Sun, 05 Sep 1999

Indonesia books four badminton final berths

DENPASAR, Bali (JP): Mixed doubles top-seeded Michael Sogaard and Rikke Olsen of Denmark were upset in the semifinals of the US$150,000 Sanyo Indonesia Open and had to bow out to Indonesia's second best pair Bambang Suprianto and Zelin Resiana 15-13, 15- 17, 2-15 on Saturday.

Indonesia has also secured four titles in the tournament in the men's singles, women's singles and mixed doubles.

Defending champion Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky secured Indonesia's fourth title after defeating second seeded Danish duo Jens Eriksen and Jesper Larsen of Denmark, 15-10, 15-5.

Ricky and Rexy will meet top seeded Candra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan who beat Michael Sogaard and Jim Laugesen of Denmark 15- 0, 14-17, 15-5.

Zelin said: "This is the first time we met the pair but we learned their playing and this morning we arranged a strategy on how to handle them."

"Rikke usually stands parallel to Michael when he's smashing, so Bambang and I tried to return the ball crossing instead of being parallel."

Sogaard said: "We both played well in the third game but they were really fast. I wasn't tired but they played better than us. We didn't have any problems with the wind because all the players experienced the same. There's no excuse."

Bambang and Zelin will face seniors Tri Kusherjanto and Minarti Timur, who won over Emma Ermawati and Wahyu Agung 15-9, 15-7.

Tri and Minarti aim to win their fifth consecutive title in the tournament.

In the men's singles, Taufik Hidayat, barracked by a crowd of 1,500, defeated world number 17 Hendrawan 15-13, 15-12. World number nine Taufik had to fight neck and neck with his senior from the beginning. Both players rallied from the baselines before performing their jumping smashes.

"I just wanted to improve my performance in the Indonesia Open because I lost in the semifinals last year. I really got an advantage from the surprises here because the top seededs, who were likely to meet me, had to exit before meeting me," said 18- year-old Taufik.

Taufik is scheduled to meet Budi Santoso, who beat him in the tournament last year. "Tomorrow will be a revenge."

Budi, who lost to Malaysian Yong Hock Kin in last year's final, reached the final after beating teammate Marlev Mainaky 8- 15, 15-13, 15-2.

Marlev said: "I felt exhausted in the third game, especially with my wrist. I lacked in weightlifting training before competing in the Singapore and Indonesia Opens. In the second game, I should have played harder but it was doubtful I could keep the attack because I was really tired."


In the women's singles, Lidya Djaelawidjaja managed to beat junior Yuli Marfuah 3-11, 11-4, 11-6 and saved the title for an Indonesian for the sixth time in a row.

Last year Mia Audina beat Dane Mette Sorensen. Previously, Susi Susanti won the title four years in a row.

"I was really nervous in the first game because I had more of a burden after beating top-seeded Camilla Martin of Denmark. In the second game, I started to attack her," Lidya said, who is aiming to win her second title after the 1995 Russia Open.

Lidya will meet compatriot Ellen Angelina, who beat Mette Pedersen of Denmark 11-9, 11-3.

"Coach Liang Chiusia told me to serve high so she would have to lob because her smashes are really powerful and dangerous. I learned a lot from Mette's match against Cindana in the first round and I tried hard to not let her smash," Ellen said, who aims to win her first title here.

In the women's doubles, Elysa Nathanael and Deyana Lomban overcame the second string partnerships of Emma Ermawati and Vita Marissa 17-14, 15-10. Elysa and Deyana will face the Dane duo of Helene Kirkegaard and Rikke Olsen, who defeated Indonesia's second best pair of Etty Tantri and Cynthia Tuwankotta 15-7, 17- 14.

Last year, Elysa and Deyana beat the Dane pairs in the final in Jakarta.