Wednesday, 22 May 2024

BWF World Tour: The Daddies’ Last Stand?

The anticipation surrounding the PETRONAS Malaysia Open 2024 has sparked a recurring question: Is this the Daddies’ final season? Let’s delve into their mindset and aspirations as they compete in this prestigious event.

Upholding Their Passion for the Game

Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan, the formidable Indonesian duo, remain resolute in their commitment to badminton. When asked about their future, Setiawan responded enthusiastically, “We keep playing. We can’t predict the future but we will keep playing for now.” Ahsan echoed his partner’s sentiment, stating, “Let’s see. You never know.”

Chasing Olympic Dreams

As three-time world champions, Setiawan and Ahsan possess an insatiable hunger for success. They are determined to qualify for their third Summer Games, defying all odds. Currently, only Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto find themselves in a secure position on the Race to Paris rankings. Ahsan and Setiawan trail behind as the fourth-highest ranked men’s pair for their country. However, they firmly believe that their Olympic dream is still within reach. “We haven’t given up yet. Mathematically, it’s not over. We want to be at our optimum in every tournament and give qualifying our best shot. Anything is possible,” expressed Setiawan.

Overcoming Challenges

The road ahead is not without obstacles. Setiawan and Ahsan could potentially face a tough matchup against second seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty. However, they remain undeterred and are fully focused on clearing the second round against He Ji Ting and Ren Xiang Yu.

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Other Highlights from the Tournament

While the focus is on the Daddies, the PETRONAS Malaysia Open has witnessed some outstanding performances. Rankireddy and Shetty, after defeating Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana, expressed their determination to excel, stating, “If you can’t win, it’s okay. Practice harder. My main target is the Olympics, and every match before that is like learning in a class.” Another noteworthy performance came from Li Shi Feng, who displayed resilience and celebrated his birthday with a hard-fought victory over Lee Chia Hao.

To capture the atmosphere of the tournament, Annie Xu and her twin sister Kerry Xu described their exhilarating experience playing in Malaysia, stating, “We are super happy we brought all the elements we’ve been training for… It’s our first time playing in Malaysia, and the atmosphere is electric.”

Annie (left) and Kerry give the Axiata Arena atmosphere thumbs up.

FAQs

Q: Will this be the Daddies’ last season?
A: While the future is uncertain, Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan remain committed to playing for now.

Q: Are Setiawan and Ahsan still aiming for the Olympics?
A: Absolutely! The duo is determined to qualify for their third Summer Games and is not ready to admit defeat yet.

Q: Who are the top contenders in the PETRONAS Malaysia Open?
A: Second seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are among the formidable pairs competing in this prestigious tournament.

Conclusion

As the BWF World Tour unfolds, the badminton world eagerly watches the Daddies’ journey. Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan’s unwavering passion and determination serve as an inspiration to aspiring athletes worldwide. Whether this season marks a triumphant farewell or a stepping stone towards further glory, their presence continues to captivate fans and leave an indelible mark on the sport.

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