The Jakarta Post
The world number one pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo - dubbed “the Minions” by their fans due to their stature - were triumphant over juniors Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto in a historic all-Indonesian men's doubles badminton final on Tuesday in the 2018 Asian Games.
While an all-Indonesian final might have been thought to be less intense, in fact both pairs gave it their all.
Spectators, who filled Istora Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) in Senayan, Jakarta, held their breath a couple of times due to the tightness of the final match.
Fajar and Rian surprised Gideon and Kevin in the first game, winning 21-13. “The Minions” rebounded in the second game, however, showing off their strong smashes and solid defense before winning it 21-18.
In the decisive rubber game, Gideon and Kevin eventually defeated Fajar and Rian 24-22.
Gideon and Kevin applauded their opponents’ performance after the game.
“It was a miracle. We trailed at several points, but thank God we could win the game. They put in a great performance, which was beyond our expectation,” Kevin said.
Rian said their seniors showed better confidence and calmness by the end of the game, which was a contributing factor to their victory.
“It was not our time yet,” he said.
The final was a repeat of the 1974 Asian Games in Tehran, when doubles Tjun and Johan Wahjudi beat their compatriots Christian Hadinata and Ade Chandra. (yan)