Macau. Despite its quarterfinal defeat, Indonesia looks all but set for the Uber Cup finals after finishing fifth in Asian zone qualifying on Sunday.
Indonesia beat Hong Kong 4-1 at the Macau Forum in the playoff final to finish fifth in qualifying. Its place is not assured until after European qualifying ends, though.
Asia’s fifth-best team in qualifying will compete in the finals in Wuhan, China, on May 20 to 27 if its top three singles shuttlers and top two doubles teams have more cumulative world ranking points than the fourth-place team from Europe.
The Netherlands was scheduled to face Russia in the third-place playoff in the European Team Championships, which also serve as qualifying for the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup, in Amsterdam late on Sunday.
According to Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) calculations, neither European side can amass enough points to reach the finals.
“The Badminton World Federation has confirmed that the top four in Uber Cup qualifying did not include China, who will host the finals. As the fifth-ranked team, our points will be compared with Europe’s No. 4 to determine a berth in the Uber Cup finals,” said Yacob Rusdianto, who is the PBSI secretary general and the deputy manager for the Thomas and Uber Cup teams.
“We have 188,328 points, the Netherlands have 139,748 while Russia has 116,044. Whatever the result in Amsterdam, we will go to the finals.”
He went on to say the team’s focus would shift to ending its title drought in the Uber Cup, which Indonesia has not won since 1996.
“The players have three months to improve before the finals. We are encouraged by stability in performance showed by our single shuttlers, especially [Adrianti] Firdasari and [Maria] Febe [Kusumastuti],” he said.
Indonesia, which dropped into the playoffs after falling 3-0 to China on Thursday, left no doubt in Sunday’s final against Hong Kong.
Adrianti beat Chan Hung Yung 21-17, 21-15 in the opening match before Febe made it 2-0 with a 21-11, 21-10 defeat of Mong Kwan Yi. Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari secured victory by edging Poon Lok Yan and Tse Ying Suet 21-18, 21-18.
Cheung Ngan Yi prevented a sweep by defeating Lindaweni Fanetri 23-21, 21-14, but Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Anneke Feinya Agustin made it 4-1 with a 21-11, 21-2 defeat of Chan and Mong.
Japan sprang a surprise in Saturday’s finals, rallying from two matches down to beat China 3-2. Thailand beat Taiwan 3-2 to finish third.
On the men’s side, China swept Japan 3-0 on Sunday to take first in Thomas Cup qualifying while South Korea secured the last ticket to the finals, beating India 3-2 in the fifth-place playoff.
Indonesia secured third place on Saturday with a 3-2 defeat of rival Malaysia, but the victory came with a steep price.
No. 1 singles shuttler Simon Santoso retired just four minutes into his match against Daren Liew after injuring his knee.
“I’ll get an MRI as soon as I arrive in Jakarta. It started to hurt during training on Friday,” Simon said.
After a No. 1 doubles loss, Indonesia closed with wins by Tommy Sugiarto, Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka and doubles pair Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan for a 3-2 triumph.