Asian Games: Indonesia celebrate badminton goldrush
Men`s doubles pair Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan added to Indonesia`s badminton gold medal haul Sunday in the nation`s best Asian Games for 16 years.
Incheon: Men`s doubles pair Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan added to Indonesia`s badminton gold medal haul Sunday in the nation`s best Asian Games for 16 years.
Their devoted fans almost outsang the home crowd as they roared the duo to victory against South Korean world number ones Lee Yong-Dae and Yoo Yeon-Seong.
The Koreans had been favourite to take gold and fought back from a game down. But Indonesia refused to back down in the high-energy encounter, forcing their opponents into errors which finally cost them the match.
"We`re very happy to take gold. We prepared really well for two months because Ahsan got injured and could not play in the world championships, which meant we had more time before the Asian Games," said Hendra.
Asked whether Indonesia`s resurgent team were a match for badminton powerhouses South Korea and China, he said they would not rest on their laurels.
"In the years to come we hope Indonesian badminton players will be even better than this year."
Indonesia last won two golds at the Asian Games in 1998.
The men`s doubles pair were defending champions after Hendra won four years ago with partner Markis Kido.
Their victory Sunday followed Indonesian women`s duo Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari`s historic gold Saturday, when they overwhelmed Japan in two games.
It was Indonesia`s first Asiad women`s doubles win since 1978.
Both Japan and Korea admitted they had been blasted away by the strength of their opponents.
"Indonesia are a very competitive team -- we tried our best to win, but they were very energetic," said Yoo Yeon-Seong after his loss, apologising to partner Lee for the "mistakes" he made in the match.
Defeated women`s doubles finalist Ayaka Takahashi also acknowledged her formidable opponents.
"They were much stronger than when we played them last time," she said.
Indonesia have another shot at gold Monday in the mixed doubles final, when Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir take on Chinese world number ones Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei.
The nation last won three Asiad badminton golds in 1994.