How the Story Unfolds Day by Day05 May, 2016
Day 1 - Session 1: Playing conditions give a good image but players on courts one and three having trouble with the ends at the doorways on VIP side. Results get to the press room in record time but a lot of the statistics are useless because they do not give any impression of the matches. It was a happy 36th birthday for Denyse Julien who celebrated with a 11-3, 11-0 win over the other left-hander Debra O'Connor in 15 minutes. Most of the matches were under 20 minutes but Peter Knowles beat Kevin Han in a mini marathon of 41 minutes by 2-15, 15-10, 15-7. It prepared spectators for the marathon 80-minute clash which saw Thomas Wapp edge out Mario Carulla Schultz 15-8, 10-15, 15-11. Ticket sales - 2,124
Session 2: Guatemala's Kenneth Erichsen came within a hair's breadth of causing a first round upset when he battled with Jens Olsson for 61 minutes only to lose 15-12, 6-15, 15-17. Elizabeth Erichsen paid US$85 just to get a ticket to see her son play. Kenneth said: "I couldn't win the close ones," and the answer to a question he said, "My effort should be good for Guatemala's badminton. I wish I had won." The surprises were Elena Rybkhina's win over Joanne Muggeridge in straight games; 17-year-old Huang Chia Chi ousting Ra Kyung-Min easily in straight games and Santi Wibowo finding Martine de Souza hard to beat. The poorest match was the Kelly Morgan-Song Yang clash. Wildcard Oscar Brandon was given a farewell in 17 minutes. Ticket sales - 2,528.
Session 3: The best match of this session was Yasuko Mizui's win over Commonwealth Games gold medallist Lisa Campbell. Mizui took a mere six minutes to claim the first game 11-0 but the gritty Campbell came from 2-6 to win the second 11-8 with the Japanese woman taking 22 minutes to claim the third game 11-7. Yu Lizhi won the first round over Oliver Pongratz. P.V.V. Lakshimi gave India its first win. Ticket sales - 2,336.
Day 2 - Session 4: This contained the first rounds of the doubles and provided the first Olympic seeds to be ousted. They were Peter Axelsson and Par Gunnar Jonsson who lost a 48-minute contest to the German pair of Michael Helber and Michael Keck. The Indonesian women's partnerships of Eliza and Rosiana Zelin, and Finarsih and Lili Tampi, had straight games wins. Rhona Robertson and Tammy Jenkins kept the Oceania flag at full mast with a straight games win over Canada's Denyse Julien and Sian Deng. Ticket sales - 2,161.
Session 5: The highlight of this session was the upset win of Denmark's Michael Sogaard and Henrik Svarrer over the highly fancied Kim Dong Moon and Yoo Young Sung to set up a second round clash with world champions Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky. GBR's Simon Archer and Chris Hunt beat Hong Kong's He Yiming and Chan Siu Kwong in preparation for a second round meeting with Thailand's Pramote and Sakrapee. The powerful top singles' seeds - Joko Suprianto and Poul-Eric Hoyer Larsen - had mere training runs of 28 and 22 minutes respectively in preparation for the third round. Ticket sales - 2,334.
Session 6: Allan Budi Kusuma appeared for the first time in his attempt to win his second consecutive Olympic title. Although he was meeting giant Tomas Johansson (199 cms) and was down 3-5 in the first game he raced past his opponent for a 15-5, 15-1 win. This brought smiles to his fiancee Susi Susanti who was watching at the "ringside". Michael Helber, the early sensation of singles and doubles, ended his dream at the hands of Liu En-Horng but he was there for three games. lain Sydie is still there. Ticket sales - 2,088.
Day 3 - Session 7: This session was a parade of the champions. Joko Suprianto, world champion of 1993, appeared at 9am and it rook him 55 minutes to beat Jens Olsson in straight games. Then Commonwealth Games gold medallist Rashid Sidek graced the same court for his win and at 10.51am the defending Olympic women's singles champion Susi Susanti spent 16 minutes with Doris Piche before making way for her financee Allan Budi Kusuma, also defending the Olympic title. After 42 minutes Kusuma had beaten Sun Jun and was in the quarter-final. World Champion Ye Zhaoying made a 14-minute appearance and there was also Bang Soo-Hyun the All England champion, and Camilla Martin, the European Champion, advancing another step. We said goodbye to Denyse Julien, almost the oldest player, when she lost to 17-year-old Huang Chia-Chi. So, upsets - NIL. Ticket sales - 1,950.
Session 8: The ancient seeding system has proved itself. All the seeds are in the men's quarter-finals. Only Dong Jiong and Poul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen had to play set games in the straight games successes of all winners. The mixed doubles began with the second seeds Trikus Heryanto and Minarti Timur and the 5/8 seeds Kim Dong Moon and Gil Young-Ah having good wins. The upset was the poor performance of Great Britain's Simon Archer and Julie Bradbury in being beaten easily by Indonesia's Nimpele Flandy and Rosalina Riseu. Will there always be an England? Ticket sales - 2,475.
Session 9: Korea's Park Joo Bong and his new partner Ra Kyung Min appeared in the mixed doubles and were in electric form. Han Jingna kept her Hungarian opponent Andrea Odor scoreless. Mia Audina was in her best form with fewer bandages on her legs. Peter Blackburn and 1992 Olympian Rhonda Cator came from 8-12 to win the first game 18-14 and clinched the match 15-8 in 39 minutes. All fine disciplines have now reached the last 16. Ticket sales - 2,031.
Day 4 - Session 10: This was the day of the bomb in Centennial Park. All venues were asked for a minute's silence for the deaths of two people. Meanwhile, on the courts the upset was the win of Simon Archer and Chris Hunt of Great Britain who beat the seeded Pramote and Sakrapee of Thailand in 50 minutes by 18-14, 15-11. They also recorded the longest rally with 70 hits. Ye, Susi and Bang were in top form to cruise to the quarter-finals. Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock, world number two in men's doubles, honed their skills at the expense of Ge and Tao. Favourites Ricky and Rexy had a good 35-minute workout against Denmark's Michael Sogaard and Henrik Svarrer. Ticket sales - 2,375.
Session 11: The strain is beginning to show with two more seeds falling from grace in the men's doubles. Gunawan and Bambang, silver medallists from Barcelona, lost to the Malaysians Soo Beng Kiang and Tan Kim Her, while Thomas Lund and Jon Holst-Christensen, seeded 5/8, lost in three games in 100 minutes to Korea's Ha and Kang. Peter Blackburn and Rhonda Cator were the last of the Australians to go, in three games to the 3/4 seeds, Liu Jianjun and Sun Man. Mia Audina survives in three games. Ticket sales - 2,675.
Session 12: Some very exciting and very good play with only one upset. The number seven seeds Julie Bradbury and Joanne Wright lost to Denmark's Ann Jorgensen and Lotte Olsen in a performance that cast doubts on the Great Britain preparations for these Games. Should they have missed the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals? Top matches were provided by Lisbet Stuer-Lauridsen and Marlene Thomsen, beating the Koreans in 71 minutes, and Qin and Tang occupying the court for 52 minutes in beating Finarsih and Tampi in three games. There will be only one pair of seeds missing from the women's doubles quarter-finals. The top two seeds look very good. Ticket sales - 2,388.
Day 5 - Session 13: The seeding machine got it right in the women's doubles with the top four through to the quarter-finals, but it slipped from excellent to very good in the men's doubles with only three of the top four seeds reaching the semis. Soo Beng Kiang and Tan Kim Her spoiled the record by beating Simon Archer and Chris Hunt in 49 applauded by the slightly smaller crowd. The women really stole the show, particularly the gutsy effort of Helene Kirkegaard and Rikke Olsen. Ticket sales - 2,101.
Session 14: This was not a session of shocks. It was a session of earthquakes: defending men's singles gold medallist Allan Budi Kusuma ousted, world women's singles champion Ye Zhaoying beaten in straight games, and former world champion Joko Suprianto given the farewell by Rashi Sidek. All-England champion Poul-Enk Hoyer-Larsen will play Arbi while Dong Jiong will meet Sidek. Susi Susanti wins a shaky three-game match against Han Jingna and will play the dangerous foe Bang Soo-Hyun, With the diminutive Mia Audina playing the other Korean Kim Ji Hyun. Ticket sales - 2,500.
Day 6 - Session 15: After the shocks of the14th session this was a quiet period with Park's and Ra's greatest dangers Sogaard and Rikke Olsen being beaten in a nail-biting three games by China's Chen and Peng who now meet world women's doubles champion Gil Young-Ah and Kim Dong Moon in the semi-finals. World champions Ricky and Rexy stormed through their semi-final against Soo and Tan in 34 minutes. Ticket sales - 1,974.
Session 16: The expected happened with no surprises but there was some disappointing badminton; women's doubles favourites Ge Fei and Gu Jun received only token opposition from Helene Kirkegaard and Rikke Olsen. They were upset with their efforts. The number two seeds in the men's doubles, Cheah and Yap, crashed through for the easiest 15-10, 15-4 win for a gold medal game. The marathon of the session occurred in the women's doubles when Gil Young-Ah and Jang Hye-Ock struggled for 107 minutes to win a place in the final. They received a standing ovation which could only have been for their persistence, defence and stamina. Their 15-12, 10-15, 18-16 with China's Qin and Tang was a battle of defences with little finesse. However it was entertaining enough for actor Paul Newman to sit through the exercise. Ticket sales - 2,440.
Day 7 - Session 17: Horrors of horrors? Susi Susanti was beaten by Bang Soo-Hyun. The Indonesian had been the last defender of a title. She was a champion to the end, who in defeat emerged as a lady, respected by friends, players and the media. Then the youngest competitor Mia Audina, 16 years and 336 days old, upset Kim Ji-Hyun for a shot at the gold medal. Dong Jiong beat Rashid Sidek and hopes to be another Yang Yang. Ticket sales - 2,150.
Session 18: Paul-Erik Hoyer-Larsen becomes the first Dane since Flemming Delfs to get to a final like the Olympics (Delfs was world champion). The elegant Dane bamboozled Heryanto Arbi with his smashes and drives on both sides. Park Joo-Bong with Ra Kyung-Min are in the mixed doubles final to challenge Kim Dong Moon and Gil Young-Ah. Gil is in two finals. She won bronze at Barcelona in the women's doubles. Ticket sales - 2,475.
Session 19: This was the bronze medal session for men's and women's doubles which drew more attention from world tennis stars Pam Shriver, Conchita Martinez and Gigi Fernandez than from technical badminton fans. However it had another very good attendance. Qin Yiyuan and Tang Yongshu beat Helene Kirkegaard and Rikke Olsen 7-15, 15-4, 15-8 in 53 minutes and then Indonesia's Antonius and Denny Kantono beat Soo Beng Kiang and Tan Kim Her (Malaysia) 15-4, 12-15, 15-8. Ticket sales - 2,400.
Day 8 - Session 20: Another enthusiastic crowd saw China win its first Olympic gold medal and new IOC member and IBF President Mme Lu Shengrong presented the medals appropriately to Ge Fei and Gu Jun. They beat Korea's Gil Young-Ah and Jang Hye-Ock 15-5,15-5 in 36 minutes. Gil won a bronze medal in this event in 1992 in Barcelona. Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky collected the first gold medal for Indonesia when they beat their rivals Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock 5-15, 15-13, 15-12 in a magnificent match in 89 minutes. Ticket sales - 2,502.
Session 21: Susi Susanti won a bronze medal with some of her best badminton to beat Kim Ji-Hyun in straight games. Rashid Sidek had four of his brothers in the audience to see him get the bronze against Heryanto Arbi. The mixed bronze went to Liu Jianjun and Sun Man. Ticket sales - 2,375.
Day 9 - Session 22: Gold medals went to Bang Soo-Hyun, Paul Erik Hoyer-Larsen and to the first Olympic mixed doubles champions Kim Dong Moon and Gil Young-Ah, who beat favourites Park Joo Bong and Ra Kyung-Min in three games. Ticket sales - 2,481.
*Total ticket sales for tournament - 50,863.
-- World Badminton Vol 24 No 3 September 1996