Indonesia’s Badminton Players Say Goodbye to Olympic Gold
Indonesia’s run of Olympic badminton gold has come to an end.
Mixed doubles pair Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad lost to second-seeded Xu Chen and Ma Jin of China 21-23, 21-18, 21-13 in the semifinals at Wembley Arena on Thursday, ending at five the streak of Olympic Games in which Indonesia had secured at least one badminton gold.
The Indonesian pair started the match strongly, claiming the first game, but then struggled to overcome an early deficit throughout the rest of the second game. Fatigue appeared to set in the deciding game for the third-seeded Indonesians, who soon trailed 12-3. They made some inroads into the deficit, but fell short.
The duo will today take on Danish duo J. Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen in the battle for bronze.
In men’s doubles, Indonesian pair Mohammad Ahsan and Bona Septano bowed out of the competition after losing 21-12, 21-16 to No. 2 seeds Lee Yong-dae and Chung Jae-sung of South Korea.
“We played our best, but the Korean pair outplayed us,” Bona said, according to state news agency Antara.
Indonesia has won medals in the men’s doubles event at each Olympics since the sport was introduced in 1992. The nation has no players remaining in the badminton competition, with no singles player making it beyond the round of 16.
In archery, Ika Yuliana Rochmawati lost 6-5 to Ksenia Perova of Russia in their quarterfinal match at Lord’s Cricket Ground to end her impressive run at the London Games. Both archers had scored 129 points at the end of the fifth set. Perova shot a 10 in the subsequent shoot-off while Ika recorded a nine.
“I failed. I didn’t perform as I played yesterday,” Ika said on Thursday.
Ika led 78-73 after three sets, but Perova won the fourth set 28-27. Nerves appeared to get the better of Ika in the fifth set, which she lost 28-24, sending the contest into extra arrows.
“Maybe I could get a better result if the shoot-off used three arrows instead of one arrow. We can’t afford the smallest mistake with one arrow,” she said.
The 23-year-old Bojonegoro native beat expectations in London, downing No. 3 seed Fang Yuting of China in first round of competition.
Meanwhile, Singapore celebrated its first individual Olympic medal in 52 years — a bronze in women’s table tennis for Feng Tianwei.
Feng, who moved from China to Singapore in 2008, joined gold medalist Li Xiaoxia and second-place Ding Ning on the podium after defeating Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa 4-0 on Wednesday.
Antara, Reuters, JG