Photo credit: Tang Shi
Men’s double preview
World Championship silver medalists from Japan, Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda, are the only seeded pair (seeded 3) to be playing in first round of the men’s double category. With 31 entries first seeded Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo from Indonesia, second seeded Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen from China and fourth seeded Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan, also China, have been drawn with a bye into second round. For some reason it’s the fourth seeded and not the third seeded pair that gets a bye in first round.
The Japanese duo has drawn Thailand’s best ranked pair, Tinn Isriyanet and Kittisak Namdash (ranked 20), in first round and will play the winners of Lee Chun Hei Reginald/Or Chin Chung from Hong Kong and Ong Yew Sin/Teo Ee Yi from Malaysia in second.
With the home crowd behind them, local heroes Gideon and Sukamuljo – also referred to as “The Minions” – are eager to go all the way more than ever before. It would be a dream come true for the world no. 1 to win the Asian Games gold on their home ground. They have to be ready from first point though as they are most certainly going to play against Takuto Inoue and Yuki Kaneko from Japan. The Japanese pair is ranked 7 in the world.
World Champions Li and Liu have a fairly comfortable draw until the semifinal where we have a potential rematch of the World Championship final waiting for us. The Chinese top duo is most likely to face either Kamura and Sonoda or Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto from Indonesia. Finally, if the seeded pairs deliver as expected, we can also have a very interesting match in the other semifinal. Here it looks like a clash between Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan on one side and The Minions on the other. Three of the four seeded pairs won medals at the World Championships. Gideon and Sukamuljo missed a medal – reason for which they are extra eager to get the gold at the Asian Games.