malaysia masters

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

So I spent most of my Sunday afternoon hanging out with Viktor Axelsen, Tai Tzu Ying, Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong. Not that I’m name dropping or anything.

Okay so maybe, “hanging out” is a bit of stretch. But I got pretty close! After months of anticipation the Perodua Malaysia Masters presented by Daihatsu came to life at the Axiata Arena. The arena was full of life, making no mistake that there’s only one mission here today - for the players to take home a slice of that USD350,000 prize money and for us fans to give them our full support.

With Daihatsu as a sponsor this year, the tournament has been given new life. Not only is the cash prize bigger, but the branding both in and out of the stadium plus the way the matches are presented make the tournament feel much more prestigious than ever before.

My favourite part of the day was probably when Viktor Axelsen ran around the stadium with his shirt off after beating Kenta Nishimoto in the Men Singles category. The pure joy from him and the supportive home and visiting fans was electrifying! Aside from the Jalur Gemilang, it was nice to see fans from the other countries represented like Denmark, China and Japan waving their flags around the arena as well.

Probably the only disappointing part of the day was when our Men's Doubles team of V Shem-Wee Kiong lost in the finals to Indonesia after a considerable lead. However they gave it their best shot, and it was still a pleasure watching them play live right in front of me. Big, big thank you to Daihatsu for inviting me to the Malaysia Masters and their hospitality. 

I even got to take a photo with this cute Myvi signed by all the players during the tournament. Overall a stunning debut for this partnership between Daihatsu and the Badminton Association of Malaysia. Can't wait to see what else this collaboration will produce. See you next year hopefully!
xo Reem

badminton gold

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

My earliest memory of watching badminton was that defining match when Rashid Sidek beat Joko Suprianto to reach the semi finals of the Olympics in Atlanta.

I was 11 and it made me want to pick up a badminton racquet which then turned out to be one of the sports I'd frequently play. Was I a pro? Not at all, but I could get in a couple of forehand smashes every now and then!

Ask any Malaysian, and badminton will always have a soft sport in our hearts thanks to the men's doubles bronze medal won by Razif and Jalani Sidek back in '92. First Olympic medal ever for Malaysia.

Also, we've had 4 world number ones since including one Dato Lee Chong Wei. You may have heard of him. He's only held the title ranking of World No 1 for more than a year, a triple silver Olympic medallist and basically a national hero.

Fast forward a few years later and I've had the pleasure of covering various badminton tournaments on the job. Some of the highlights include the Legends Vision Exhibition and the Sudirman Cup 2017 in Gold Coast.

One of the most anticipated badminton events locally is the Malaysia Masters, and it's going to get significantly bigger.

I had the chance to witness the signing ceremony between Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) with Japan's car manufacturer Daihatsu Motor Corporation.

This collaboration raises the status of the tournament from GP Gold to a Super Series level with an increased prize money from USD120,000 to USD350,000.

To quote BAM President Datuk Seri Mohamed Norza Zakaria at the ceremony - "With the Malaysia Masters upgraded to Super Series, the level of competition and status of the tournament will also increase and feature at least 10 top players in the world".

What that means to us fans, more exciting matches and possibly the chance to take a selfie with players like Viktor Axelsen and Son Wan-ho! 

Staging premier tournaments locally will also benefit our national players to thrive and inspire the next generation.

Speaking of the next generation of players, the executive officer of Daihatsu Motor Co, Osamu Naruse is commited to support the development of badminton in Malaysia saying, "Daihatsu will continue to deepen its interaction with customers and local communities through sports thereby bring new optimism to their lives".

Mark your calendars as the Perodua Malaysia Masters 2018, presented by Daihatsu will take place at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil from the 16th - 21st of January 2018. Can't wait!
xo - Reem 

anfield revamped

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Believe all the hype - times that by a hundred!

That's how I felt stepping into the new extended Main Stand during the first home game of the 17/18 season vs Crystal Palace. 

The Kop end hasn't been touched and is still one of my favourite parts.

I already loved the stadium before renovations (last visited Jan 2016) - I mean this blog is called thekopsalad. Biased judgement will exist. History is plastered on every bit of wall and floor you step on so any signs of the former structure being run down was overlooked.

With the new upgraded stand though, I couldn't feel more proud for the club. I appreciate how they blended the essence of the former with the new. Modern yet historic. Where the future and past collide. I'm guilty of being too sentimental but honestly they couldn't have done it any better.

There were many of these homages dedicated to legends of the club but Stevie was just something else for me. 

Singing along to YNWA with 54,000 other people. The magic only happens here.
There's a brand new foyer for food and drinks with television screens on the inside and a mini live acoustic band that plays before kick off as well. 

The new megastore was launched just days before, so I was super excited to be one of the first few thousands to experience it. 19,500 square feet of merchandise, cafe and even a video wall - what's not to love? 

I cannot get enough of this wall at the exit of the store. Pretty much everything LFC is built on and has thrived from is written here. I need this in my house!

 More from the trip - visiting Melwood on the next post.

xo Reem

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