Saturday, February 10, 2018
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
Japan and China progressed to the women’s team final of the E-Plus Badminton Asia Team Championships 2018 at Alor Setar, Malaysia, today. China also made the men’s team final, where they face Indonesia, who won a dramatic tie against Korea, 3-2.
Indonesia were off to a 2-0 lead thanks to Jonatan Christie (21-18 21-14 over Son Wan Ho) and Mohammad Ahsan/Angga Pratama (21-8 21-10 over Chung Eui Seok/Seo Seung Jae).
However, Korea fought back through Jeon Hyeok Jin in the second Men’s Singles, as he beat Ihsan Maulana Mustofa before Choi Solgyu/Kim Dukyoung made it 2-2 beating Rian Agung Saputro/Hendra Setiawan 11-21 21-18 21-19.
The final Men’s Singles clash couldn’t have been any closer. Firman Abdul Kholik (featured image) faced six match points against Lee Dong Keun but the Korean faltered and the Indonesian stunningly picked off eight points in a row to send Indonesia into the final: 22-20 11-21 22-20 in 84 minutes.
Earlier, China beat Malaysia 3-1.
Shi Yuqi gave China the lead beating Lee Zii Jia 21-18 21-9.
Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong levelled the score for Malaysia with a 21-18 21-12 result over He Jiting/Tan Qiang.
But it was all China’s way from there as Qiao Bin and Han Chengkai/Zhou Haodong made it past Soong Joo Ven and Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi in straight games.
In the women’s team semi-finals, Japan beat Indonesia 3-0 while Uber Cup defending champions China overcame Korea 3-1.
Japan were pushed hard by Indonesia. Fitriani Fitriani got off to a good start against Akane Yamaguchi, taking the first game, but the Dubai World Superseries champion bounced back to win the match 17-21 21-13 21-17 in just over an hour.
It was a tight contest between Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi and recent India Open winners Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu. The match stretched for a marathon 88 minutes before the Japanese outlasted their opponents, 20-22 21-19 21-18.
Nozomi Okuhara made it 3-0 for Japan but not before Gregoria Mariska Tunjung held her off for close to an hour. Eventually Okuhara emerged triumphant 21-5 19-21 21-15.
For the defending champions, Chen Yufei gave them the perfect start, beating Sung Ji Hyun 21-14 21-15.
Lee So Hee/Shin Seung Chan however levelled the deficit getting the better of Dong Wenjing/Feng Xueying 21-13 21-9.
He Bingjiao then made it 2-1 for China in the second Women’s Singles, beating Lee Jang Mi 21-19 21-19 before Cao Tong Wei/Zheng Yu surprised Korea with a 21-17 21-14 result over Chang Ye Na/Kim Hye Rin.
Earlier, in the quarter-finals on Friday, Japan beat Chinese Taipei 3-0; Korea beat Malaysia 3-0; China beat Thailand 3-1, and Indonesia beat India 3-1.