India Open 2024: Badminton Thrills and Challenges | Sportsmonks
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India Open 2024: Badminton Thrills and Challenges

India

The recently concluded India Open Super 750 in New Delhi provided badminton enthusiasts with thrilling matches and unexpected turns of events. From late schedules in freezing temperatures to translation troubles, the tournament had its share of challenges and highlights.

Late Schedules and Challenging Conditions:
One of the major talking points of the India Open was the late scheduling of marquee matches involving top Indian players like HS Prannoy and Satwik-Chirag. For three consecutive days, these matches took place at times inconvenient for fans – overlapping on adjacent courts, and twice starting at 9:30 PM. Compounding the issue was the biting cold in Delhi, with nightly temperatures in single digits. The absence of indoor heating in the stadium and the lack of proximity to a Metro station added to the challenges. Despite these obstacles, a sizeable turnout was observed, reflecting the dedication of the fans. The scheduling, typically decided by the Badminton World Federation, aimed to attract more fans after work hours, but it faced criticism for not considering the potential duration of matches and the impact on player recovery.

Cricket-Like Atmosphere and Creative Chants:
With Indian players in action on all days, the India Open witnessed a vibrant and raucous atmosphere inside the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall. The crowd’s enthusiasm was particularly notable during the all-India matches in singles and Satwik-Chirag’s final run. Fans came up with creative chants, reminiscent of those heard in cricket stadiums, adding to the electric atmosphere. Satwik-Chirag acknowledged the crowd’s energy, but also mentioned distraction during serving due to the lively audience. Despite not winning the final, their semifinal victory showcased their trademark celebrations, further energizing the crowd.

Support for Non-Indian Players:
A heartening aspect of the tournament was the significant support international players received. Tai Tzu Ying, the eventual winner, became a crowd favorite from her first match. Fans traveled long distances to witness her play, showcasing the global appeal of badminton. Interestingly, Indian fans adopted a unique way of addressing her, referring to her as ‘Tai Tzu,’ a deviation from her actual name, Tzu Ying. Men’s singles champion Shi Yu Qi and Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia also enjoyed substantial crowd support, emphasizing the diverse fanbase present at the India Open.

Lost in Translation – Communication Challenges:
Communication hurdles emerged during post-match interactions, especially with top players from China, Japan, and South Korea unable to communicate in English. Translators were present, but there were delays and challenges in conveying questions and answers effectively. The importance of translators in such situations became evident. The translation process impacted the flow of interviews, creating a Babel-esque scene in the mixed zone. However, on the final day, singles champions Tai and Shi had their staff members translate for them, improving the efficiency of communication. The curious case of Kunlavut Vitidsarn, the reigning world champion, added a unique twist as he initially used a Thai translator but later revealed his fluency in English.

In conclusion, the India Open Super 750 showcased the passion of badminton fans, the challenges faced by players in adverse conditions, and the global nature of the sport. Despite scheduling issues and communication challenges, the tournament provided memorable moments and highlighted the resilience of players and fans alike.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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