Mon, 27 Aug 2001

Poor finish for RI shuttlers in Manila championships

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia only secured one title from the men's doubles' all-Indonesian final match despite sending two other finalists to the US$150,000 JVC Asian Badminton Championships, allowing Chinese shuttlers to win three titles on Sunday.

The men's doubles title was an unexpected surprise when veteran shuttlers Bambang Suprianto and Tri Kusheryanto defeated top seeds and Sydney Olympic gold medalists Candra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan 8-15, 15-13, 15-13 at Manila's Philsports Stadium.

Bambang's men's doubles title was a consolation after he lost his mixed doubles final match. Paired with Minarti Timur, the Indonesian veteran pair lost to one of world's strongest mixed doubles pairs, Kim Dong-moon and Ra Kyung-min of South Korea, who sealed a 11-15, 15-4, 15-3 victory.

Meanwhile, Chinese top seeds Gao Ling and Huang Sui also lost the first game before snatching the women's doubles title. The Chinese proved too powerful for Indonesian Open winners Deyana Lomban and Vita Marissa, and scored a 12-15, 15-4, 15-6 victory.

China dominated the championships by securing both the men's and women's singles titles, as reported by AFP.

Xia Xuanze ended the giant-killing run of compatriot Lin Dan on Sunday to capture the Asian badminton men's singles crown, the first of three Chinese victories at the tournament.

Zhang Ning annexed the women's singles title, her second major tournament win in eight days after her victory at the Singapore Open.

Sydney Olympics bronze medalist Xia, the world number five, eked out a methodical 15-10, 15-9 demolition of teenager Lin.

Lin raced to a 9-2 lead but saw his advantage whittled down steadily by Xia's relentless forehand.

Once he settled down, Xia held Lin to a single point for the rest of the set and built a commanding 11-2 lead in the second to wrap up the title, his second since winning the World Grand Prix title in Brunei two weeks ago.

Lin, ranked 104th in the world, had upset the form book last week when he stopped top seed and defending champion Taufik Hidayat in the third round.

Third seeded Zhang overpowered the erratic Hong Kong top seed Wang Chen, 11-1, 11-3 in the women's singles final.

Wang, who moved to Hong Kong three years ago, capitulated in 20 minutes.

"We used to be playing partners on the Chinese national team so I am familiar with Wang's style," Zhang said as quoted by AFP.

"Her being seeded higher than I did not bother me," said the 20 year-old from northeast China's Liaoning province.

Meanwhile training director of the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI), Christian Hadinata, said the results were actually an improvement, especially in the women's doubles.

"Deyana and Vita managed to clear their way into the finals against World Champions Gao and Huang. The final is usually dominated by Chinese players," he told The Jakarta Post by telephone.

"They also managed to steal one game which is quite an achievement considering the fact that it is still difficult for our women's doubles pairs to beat the Chinese."

"Meanwhile, the South Korean pair is one of world's strongest mixed doubles pair. By reaching the final, Bambang and Minarti have showed their quality," he added. (nvn)