Indonesia’s men’s and women’s teams secured a spot in the semifinals of the badminton event at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, after trailing the Taiwan teams on Saturday.
Veteran player Taufik Hidayat led the men, who have a bye in the quarterfinals, to a 3-0 win over Taiwan, while women’s team also defeated Taiwan 3-0.
Taufik returned from a late warm up to defeat Yu Hsieng Hsieh 11-21,21-8, 21-12, while doubles pair Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan defeated Chieh Min Fang and Sheng Mu Lee 21-19, 21-9. Second Indonesian singles player Simon Santoso also came from behind to defeat Hsuan Yi Hsueh 15-21, 21-15, 21-16.
In the women’s event, Ardiyanti Firdasari beat Shao Chieh Cheng 14-21, 21-11, 21-11 before doubles pair Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari came from behind to beat Wen Hsing Cheng and Yu Chin Chien 21-16, 16-21, 21-12. Maria Febe Kusumastuti wrapped up proceedings by beating Hsiao Huan Chen 21-19, 21-10.
“In the morning matches, both teams seemed to have tough opponents as they struggled to win
every game, but in the evening matches they played very well,” said badminton team manager Yacob Rusdiyanto.
“I’m very glad we beat because the Taiwan women’s team, because they were the favorites in their division.”
“The men also performed well, especially Kido and Hendra, who beat the Taiwan team that won in their last two meetings.”
In Sunday’s semifinals, the men will face hosts China, who defeated Hong Kong 3-0, while the women meet Thailand, who beat Japan 3-1.
“China are of course favorites in the men’s event, but our women need to be careful against Thailand, which is quickly developing some very talented young players,” Yacob said.
Earlier in the day, the Indonesian women had secured a place in the quarterfinals after defeating India 3-2 at the Tianhe Gymnasium.
India led from the start with world number three Saina Nehwal defeating Firdasari 21-16, 21-17 and Indian pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Machimanda defeating Indonesian aces Greysia and Meiliana 21-17, 17-21, 23-21.
Nehwal, the first Indian woman to win a Badminton Super Series and the first to win a Commonwealth gold medal in October, needed only 30 minutes to stop world number 34 Firdasari. The new Indonesian pairing of Greysia and Meiliana lost to Gutta-Aswini and Machimanda in 44 minutes.
In the next two matches, world number 24 Maria Febe easily defeated Aditi Ajay Mutatkar 21-10, 21-16, while duo Liliyana Natsir and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari also expended little effort in dispatching Aparna Balan-Prajakta Sawant 21-11, 21-11.
In the decisive fifth match, Indonesia’s last hope Linda Wenifanetri faced little pressure from the relatively unknown Arundhati Pantawane, winning 21-9, 21-10.