Tue, 07 Nov 2000

RI juniors finish third in World C'ships

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia finally finished third in the World Junior Badminton Championships for the Bimantara Cups in Guangzhou, China, on Monday by defeating Chinese Taipei.

Top seed and host China, as predicted, continued its supremacy in badminton by winning the first mixed team event after outclassing South Korea.

Second seed Indonesia, which lost to Korea in Sunday's semifinals, had to work hard to overcome Taipei 3-1.

Mixed doubles Hendra A Gunawan and Lita Nurlita had to bow out to Chia Hsin Tsai and Wen-Hsing Cheng 7-4, 5-7, 5-7, 3-7 to give the Taipei team a 1-0 lead.

But girls singles Dewi Tira managed to perform her best to secure a comfortable win over Hsiao-Yun Chengo 7-4, 7-4, 7-0. Boys singles Sony Dwi Kuncoro also proved his quality by eliminating Sheng-Ming Chin 7-5, 7-4, 7-5.

Boys doubles Yan Pieter and Tri Heru Pamungkas retained their seniors dominance in the men's doubles after some hard work to defeat Chia Hsin Tsai and Chi-Lin Li 0-7, 7-4, 7-5, 7-3.

Coach Joko Suprianto said in a telephone interview that the youngsters gave their best performance to fulfill the Badminton Association of Indonesia's (PBSI) target of reaching the top four.

"They played their best with mounting motivation. They realized that PBSI sent them to the event on limited funds and they wanted to pay them back with a good result."

Joko said the evaluation resulted in the conclusion that Indonesian juniors still have to improve their physical condition.

"Compared to China and South Korea, our players still have to work hard on their physical fitness specially for the long matches which last for nearly one hour. They also have to improve their concentration at the critical point when they are leading. Most of the time, they lost it after leading and started to make unforced errors."

Meanwhile, China squeezed past Korea 3-2 by virtue of the final girls doubles victory to claim the first team title.

Cheered on by the home crowd, the Chinese moved ahead with the mixed doubles pair Zheng Bo and Wei Yili. After reaching a deadlock 2-2 draw with Lee Jae-jin and Hwang Yu-mi in the first four games, the Asian junior winners Zheng and Wei clinched the fifth and final game 7-2 for the victory.

In the boys singles, Li Dan, a 17-year-old Asian junior champion from Nanjing in the Jiangsu province, came from behind to score a victory over Korean Jung Young-soo 3-7, 7-4, 7-1, 4- 7, 7-5 to lift China up 2-0.

Xinhuanet.com reported that Korea managed to pull one back when its girls singles shuttler Jun Jae-youn outlasted Chinese Wei Yan in five games before Lee Jae-jin and Chung Jae-sung squared the match at two-all by rallying past Zheng Bo and Sang Yang from two games down 0-7, 0-7, 7-5, 7-2, 8-6 in the boys doubles.

At the crucial point, Wei, paired with Zhang Yawen, snatched the girls doubles and the crown for China with straight set victory over Joo Hyun-hee and Hwang Yu-mi.

The Biennial Championships, which is using the Sudirman Cup formation, will continue with individual events Tuesday.

Joko said PBSI has targeted the juniors at reaching the boys singles and doubles semifinals.

"But it will be a tough path to reach the semifinals as the competition is really tight." (yan)