Sat, 04 Nov 2000

Rony shatters Wong's dream in badminton meet

JAKARTA (JP): The US$150,000 Asian Badminton Championships saw men's singles second seed Wong Choon Hann of Malaysia crash in the quarterfinals to unseeded Rony Agustinus of Indonesia, leaving the way open for top seed Taufik Hidayat to try for the crown.

Host Indonesia was ensured a title in the mixed doubles as it managed to create an all-Indonesian semifinals.

Wong, world number six, got off to a shaky start and failed to give his best, making many unforced errors with his leaping smashes. The left-handed Malaysian led 11-7 in the first game before allowing Rony to take over the lead and conclude the game 15-12.

In the second game, Rony got more confident with his netting and sharp smashes to finally win the match 15-6.

"I put pressure on Wong's performance although in the beginning I still had to adjust to his style of play. If I didn't take control from the beginning, he would have controlled me," he said in a post-match conference.

Unfortunately, Wong was unavailable for comment as he declined to appear at the conference.

Rony will challenge senior Marlev Mainaky in Saturday's semifinals. Marlev had to sweat it out before he finally overcame Ronald Susilo, an Indonesian playing for Singapore, 6-15, 15-13, 15-3.

Other semifinals will feature top seed Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia and Pulella Gopichand of India.

Taufik had to use all his skills to eliminate Malaysian Yong Hock Kin -- who is trying to make a comeback after a one-year break due to an injury and family matters -- 17-16, 15-3.

Taufik led 14-9 in the first game before he lost control and let Yong force him into a deuce, 14-14. In the end, the 19-year- old Indonesian managed to claim the match.

"I lost control as I rushed to finish the game. Luckily, he made some unforced errors at critical points. In the second game, Hock Kin seemed to lose his concentration," Taufik said.

"He is still a good player, especially after a long break. Anyway, it's really difficult for me to win, especially to a left-hander."

Yong also declined to attend the news conference.

Gopichand buried the dreams of Chinese young player Chen Yu in his international debut after a do-or-die match by winning 15-7, 16-17, 15-13.

"I came here without a target. I just want to focus on one match at a time. About tomorrow's match against Taufik, let's just wait and see," the 26-year-old Indian said.

Chen said he was not disturbed by the leaking roof during the critical point of 14-13 in the third game for Gopichand.

"It was not a problem. It didn't influence my playing. I didn't mind at all," he said as translated by Malaysian men's doubles Choong Tan Fook.

The performance of Indonesian women's singles left Ellen Angelina alone in the semifinals. Ellen, who defeated junior Atu Rosalina 11-5, 11-4, will challenge top seed Lee Kyung-won of South Korea. Lee crushed former Indonesian number one Cindana Hartono, who had been resting since February, 11-9, 11-2.

Another semifinal will see young talented Chinese shuttler Xie Xingfang, who beat Chan Ya Lin of Chinese Taipei 9-11, 11-1, 11- 8, and Japanese rising star Fumi Iwawaki, who easily won 11-3, 11-3 over Le Ngoc Nguyen Nhung of Vietnam.

Men's doubles top seeds Choong Tan Fook and Lee Wan Wah will cruise to the semifinals after eliminating Sudhat Prapakamol and Patapol Ngernsrisuk of Thailand 15-4, 15-3.

The Malaysians will meet the new host partnership of Candra Wijaya and Antonius Budi Ariantho, who easily defeat Chien Yu Hsun and Lin Wei Shiang of Chinese Taipei 15-1, 15-7.

Another semifinal will feature Tony Gunawan and Rexy Mainaky facing juniors Imam Sodikin and Lulu Hadiyanto. (nvn/yan)

Selected results

Women's doubles: Etty Tantri/Minarti Timur (Ina) bt Chan Mei Mei/Li Wing Mui (Hkg) 15-0, 15-12; Lee Kyung-won/Chung Jae-hee (Kor) bt Angelina de Pauw/Eny Widowati (Ina) 15-9, 15-8; Rossi Riani/Diah Novita (Ina) bt Eny Erlangga/Novita (Ina) 15-8, 17-14; Lee Hyu-jung/Yim Kyung-jin (Kor) bt Deyana Lomban/Carmelita (Ina) 4-15, 15-7, 15-9.

Mixed doubles: Wahyu Agung/Emma Ermawati (Ina) bt Deni Setiawan/Rita Kristiani (Ina) 15-5, 15-3; Tri Kusharjanto/Vita Marissa (Ina) bt Choi Min-ho/Yim Kyung-jin 15-10, 15-9; Bambang Suprianto/Minarti Timur (Ina) bt Tony Gunawan/Etty Tantri (Ina) 15-11, 15-12; Santoso Sugiharjo/Eny Widowati (Ina) bt Imam Sodikin/Upi Chrisnasari (Ina) 15-12, 15-8

Men's doubles: Tony Gunawan/Rexy Mainaky (Ina) bt Ma Che Kong/Yau Kwon Yuen (Hkg) 15-8, 15-9; Imam Sodikin/Luluk Hadiyanto (Ina) bt Yung Sung-gyun/Park Young-duk (Kor) 8-15, 15-10, 15-7