Sat, 08 Apr 2000

RI men's doubles secure final place in Japan Open

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia secured a final ticket in the US$180,000 Yonex Japan Open men's doubles after world number one pairing Candra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan set up a showdown with veteran compatriots Bambang Suprianto and Tri Kusheryanto in Saturday's semifinals.

Candra and Tony, top seeded here, were too powerful for Malaysian veterans Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock, the 1996 Olympic silver medalists and 1997 World Championships runner ups, to win 15-7, 15-11.

Bambang and Tri, both mixed doubles specialists, upset fifth seeded Yu Jinhao and Chen Qiqiu of China 15-12, 7-15, 15-7.

In another semifinal, third seeded Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky proved that aging has not blunted their skills. The 1996 Olympic gold medalists gave a free lesson to Chew Choon Eng and Rosman Razak of Malaysia 15-4, 15-7.

Ricky and Rexy will challenge arch-rivals Lee Dong-soo and Yoo Yong-sung of South Korea, the second seeds, on Saturday. The Koreans thwarted the national team's dream to create an all- Indonesian semifinal by defeating sixth seeded Denny Kantono and Antonius 15-12, 15-11.

Indonesian men's singles Hendrawan, the fourth seed, was barely tested when opponent Ahn Jae-chang of South Korea retired when losing 1-7 in the first game.

He will face unseeded Roslin Hashim, whose giant-killing run includes wins over World Championship silver medalist Fung Permadi of Chinese Taipei and world champion Sun Jun of China.

Hashim took another scalp by beating the Dane 16-17, 15-7, 17- 14. It was a repeat performance for Hashim, ranked sixth in his country and 33rd in the world, who shocked the same opponent in the Malaysian Open round of 16 in July last year.

"I feel I am on a winning streak," said Hashim, whose only tournament victory came in the Dutch Open in 1998, as quoted by AFP.

Hendrawan told The Jakarta Post: "Roslin has been showing a great performance in this tournament. There's nothing I can do tomorrow but fight him as hard as I can."

"Technically Roslin is not a really special shuttler but he's very patient and tough. That's his winning point, he can make his opponents make unforced errors. I have to be more patient than usual tomorrow."

Third seeded Marlev Mainaky was upset by sixth seeded Ji Xinpeng of China 15-17, 15-8, 10-15. Ji will face compatriot Xia Xuanze, the All England and Swiss Open winner, in the last four after easily defeating another Chinese Luo Yigang 15-10, 15-2.

Indonesia has another chance to win a title here as two mixed doubles managed to reach the semifinals.

Fourth seeded Bambang Suprianto and Zelin Resiana defeated eighth seeded Chen Qiqiu and Chen Lin of China 15-2, 10-15, 15- 10. The Indonesians will find it tougher going on Saturday as they will challenge top seeded Liu Yong and Ge Fei of China. The Chinese beat the 1999 All England winner Simon Archer and Joanne Goode of England 15-13, 15-5.

Compatriots Tri Kusheryanto and Minarti Timur crawled from behind to finally tame Lee Dong-soo and Lee Hyo-jung of South Korea 15-17, 15-5, 15-4.

The second seeded Indonesians will face third seeded Zhang Jun and Gao Ling of China. The Chinese overcame the Danish duo of Jon Holst-Christensen and Ann Jorgensen, the seventh seeds, 15-3, 15- 9.

The sport's powerhouse China dominated the women's doubles by creating an all-Chinese last four, while Camilla Martin of Denmark was the lone non-Chinese to book a berth in the semifinal. (yan)