Another Step of Development for “Bass-Popor”

Anyone who has had the chance to witness one of the world’s oldest badminton tournament – the 2020 All England Open – would have seen the development in precision and speed of Thai badminton players Dechapol “Bass” Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree “Popor” Taerattanachai.

This mixed doubles team from Thailand made history for themselves by making their way to the semi-finals and finals rounds before being defeated by Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti – who ranked the world’s fifth – by 1-2 games at 15-21, 21-17, 8-21, thus winning the second place in this tournament with pride, proving their skills and fighting spirit to the world.

Moreover, the tournament was the eighth time that Thai badminton players have won the second place in the 2020 All England Open which was founded in 1899 or 121 years ago.

In the past, Thai badminton players have entered the finals round in this tournament on 7 occasions in 4 different categories. The first category is the men’s singles with Charoen Wattanasin competing in 1960 and 1962, and Channarong Ratanaseangsuang competing in 1963. The second category is the men’s doubles when Narong Ponchim and Raphi Kanchanaraphi competed in 1962. For the women’s singles category, Ratchanok Intanon competed twice in 2013 and 2017. Lastly, for the mixed doubles category, Sudket Prapakamol and Saralee Thungthongkam competed in 2011.

Before joining this major tournament in Birmingham, UK, “Bass and Popor” had only six weeks to prepare themselves, as many tournaments had been canceled due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“Bass” Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree “Popor” Taerattanachai

Tesana Panvisavas or “Coach Ohm” from SCG Badminton Academy revealed that before joining the tournament, both players had set a target to reach at least the semi-finals round. Since they did not participate in any other tournaments for a little over a month, they had time to train, prepare their physical skills, build up their strength, as well as embark on training programs to enhance their precision and speed.

“Though both of them have shown development, they still have not met the target. They need to train more, and I am only 70 percent satisfied with the overall picture, as both players were unable to control the game and adapt to the situation. They still need more time to learn from their experiences.”

“A clear example was during the finals round with the Indonesian team who constantly shifted the game and adapted their styles. They demonstrated superior physical strengths and tactics, which are the skills that our players need to learn and develop. Both Bass and Popor have strong physical and mental attributes, however, they still need to fill in this gap. After the finals round, I told them how they need to develop themselves.”

After the tournament, all badminton matches worldwide were postponed indefinitely, possibly including the end date for the 2020 Olympic qualification period for badminton (this April 26th). “Coach Ohm” said that it is up to the Badminton World Federation whether the qualification period would be postponed. However, for badminton players, this means that they will have more time to train once there are no tournaments.

After the tournament, all badminton matches worldwide were postponed indefinitely, possibly including the end date for the 2020 Olympic qualification period for badminton (this April 26th). “Coach Ohm” said that it is up to the Badminton World Federation whether the qualification period would be postponed. However, for badminton players, this means that they will have more time to train once there are no tournaments.

After this, all nations have only 4 months to train for the 2020 Olympics if the games are not postponed. Meanwhile, the team at “SCG Badminton Academy” is ready to utilize every minute to make this dream come true for the Thai badminton and sports community.

The 2020 All England Open
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