Concedes Defeat to Olympics Gold Medalists, Steven Ma Happy to Break Zero.
The 2012 Olympics Chinese gold medalist delegation is in Hong Kong for a 3-day goodwill visit from August 24th thru August 26th. Yesterday (8/25) the badminton and the table tennis gold medalists did an exhibition show in the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wanchai. Steven Ma (Ma Jai), a badminton enthusiast who is also Hong Kong Badminton Ambassador, partnered with Hong Kong badminton player, 'Hak Miu' (Yip Pui-Yin) played against the gold medal badminton duo, Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei, in a mixed doubles friendly match. But the resounding cheers in the stadium for Steven were no less than those for the gold medalists, even the MCs incessantly cheered him on. Steven expensing all effort in kill shots finally broke zero, in the end he and Yip Pui Yin lost to the other team 2 to 7.
Toward breaking zero, Steven said he was already happy just being able to participate: "Badminton has always been my most favorite sport. I especially support our national badminton team including the Hong Kong badminton team. Actually I've been Hong Kong Badminton Ambassador for many years now. I'm more than willing to promote the sport of badminton in any way I can. Moreover, today all the mainland Olympics gold medalists are here in Hong Kong, I'm so very happy to have had an opportunity to play badminton with them. Last night, I had a late night snack with them and chatted with them.
"Just now teamed up with Hak Miu - Yip Pui-Yin in a mixed doubles match. Of course I feel bad dragging her down but luckily Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei were merciful. Actually I knew they were being lenient with their shots towards me but I was too nervous so many of my return shots faulted,not that it matters as I could never beat them anyway. I'm already very happy just to be able to participate and to promote badminton. haha!"
After the event, when Hak Miu-Yip Pui-Yin was how Steven did, she said: "I think his technique has improved greatly from before. Prior to this I had teamed up with him once. At that time his strength was less than now. Now he is stronger in his kill shots. Maybe today playing against the gold medalists he was nervous so he faulted more shots. But the strength in his shots is not bad. Plus he plays badminton everyday and if play with various opponents, he'll improve faster."
As to the gold medal duo, Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei, what were their comments on Steven? Zhang Nan said: "Playing technique is not bad. Maybe the game just got underway, the time too short so the body's not yet completely warmed up, so did not play to fullest capability.
Zhao Yunlei said: "As amateur he's not bad. But since he is not a pro can't use professional standards to judge. But if want to participate in an open competition would have to train more."
Watch the 2 hour long exhibition on youtube