Sports

RI brings home three titles
from Australia Open

Indonesia’s young shuttlers brought home three titles from the Australian Open Grand Prix Gold 2013 on Sunday.

Women’s doubles duo of Vita Marissa and Variella Aprilsasi snatched their first title in an international tournament by defeating Thailand’s Sapsiree Taerattanachai and Savitree Amitrapai 21-19, 21-15.

Angga Pratama and Rian Agung Saputro ousted their seniors Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan at the all-Indonesian men’s doubles final, winning 22-20, 21-19.

In the mixed doubles event, Irfan Fadhillah and Weni Anggraini breezed past the South Korean pair of Shin Baek-choel and Jang Ye-na in a dramatic three games: 21-14, 22-24, 21-16.

All three winning pairs were first-time victors in international events.

“We are so glad to have this first title, especially considering we have only been paired together for the last four months,” Variella said in a press statement sent to The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

Vita and Variella debuted as a team at the Korea Open Superseries Premier 2013 in January. Their best performance was when they got to the semifinals at the Malaysia Open Superseries later that month.

For Variella, the Australian Open title was her first at the grand prix gold level and second for Vita, who won the mixed doubles at the US Open Grand Prix Gold 2012 with Tony Gunawan.

“This achievement is really something for me at my age. I hope young shuttlers can be inspired to higher achievements,” said the 32-year-old Vita.

Irfan and Weni, whose best result was as runners-up at the Malaysia Open last year, said that they felt they were ready to be champions.

“Our fighting spirit was boosted during this competition. This title definitely makes us more confident, but we’re not satisfied yet,” said Weni.

Angga and Rian found it hard to believe they could beat Hendra and Ahsan, the winners of the Malaysia Open Super Series.

“We were finally able to win a title after always being defeated at the finals. Today we played freely and fought our best,” said Rian.

With their victory, Angga and Rian are now ranked 13th in the world.

“Our target is to be at least in the world’s top 10. After this, we head for New Zealand,” said Angga. The NZ Open begins on Wednesday.

Indonesian shuttlers will also be at the Indian Open Super Series in New Delhi on April 23-28 before preparing intensively for the Sudirman Cup in Kuala Lumpur on May 19-26.

Paper Edition | Page: 20

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