Indonesian shuttlers spike three titles at Singapore Open
The Jakarta Post
Indonesian shuttlers showed improved performance from last week's Indonesia Open by sweeping three out of five titles at the Singapore Open on Sunday.
Mohammad Aksan-Hendra Setiawan won the men's doubles title to equal their achievement in Jakarta where they salvaged the only title for the hosts amid Chinese domination.
The world's superpower in the sport finished second best to Indonesia this time around with the other two titles.
In the finals on Sunday, the Indonesian pair again went head-to-head against Korean foes Lee Yong-dae-Ko Sung-hyun, whom they beat 21-15, 21-18.
Unseeded Tommy Sugiarto, whose stellar march in Jakarta was stopped in the semifinals, made his way through to the finals in which he overcame fifth-seeded Thai Boonsak Ponsana's resilience in a 20-22, 21-5, 21-17 win. His victims en route to the finals were eighth- seeded Wang Zheming of China and sixth-seeded Nguyen Tien Minh.
Top-seeded Du Pengyu of China and German Marc Zwiebler, who spoiled Tommy's campaign in Jakarta, had already crashed out sideways.
The third title for Indonesia was delivered in the mixed doubles category, courtesy of Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir. The twice All England champions defeated Yoo Yeon-seong-Eom Hye-won 21-12, 21-12 to redeem their setback in Jakarta, where they were stopped in semifinals.
'We are glad we could win in Singapore despite our loss last week in the Indonesia Open. With the victory, our confidence is increasing again. We played very well from the beginning,' Liliyana said according to a release from the Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI).
'I did not imagine that we'd be able to leave them that far behind in point collection cause they are a good pair and difficult to beat,' Tontowi said.
He said the champion's title was meaningful for them in light of their loss at the Indonesia Open recently. 'From the beginning, we were comfortable,' he said.
This is the second title for the world's third ranked players from the Singapore Open Super Series after 2011.
They skipped the 2012 edition to focus on the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
PBSI chairman Gita Wirjawan applauded the players' achievements in Singapore.
'It's remarkable. This is for the first time Indonesia has succeeded to win three titles in a Super Series tournament,' he said. 'Congratulations to the athletes, officials and fans.'
Rexy Mainaky, PBSI chief in charge of development, attributed the success to team work.
'Let me tell all of us on the current [organizational] board not to get carried away. We still have a long way to go. Thank God. Pak Gita Wirjawan is always monitoring our athletes' progress,' he said.
The women's singles title went to Wang Yihan, who stunned top-seeded Li Xuerui 21-12, 21-12 in an all-Chinese final while Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei won the women's doubles for China after defeating Misaki Matsumoto-Ayaka Takahashi of Japan 21-19, 21-16.
Lindaweni Fanetri was Indonesia's best performer in the women's singles category, reaching the semifinals where she was stopped by Wang Yihan.
In women's doubles, Nitya Krishinda Maheswari-Greysia Polii and Pia Zebediah Bernadeth-Rizki Amelia Pradipta were also forced to abandon their campaign in the semifinals.
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