The Jakarta Post
Indonesia has shown it is still the force to beat in Southeast Asian badminton after its men's team claimed its sixth consecutive title at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines on Wednesday.
Indonesia won gold after beating Malaysia 3-1 in a best-of-five final at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex in Manila.
"As targeted, we won the gold to maintain our men’s team superiority. In general, the lads displayed their top performances. It was just Fajar and Rian who lost," Susy Susanti of the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) said in a statement, referring to doubles pair Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto.
Indonesia has not lost in the men’s team category since the 2007 Thailand Games. At the 2013 Myanmar Games, team events in badminton were not part of the program.
In Wednesday's title bout, singles shuttler Jonatan Christie gave Indonesia its first team point by defeating Lee Zi Jia 21-9, 21-17.
Fajar and Rian, however, lost in the second match to Aaron Chia Teng Fong and Soh Wooi Yik 21-17, 21-13.
In the third match, singles shuttler Anthony Sinisuka Ginting put Indonesia ahead again, winning 13-21, 21-15, 21-18 against Soong Joo Ven.
Susy, the PBSI head of development and achievements, said deploying Anthony was part of her plan to win the final.
"What was important was that, first, we had to get two winning points in singles, and then another win in either doubles or singles," added Susy, whose many international achievements include an Olympic gold.
Indonesia doubles pair Wahyu Nayaka and Ade Yusuf clinched a victory and the gold after winning 21-16, 21-19 against Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi in the deciding match.
The fifth match was not played.
Indonesia men's doubles coach Herry Iman Pierngadi admitted he was not satisfied with the performance of Fajar and Rian.
"I have no idea whether [they] felt like [they were] carrying a burden or what.
"Though on paper I knew it would be hard for them [to win], given their 0-3 head-to-head [record] with the Malaysian pair, I was not aware that they would lose in a way in which they failed to display their true game," he said.
Herry praised the performance of Wahyu and Ade in sealing the victory.
"Their performance was expected. Plus, the Malaysian pair was also already under pressure. When they won the first game, I knew that they would win the match," he added.
Next, the Indonesian shuttlers are to compete in individual competitions starting Thursday.