Photo credit: Tang Shi

The 18th Asian Games were kicked off with an amazing and successful opening ceremony yesterday and the Indonesian badminton women followed up on the success today. While the host nation’s men have a bye into the quarterfinal, their women were up against Hong Kong in first round today.

World Junior Champion from 2017, Gregoria Mariska Tunjung who turned 19 just a week ago, was for the first time ever playing the first women’s single in the Indonesian national team. It was an excited but also nervous Indonesian who went on court for the first match.

And it didn’t start well for Tunjung who was up against Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi. She needed time to get used to the conditions in the arena and was down 4-11 at interval in first game against a well-playing Cheung. But Tunjung managed to come back and was as close as 16-17 but she didn’t have what it takes. Cheung Ngan Yi won first game 21-19.

After some tactical adjustments in the break, Gregoria Mariska Tunjung started second game as a rocket and quickly brought herself to an 11-2 lead. She didn’t look back and easily won the game 11-8. Third game seemed to belong to Cheung again as Tunjung made a bit too many unforced errors. The Hong Kong girl was leading 15-10 before the Indonesian World Junior Champions slowly came back into the game, equalized at 17-17 and finally won 21-18. It was 1-0 for Indonesia. The host nation was on the right way.

WC bronze medalists on court

Second match was women’s double between Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu and Ng Tsz Yau/Yeun Sin Ying. The two Indonesians who recently won a bronze medal at the World Championships in Nanjing went on court being very happy that Tunjung managed to bring their team ahead in the team match. This had a positive influence on Polii and Rahayu.

And there were no major problems for the Indonesians in this first women’s double. Ng and Yeun never really got into the game and lost as clear as 14-21 11-21 to the Indonesian pair. It was 2-0 for Indonesia now.

Solid finish closes the tie

In what could become the final match of the tie, Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin was small favorite against Fitriani from Indonesia. The two girls are ranked 34 and 40 in the world respectively. And it was also Yip who started out best and took the first game 21-18.

Fitriani began playing longer rallies to try to make her opponent tired and this tactic turned out to be the right one to turn the game around. It was a one-way street from the beginning of second game and there was nothing Yip Pui Yin could do to prevent a comfortable Indonesian win in three games. With 21-13 21-10 in second and third game Fitriani closed the tie and gave the host nation a solid 3-0 win in the first round. Indonesia is through to the quarterfinal where they will be facing Korea who had a bye in first round.

 

Results of today’s matches in the team event

Women:
Hong Kong-Indonesia 0-3
Pakistan-Chinese Taipei 0-3
Maldives-Nepal 3-2

Men:
Nepal-Pakistan 3-1
Malaysia-Japan 0-3
Hong Kong-Mongolia W/O
Maldives-India 0-3
Korea-Thailand 3-1

 

The quarterfinals on 20th August 2018

Women:
Japan-India
Korea-Indonesia
Chinese Taipei-Thailand
Maldives-China

Men:
China-Hong Kong
Chinese Taipei-Nepal
Korea-Japan
India-Indonesia

 

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