Sports

Tommy claims first win
over Chen Long

Thanksgiving: Tommy Sugiarto on his knees after his stunning win over second seed Chinese Chen Long 21-11, 21-18 in the opening round of the Djarum Indonesia Open badminton championship at Istora Senayan, Jakarta, on Wednesday. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)
Thanksgiving: Tommy Sugiarto on his knees after his stunning win over second seed Chinese Chen Long 21-11, 21-18 in the opening round of the Djarum Indonesia Open badminton championship at Istora Senayan, Jakarta, on Wednesday. (JP/Wendra Ajistyatama)

Tommy Sugiarto chalked up a shocking result at 2013 Djarum Indonesia Open badminton championship on Wednesday by stunning second seed Chen Long of China 21-11-21-18.

It was the Indonesian’s first win after he had lost in the previous six meetings against the same opponent. His most recent losses came in the Sudirman Cup, when he was beaten twice in the group and quarterfinal matches.

On Wednesday, Tommy was finally able to turn the tables in their seventh encounter, cheered by the large home crowd inside the Istora Senayan.

The first game gave Tommy little trouble in beating the Asian Games’ gold medalist 21-11.

Chen Long tried to improve his game and led 16-12 before Tommy regained his composure to seal a ticket to the second round.

“After losing six times I was determined to try my best once more and did not want to suffer another loss. The cheering supporters gave me a positive feeling,” Tommy told reporters after his historical win.

He tried hard to focus on the game; he said he even forgot to check the scoreboard and did not realize he had already caught up with Chen Long.

“I just tried to be confident playing against China’s best player.”

He said the tactic worked out for him.

“I played within myself and tried not to be burdened by anything,” said the son of Indonesia’s badminton legend Icuk Sugiarto.

It was a victorious day for another unseeded Indonesian, with Alamsyah Yunus sending home fifth seed Kenichi Tago of Japan in a three-game encounter.

The small-postured Alamsyah won the first game 24-22, He lost the second game 16-21 before raising his game to take the third game 21-17.

“Considering my body size, I needed to play smartly. I couldn’t possibly keep attacking throughout the match as it would have only drained my energy,” said the winner of the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold.

He slowly but surely developed his attack in the third game and forced Tago to make errors.

“I played without any burden today. I had nothing to lose, considering his ranking is way above mine,” said the shuttler who trained outside the National Training Center (Pelatnas).

Fourth-seeded Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka also registered wins but the former national star, who has begun to suffer a dip in performance, Taufik Hidayat, along with qualifiers Riyanto Subagja and Andre Kurniawan Tedjono, exited the tournament.

Sony booked a 21-17, 10-21, 21-19 win over China’s Chen Yuekun while Hayom defeated Vladimir Ivanov of Russia 17-21, 21-6, 21-18.

Riyanto lost to Ajay Jayaram of India 22-20, 8-21, 21-12, while Taufik went down 21-15, 12-21, 17-21 to Sai Praneeth, also from India, in a late match of the day.

“Thanks for the support in my badminton career. This was my last game. It’s not a good ending. Don’t look at this [single] game...but all the other games,” he said at the end of the match.

Paper Edition | Page: 19

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