BADMINTON- a supposedly English founded sport, but one should admit, the name was rather strange for English language... The word 'Bad' and 'Ton' was rather English, but is it the reason why England are so bad at it??
Technically, the history stated that the game was founded on India, by British military of course, and it was a derivation from a traditional sport called 'Battledore and Shuttlecock'. But it was at England where the game had flourish... with the set of rules and regulation and a government body being set up. It was the earliest Badminton World Federation (BWF) form and goes by the name of International Badminton Federation on 1934. Members are consist of the like of Canadians and the Europe... and two years later, the first Asian to join it, as the motherland of birth of the sport (technically), India.
British (or England) root of the game can be traced evidently on two biggest badminton's international competition, which are Thomas Cup and All England Competition, which the latter are evident on it's name alone, was founded in England or by Englishman (Thomas Cup).
But then, the question must be ask, why (or how) did England being so bad in the game where they founded it? There were many other games where England claim to be found it, but they at least still have a momentum to be among the finest in those games...
Football, cricket, polo and rugby, to name but a few (even though in polo and rugby, we might say they were partially found or formalized by British), where their national side are still among the team to beat! But, when it's come to badminton, the names are clear: Indonesia, China, Malaysia and Korea... Now, Japan are gradually marking themselves to be a part of the elites. In fact, the most successful European nation in Badminton nowadays is Denmark, but, what other sports did the Dane excel in after all? And having said that, the Dane will always being an underdog to the Asian nations state above, which saying something about the sport's development itself in Europe largely, and England specifically...
While All England competition being played long before the game became popular in Asia, Thomas Cup history however tell us very much of Asian domination. Even All England itself had no winner from England or UK after the World War II. In fact, there were only two European nations and one USA competitor who ever won it after the war... The rest was the usual suspects, with India had an odd winner on 1980 and 2001 edition.
Thomas cup, being the most prestige of the team competition in badminton, tell the whole other story about three dominating nations of the tournament. Only Malaysia (formerly known as Malaya), Indonesia and China could ever claim their nation are the best in badminton, with Indonesia was the most successful nation of all, and China being the most dominating in recent years. Malaya (now Malaysia) was the first winner, and won it on three consecutive tournaments from it's started.
This situation make one wonder of how good actually the South Eastern Asians in this sport, and one will wonder how or why... It's also raised a question among Malaysians itself, cause, traditionally, we're only good in our ancestor game, like silat/martial art and Takraw. But now, not that we are good in badminton, we're also one of the dominating and feared nation in the game! Having World No.1 to date was the hardest prove. But having said that, we're still short in making the most successful team in the world by failing to win the Thomas Cup in our own backyard...
But, after watching the final between China and Indonesia (honestly, I just watch the second single games only, with eyes half-open) and saw how tight the game was (although Indonesia still come short to win it...), I could just reflect on one thing only, that the strength hold of the world toughest power in badminton by South East Asians were gradually shift towards those of the Far East Asians. Indonesia still put on a performance which our region can be proud of, and having saying that, I think our national side are actually didn't done so bad either (well, at least you all can be assured now that I'm not the biggest badminton's fan around, aren't you? :P)
If Uber cup result was anything to go by, then I can assuredly said that, the Far Eastern Asians are getting their strength together to pull away the Nusantara strength hold of the badminton's power. Even though China had been around up there since their debut years in Thomas Cup in 1982, but still, the like of Koreans and Japan still under the shadow of the China.
But, one could never underestimate the rivalry between these three nations! Either it's about politics, cultures, technologies, or sports, they always being some sense of great rivalry among them. The history of the three nations surely had something to do about it... And now, in the world of sport, when China first make an appearance in FIFA World Cup, we do saw some years later that Japan coming out on the game strongly, and then, also the Koreans, which lead to the World Cup being hosted by both nation in 2002.
Judging by the Uber cup's result (Korean knock off defending champion, China) and how good the Japanese side come on in the Thomas cup (beating off the host nation), one can argue that their rising from the game was a mark of the shifting of the power in badminton's most successful and dominating nation/region.
By China being the most dominating nation in badminton in recent years, evidently in the last decade, the Japanese and Koreans would surely not gonna just be slip away from their sworn rival! If Indonesia and Malaysia didn't intensively gear up their overall squads soon, we gonna truly see the shift of power in badminton's world, from our region to the further eastern side, the far east Asians will happen... The Europeans will be more left out in the equation...
T/t: expect to see the rise of North Koreans in badminton, sooner rather than later!