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55. Yonex Badminton Open 2018 – semi finals!!

So my husband scored us some tickets to the first half of the Yonex badminton championships – semi finals in Birmingham this Saturday.  I had been to the venue before to see The Weeknd perform, but it was completely different for a sporting event!

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I had no idea what to expect but, was super excited as this would be my first time watching badminton matches of this level! In my excitement, I was ready super early and had filled up my backpack with lots of snacks! The weather took an interesting turn as we battled our way through a blizzard (not even joking) to get there! It was definitely worth it though! My husband had to borrow my hat while we queued up! hehe. It was super cold!!

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There were cool stands all around the arena selling rackets, t-shirts, badminton shoes, offering racket stringing services and testing reaction times.

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My husband did the reaction time test and did pretty well. He was only caught out a couple of times by the lights in the deep corners!

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I bet if he had his badminton shorts on, he would have done even better! haha.

We were seated a bit to the left of the court but, the view was really good – I could see the players clearly! A little curtain would open up ahead of us, music would start playing and the players would stride out towards the court. It reminded me of how boxers usually make their entrance. I couldn’t help noticing all the cool badminton gear the players were wearing. Neon shoes and really cool badminton bags!

I enjoyed watching the matches so much! The Danish supporters were particularly loud as they sung their cheers. When the Danish pair won the women’s doubles, the Danish crowd went wild. The Danish pair did a little synchronised dance/scoot/cheer after their win which I loved!

There were some close matches, at times the tension in the arena could be cut with a knife! My favourite was when a team would be losing by a lot and then they would chase up the score! I love a wildcard!

At one point during one of the matches, the referee pointed out to a player that there had been a double touch and awarded the point to the other team. They hadn’t even realised it had happened. This made me feel better, because when I was playing on Friday, my husband called out two double touches that I had neither felt nor seen! I was more than a little perturbed!

The most entertaining match by far though was the men’s doubles – Indonesia v Denmark. Kevin Sanjaya for Indonesia just stole the show! He was so fun to watch! His technique was such that it became his wit. I found myself at the edge of my seat, squeezing my eyes shut, jumping, cheering and laughing! There was a noticeable height difference between the Indonesian players and the Danish players (the Danish men were much taller) but that made no difference! (Gives me a lot of hope!) Kevin was catching professional badminton players out with flick serves and head shots. At times, the shuttlecock would slice between the Danish players as they looked at each other baffled. It was incredible to watch!

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Me and Kevin hanging out!

The doubles matches were very fast paced. If you blinked you’d miss a point. The singles matches were good to watch too but, the pace was a bit slower and I didn’t find them as much fun. I definitely did appreciate the skill though, because the singles players moved effortlessly from the front to the back of the court.

I noticed how the professional players always kept their rackets up and were always in the ready position. Definitely a reminder for me there. Some cool observances were when players would call out a challenge or ask for a new shuttlecock to allow their partner to cool down after a bad rally. A little break can make all the difference! Knowing how to work best with your partner would definitely give you the edge.

On our way out we both bought t-shirts to commemorate the day. I really like my one!

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Come on, you know you love it!

I took lots of free yummy sweets too hehe! I can’t resist a freebie!

My husband really spoiled me by taking me to a Persian restaurant afterwards. I love Persian food and my kebab didn’t disappoint! My husband had the ‘joojeh’ kebab which kind of sounds like my name! When I was at university my friends made a point of ordering this dish!

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All in all I had a fantastic time and wished I had gone to see the rest of the semi finals and the finals the next day! Would have loved to see Kevin do his magic again! I am definitely a fan!

I will definitely be on the lookout for tickets next year! 🙂

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