China defeats Indonesia 3-1 to capture Asian Games badminton men’s team title

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Shi Yuqi celebrates after beating Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 2-1 in the first men's singles match. (photo: AFP)
Shi Yuqi celebrates after beating Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 2-1 in the first men's singles match. (photo: AFP)

Jakarta: Badminton powerhouse and the 2018 Thomas Cup winner, China, overcame a hostile crowd and feisty challenges from Indonesia shuttlers to beat the hosts 3-1 in 18th Asian Games badminton men’s team final in Jakarta on Wednesday.

China’s World No. 2 Shi Yuqi got off to a slow start in the first men’s singles match, losing to World No. 12 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 14-21 in the first set.

Shi then saved two match points in the second set to force a decider with a 23-21 win.

Having fought tooth and nail to get back into the competition with 15-16, Ginting had to call a medical timeout as he was in a lot of pain with what could be a hamstring injury. After the medical timeout, Ginting surprisingly able to lead at 20-19 when Shi committed several unforced errors. However, Shi remained calm and took advantage of Ginting’s injury to overtake the lead at 21-20. The Indonesian then decided to retire from the match and was taken off the court via stretcher after having difficulties moving his body.

Anthony Sinisuka Ginting was wheeled off the court on a stretcher in the third set of Wednesday night's Asian Games men's team final. (photo: AFP)
Anthony Sinisuka Ginting was wheeled off the court on a stretcher in the third set of Wednesday night’s Asian Games men’s team final. (photo: AFP)

“I gained a lot of confident after coming from behind to win the second set. I reduced my errors in the third set, and fought all the way until the end,” said Shi.

With support from home crowd, World No. 1 Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo levelled the score for Indonesia as they eased past reigning men’s doubles World Champions Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen of China 21-17, 21-18.

China’s Rio Olympic men’s singles champion Chen Long also found himself in the middle of a hostile crowd as he was made to work before fighting off a resilient Jonatan Christie 19-21, 21-16, 21-18 to give China a 2-1 advantage.

“Thanks for my teammates for their support! They were cheering for me no matter I was leading or trailing. I am glad I was able to win the match,” said Chen.

Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto of Indonesia also showed magnificent fighting spirits to stretch the 2017 World Champions, Liu Cheng/Zhang Nan to the limit before conceded the match and the tie to China with an 18-21, 21-17, 18-21 loss.

The victory was China’s sixth Asian Games men’s team title, it also amended their loss to South Korea four years ago at the Incheon Asian Games.

Meanwhile, both Japan and Chinese Taipei shared the bronze medals of the Asian Games men’s team event.

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