (C) 17-14, 18-15. D.D. Higgins and R.H. Purser (NZ) w.o., I. Davis and J. Briers (B) retired. A.D. Jordan and C.J. Beacom (E)* beat Suresh Goel and N.M. Natekar (I) 15-3. 15-9. M. Henderson and R.S. McCoig (S) beat K.L. Palmer and D. Bennett (J) 15-3, 15-4. Omar Ibrahim and Yeo Ah Seng (Sing.) w.o., P. Ball and K. Parker (B) retired. R.J. Mills and D.O. Horton (E)* beat K. Turner and G. Robotham (A) 15-5, 15-10. H.R. Jenninas and P.A.Seaman (W) beat R.D. Roberts and A. Garcia (J) 15-6, 15-4. Ng Boon Bee and Tan Yee Khan (M)* beat W.B. MacDonnell and Y. Pare (C) 15-4, 15-4.
Second Round: Tan Aik Huang and Yew Cheng Hoe beat Higgins and Purser 15-7, 15-7. Jordan and Beacom beat Henderson and McCoig 15-10, 1-15, 15-11. Mills and Horton beat Omar Ibrahim and Yeo Ah Seng 15-5, 16-17, 15-5. Ng. Boon Bee and Tan Yee Khan beat Jennings and Seaman 15-10, 15-11.
Semi-finals: Tan Aik Huang and Yew Cheng Hoe beat Jordan and Beacom 15-2, 15-11. Ng Boon Bee and Tan Yee Khan beat Mills and Horton 15-11, 15-9.
Final: Tan Aik Huang and Yew Cheng Hoe (M) beat Ng Boon Bee and Tan Yee Khan (M) 15-8, 15-5.
Bronze Medal Match: Mills and Horton (E) beat Jordan and Beacom 15-9, 12-15, 18-17.
LADIES' DOUBLES (10 pairs)
First Round: Miss R.S. Ang and Miss Teoh Siew Yong (M) beat Miss S.A. Whittaker (C) 15-8, 15-2. Miss A.L. Daysmith and Miss J.E. Humber (C) beat Mrs. B. Tai Ten Quee and Mrs. S. Phillips (J) 15-4, 15-4.
Second Round: Mrs. D.O. Horton and Miss U.H. Smith (E)* beat Mrs. P. Laman and Mrs. C. Bennett (J) 15-0, 15-0. Miss Ang and Miss Teoh Siew Yong beat Miss C.E. Dunglison and Miss M. Ferguson (S) 15-12, 15-1. Miss A.J. Glenie and Miss G.J. Simpson (NZ) beat Miss Daysmith and Miss Humber 17-16, 15-10. Miss A.M. Bairstow and Mrs. W.C.E. Rogers (E)* beat Mrs. K. Nesbit and Mrs. Twining (A) 15-7, 15-13.
Semi-finals: Mrs. Horton and Miss Smith beat Miss Ang and Miss Teoh Siew Yong 18-13, 15-6. Miss Bairstow and Mrs. Rogers beat Miss Glenie and Miss Simpson 15-2, 15-10.
Final: Mrs. Horton and Miss Smith (E) beat Miss Bairstow and Mrs. Rogers (E) 15-7, 15-7.
Bronze Medal Match: Miss Ang and Miss Teoh Siew Yong (M) beat Miss Glenie and Miss Simpson 15-11, 15-9.
MIXED DOUBLES (21 pairs)
First Round: C.J. Beacom and Miss U.H. Smith (E) beat G. Robotham and Mrs. J. Twining (A) 15-12, 15-9. H.R. Paterson and Miss S.A. Whittaker (C) w.o., P. Ball and Mrs. Ball (B) retired. D.B. Higgins and Miss G.J. Simpson (NZ) beat R.D. Roberts and Mrs. C. Bennett (J) 15-5, 10-15, 15-7. K. Turner and Mrs. K. Nesbit (A) beat K.L. Palmer and Mrs. B. Tai Ten Quee (J) 15-1, 15-3 . E.M. Paterson and Miss A.L. Daysmith (C) beat D.O. Horton and Mrs. W.C.E. Rogers (E) 15-10, 15-9.
Second Round: R.J. Mills and Miss A.M. Bairstow (E)* beat D. Bennett and Mrs. S. Phillips (J) 15-3, 15-4. Tan Yee Khan and Miss R.S. Ang (M) beat Y. Pare and Miss P. Espley (C) 15-4, 15-11. M. Henderson and Miss C.E. Dunglison (S)* beat Beacom and Miss Smith 15-7, 15-10. H.R. Paterson and Miss Whittaker beat Higgins and Miss Simpson 15-10, 15-7. E.M. Paterson and Miss Daysmith beat Turner and Mrs. Nesbit 15-7,15-11. R.S. McCoig and Miss M. Ferguson (S)* beat R.H. Pyrser and Miss A.J. Glenie (NZ) 15- 4, 11-15, 15-8. Ng Boon Bee and Miss Teoh Siew Yong (M) beat W. B. MacDonnell and Miss J.E. Humber (C) 15-11, 15-6. A.D. Jordan and Mrs. D.O. Horton (E)* beat A. Garcia and Mrs. P. Laman (J) 15-2, 15-9.
Third Round: Mills and Miss Bairstow beat Tan Yee Khan and Miss Ang 15-7, 15-12. H.R. Paterson and Miss Whittaker beat Henderson and Miss Dunglison 15-11, 15-9. McCoig and Miss Ferguson beat E.M. Paterson and Miss Daysmith 15-8, 15-2. Jordan and Mrs. Horton beat Ng Boon Bee and Miss Teoh Siew Yang 15-4, 15-2.
Semi-finals: Mills and Miss Bairstow beat H. R. Paterson and Miss Whittaker 15-10, 15-8. Jordan and Mrs. Horton beat McCoig and Miss Ferguson 15-8, 15-6.
Final: Mills and Miss Bairstow (E) beat Jordan and Mrs. Horton (E) 7-15, 15-9, 15-12.
Bronze Medal Match: McCoig and Miss Ferguson (S) beat H.R. Paterson and Miss Whittaker 15-7, 15-4.
-- By Herbert.A.E Scheele - Badminton Gazette, October 1966