Sun, 20 Feb 2000

RI shuttlers lose to South Korea in Uber Cup semis

JAKARTA (JP): After employing their all skills, Indonesian shuttlers folded to South Korea 2-3 in the semifinals match of the Thomas and Uber Cups qualifying round in the Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday.

Top seed Indonesia was leading 2-0 after Lidya Djaelawidjaja performed her best ever to eliminate Kim Ji-hyun 13-12, 11-5 and Ellen Angelina sweated out to outclass Lee Kyung-won 3-11, 11-7, 11-9.

Third singles Yuli Marfuah exhausted all her energy before losing to doubles specialist Ra Kyung-min 9-11, 9-11.

South Korea equaled 2-2 when Lee Hyo-jung and Yim Kyung-jin managed to beat Etty Tantri and Cynthia Tuwankotta 15-13, 16-17, 15-10 in 92 minutes.

In the deciding match, world number two doubles Ra Kyung-min and Chung Jae-hee crushed Elysa Nathanael and Deyana Lomban 15-8, 15-9 in 40 minutes.

Team manager Christian Hadinata expressed disappointment at the day's results in a telephone interview, but he also gave credit to his players.

"We had predicted to win in two singles and one double matches. But our key players Etty and Cynthia failed to accomplish their mission. They might have spoiled their chances to win but it was really a tense match because both pairs tried their best to conclude the match," he said.

Christian said he would not place the blame for the team's failure on Etty's and Cynthia's shoulders.

"They explored all their skills and energy. They were leading 13-12 in the first game and had the serve. It's too bad they could not earn two more points and so eventually lost 13-15. If they had won the first game, it might have been another story."

"In the second game, they were downed 6-14 before forcing a deuce and won 17-16. In the decider, the South Koreans were motivated by their typical do-or-die spirit to finally claim victory."

Christian said Yuli also performed her best.

"Yuli has a natural handicap with her tiny body. She has always been controlled by her towering opponents. Luckily, she has good technic, footwork and motivation which really helps her performance."

South Korea will challenge Japan, who defeated Hong Kong 3-1.

Yasuko Mizui defeated Ling Wan Ting 11-5, 11-6 followed by teammate Kanako Yonekura, the 1998 Asian Games gold medalist, who beat Koon Wai Chee 11-4, 11-5. Miho Tanaka lost to Wang Chen, a Chinese playing for Hong Kong, 11-9, 4-11, 5-11.

Doubles Chikako Nakayama and Hiromi Yamada concluded the victory after beating Koon Wai Chee and Chan Mei Mei 15-4, 15-2. The last match was not featured.

Speaking on Indonesian shuttlers' chances against Hong Kong Sunday, Christian said the shuttlers needed strong motivation to take revenge on Hong Kong, which beat Indonesia in the round- robin match.

"We must learn from our last meet with Hong Kong. I have motivated the athletes to take revenge. Judging by their forms today, I believe we have a great chance to win tomorrow.

"They did their best against Korea today and I deeply hope they can maintain their performance for tomorrow's match." (yan)