The Jakarta Post
Indonesian young men's doubles pair Angga Pratama and Ricky Karanda Suwardi took home the men's doubles honor from the Singapore Open Superseries tournament on Sunday, which was colored with a walkover from Chinese players.
Underdogs Angga and Ricky ' who were paired late last year ' defeated China's Fu Haifeng and Zhang Nan 21-15, 11-21, 21-14 to bring home the sole title for Indonesia.
'We finally made it [to win our first title] in Singapore. We advanced to the finals in Grand Prix and challenge tournaments but we achieved a breakthrough by winning a Superseries championship. We are really grateful. This is really unexpected,' Ricky said in a statement.
'We learned our lessons from previous tournaments. They can easily turn the tables against us,' he added.
'Thank God, family, friends, coach and the [Indonesian Badminton Association] PBSI family. Hopefully we can win more tournaments in the future,' said Angga.
Until now, the pair's highest achievement had been runner-up at the 2014 Macau Open Grand Prix Gold in December as well as at the 2015 Thailand International Challenge in January. Both are deemed less prestigious tournaments compared to the Singapore Open Superseries.
The Singapore Open was unfortunately marred with a walkover (WO) by Chinese mixed doubles players Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei in their final match against compatriots Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong due to an aggravating knee injury, Agence France-Presse reported.
In 2011 in Singapore, Chinese star Lin Dan was loudly booed for pulling out of the men's final against countryman Chen Jin.
A study by bedzine.net in 2011, which compiled results of main draws of all individual tournaments, showed that more than 20 percent of matches were either not finished or not played when Chinese shuttlers played against their compatriots.
The statistics showed that Chinese shuttlers met each other 99 times on the circuit and 11 of them were walkovers while nine of them retired in the middle of a match.
Danish shuttler Mathias Boe voiced his concern over the issue through his Twitter account @mathiasboe. 'WO by China is allowed but I got a US$1,500 fine for not participating in four out of 17 SS tournaments, two of them due to hernia, is that fair?'
Commenting on the decision, PBSI deputy secretary-general Ahmad Budiarto said he was sure the referee had strong reason to allow a walkover in the final round.
'It is usually due to injury,' he told The Jakarta Post. 'In sports we have to uphold sportsmanship.'
Men's singles player Kento Momota became the first Japanese to win a Superseries badminton singles title after beating Hong Kong's Hu Yun 21-17, 16-21, 21-15.
'The margin was really close and Hu Yun was really good offensively,' said Momota. 'I was running around and trying to keep patient, and that was the key to winning this match.'
Sun Yu of China took the women's singles title after overcoming Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan.
'I'm overjoyed. I came to Singapore last year and it was the first time I got into the semifinals but I lost eventually,' said the 21-year-old, who won 21-13, 19-21, 22-20.
In women's doubles, China's Ou Dongni and Yu Xiaohan upset top seeds Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi of Japan 21-17, 21-16.