Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Text by Dev Sukumar
Inspired by the presence of their legend Susi Susanti, Indonesia’s women overcame Singapore 4-1 in the Li-Ning BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2014 today.
The Group X tie was unexpectedly one-sided as were all the other ties in the morning session. Korea were dominant over Australia (5-0) in the same group while, in Thomas Cup Group A, Thailand ran into trouble against Singapore but prevailed 4-1 and Indonesia jogged past Nigeria 5-0.
Indonesia’s women would have expected a harder challenge from Singapore. Lindaweni Fanetri (featured image) powered past Chen Jiayuan 21-15 21-15 to give the lead for Indonesia, which was consolidated by Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah/Suci Rizky Andini over Vanessa Neo/Fu Mingtian, 21-14 21-15.
Liang Xiaoyu raised visions of a fightback for Singapore with a combative performance over Bellaetrix Manuputty, 14-21 21-17 21-14.
Singapore would have hoped for Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari to challenge Greysia Polii/Nitya Krishinda Maheswari, but the Singaporeans could not raise their game to the required level. Maheswari and Polii fired winners at will while Yao and Sari were scratchy throughout the 21-11 21-8 loss.
Maria Febe Kusumastuti closed out the tie beating Fu Mingtian 21-15 21-10.
Polii said the match went easier than expected but they didn’t want to get carried away.
“We didn’t want to feel under pressure or to underestimate them. We wanted to focus one point after another.”
Asked about the expectations of the team from Indonesian fans, she replied: “Our President said we had to enjoy the game, enjoy every match. We have to have fun on court. We are thinking about how to win, how to control the pressure as well. We need to erase all our thoughts to perform well.”
Former Olympic gold medallist Susanti’s presence in the stands was obviously an inspiration.
“Of course we are conscious of her. I admire her because of her talent, her presence in the badminton world. It is a boost for us, for the whole team.”
Singapore’s men were unlucky to fall 1-4 to Thailand. After Boonsak Ponsana had put Thailand ahead in the opening match, Singapore’s Chayut Triyachart and Yong Kai Terry Hee (above) held what appeared to be a decisive lead towards the end of the Men’s Doubles clash against Sudket Prapakamol and Patiphat Chalardchaleam. The Thais however recovered from deficits of 14-18 and 18-20, eventually saving three match points to prevail 21-16 13-21 23-21.
Singapore got a point in the next match when Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (right) retired after losing the first game 23-21 to Huang Chao. However, Singapore could not extend the contest into the fourth and fifth matches and Thailand finished comfortably ahead.
* None of Indonesia’s matches against Nigeria lasted over 23 minutes. Indonesia’s top three – Tommy Sugiarto, Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka and Simon Santoso – accounted for Jinkan Ifraimu Bulus, Enejoh Abah and Victor Makanju with only Bulus getting into double digits in the second game. World champions Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan played at half their pace but were still able to outclass Abah and Makanju 21-8 21-8 to close things out for the powerhouse.
* Korea’s women too were a class above Australia but the latter were close to winning a point. Tang He Tian and Renuga Veeran (above) pulled off a second-game win over Jang Ye Na/Kim So Young but could not sustain the momentum as they fell 21-8 20-22 21-15.
For today’s results, click here.