Singapore: 17-year-old Ihsan Maulana Mustofa scripted a dramatic third men’s singles victory, combined with Ricky Karandasuwardi/Angga Pratama and Kevin Sanjaya/Marcus Fernaldi to win the two heart-stopping men’s doubles matches as Indonesia’s young guns lived up to the expectations by winning the SEA Games semi-finals tie against Malaysia in Singapore on Thursday.
Malaysia’s Chong Wei Feng got off to a good start when he trounced Christie Jonathan 21-18, 13-21, 21-15 in the first men’s singles. However, Tan Wee Kiong/Goh V Shem who usually performed well in team event were struggling to make their opportunities pay against Indonesian men’s doubles pair, Ricky Karandasuwardi/Angga Pratama, falling 17-21, 21-15, 17-21.
Lee Chong Wei helped Malaysia took a 2-1 lead after he defeated Firman Abdul Kholik 21-18, 21-10.
All eyes were turned towards Muhammad Ariff Ab Latif – the third men’s singles from Malaysia, after Indonesia’s second pair Kevin Sanjaya/Marcus Fernaldi outplayed Mak Hee Chun/Teo Kok Siang 21-10, 21-13 to level the tie at 2-2. However, Malaysia’s dreams of winning the SEA Games men’s team gold were shattered once again when Arif lost in straight sets to Ihsan Maulana, 12-21, 20-22.
“I played Ihsan Maulana at last week’s Indonesia Open, and lost to him. I have to admit that for much of the time, he was playing better than I was,” said Arif after the match.
Indonesia will meet Thailand in the final. Thailand beat Singapore 3-2 in the other semifinal.
On the other hand, Malaysia’s women’s team produced a dazzling performance against Indonesia on Thursday when they pulled off improbable comebacks after the team was trailing 0-1.
Tee Jing Yi of Malaysia was crushed by Lindaweni Fanetri in the first women’s singles, going down 12-21, 10-21. Malaysia and Indonesia were tied at 1-1 after Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei added their winning touches on Anggia Shitta Awanda/Ni Ketut Mahadewi with 21-18, 19-21, 21-6.
Second women’s singles – Ho Yen Mei then raised the Malaysia’s hopes with a 21-19, 11-21, 21-19 victory over Indonesian Hanna Ramadini.
Amelia Alicia Anscelly/Soong Fie Cho fought hard in a three-set thriller to overcome Andini Suci Riski/Maretha Dea Giovani 15-21, 21-19, 21-13 and to seal a SEA Games final place for Malaysia.
Malaysia will face will face Thailand who will be led by world number six Ratchanok Intanon in the women’s team final.