Sunday, May 19, 2019
TEXT BY DEV SUKUMAR | BADMINTONPHOTO
The opening session of the 16th edition of the Sudirman Cup today saw 1989 winners Indonesia start their campaign strongly, beating England 4-1 in Group 1B. Netherlands, France (both Group 2A) and Ireland (Group 3A) were the other winners.
The closest contest of the session was the last match of the Canada-Singapore tie.
Ho-Shue and Yakura’s men’s doubles match against Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Loh Kean Hean, with Canada and Singapore at two-all, was an entertaining 46-minute encounter. The Canadians eased ahead in the first game but the second was fiercely fought, with the Singaporeans having the edge at the end of the second game at 19-16. Ho Shue and Yakura equalised and then saved four game points before converting their third match point for a 21-16 27-25 victory.
Quote of the Session
“We knew Singapore was a tough team, but we knew we had a chance, and we knew we had to win this. We’d like to come out of our pool in the top two, and hopefully we can win the group. We had to be ready for a lot of the flat stuff because that’s the Asian style and I think we did that well. I was nervous at 18 in the second game and I had to come back from that,” said Yakura.
Indonesia Power Ahead
Indonesia, one of the strong contenders for the title in Group 1, were ruthless in thwarting England in the first four matches.
Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo, Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, and Greysia Polii/Apriyani Rahayu all completed their assignments without dropping a game. Indonesia’s hopes of a whitewash were however denied by Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock, who looked sharp in their 21-17 21-18 verdict over Praveen Jordan/Melati Daeva Oktavianti in the last mixed doubles match.
“We’ve had a few niggles, but then we’re building up to the qualification for Tokyo 2020; we got a good training block and it showed in our performance today,” said Chris Adcock. “The season’s only just started for us, and we’re ready for the year ahead.”
“Mentally we know we can compete and beat Jordan on his day; we’ve played him many times before,” added Gabrielle. “We had chances against them last time. We’re really happy that the training’s paid off and we’re ready for Olympic qualifying.”
Netherlands, France, Ireland Triumph
In Group 2A, Netherlands recovered from 1-2 down to beat Vietnam 3-2, while France proved too strong for USA (3-1) in the same group. Ireland completed a 5-0 rout over Nepal in Group 3A, with none of the five matches going over 31 minutes.
Singapore has another tough tie ahead, against Germany tomorrow, while England takes on Denmark. A loss for England would mean their exit from the tournament.