Asian Games 2014 – Day 8: Golden Day for Polii/Maheswari

Asian Games 2014 – Day 8: Golden Day for Polii/Maheswari

Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari achieved their career’s biggest triumph as they won the Women’s Doubles gold at the Asian Games 2014 today.

Indonesians Polii and Maheswari (featured image) – who a day earlier had beaten World champions Tian Qing/Zhao Yunlei – handled the challenge of Japan’s Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi with ease. The seventh seeds stormed to victory in 46 minutes, 21-15 21-9.

Indonesia had more reason to cheer as three other pairs registered victories.

In Men’s Doubles, Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan prevented an all-Korea final with a hard-fought 19-21 21-16 21-18 defeat of local hopes Kim Gi Jung/Kim Sa Rang. The Indonesians’ victory means the top two pairs in the world will clash for the gold medal as earlier, Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong blew apart the Malaysian pair of Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong in their semi-final. Lee/Yoo took only 36 minutes to secure their place in the final with a 21-6 21-15 result.

In Mixed Doubles, Indonesia’s Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir and Praveen Jordan/Debby Susanto dashed Korean hopes to make the last four. Third seeds Ahmad/Natsir fought off a deficit to beat Shin Baek Choel/Chang Ye Na 19-21 21-16 21-9, while Jordan/Susanto also survived a three-game quarter-final against Korea’s Ko Sung Hyun/Kim Ha Na, 21-9 9-21 21-15.

Ahmad/Natsir take on familiar Chinese rivals Xu Chen/Ma Jin (left) who have beaten them three times in succession, while Jordan/Susanto have just as formidable a task against another Chinese pair, World and Olympic champions Zhang Nan/Zhao Yunlei, in their semi-final.

It will be a dream match-up for badminton fans in Men’s Singles as world No.1 Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia) booked his semi-final against defending champion Lin Dan (China). Lee (above) spent more time on court than he might have anticipated against Nguyen Tien Minh as the Vietnamese went a game ahead – the first time he has taken a game off Lee in ten matches since 2009. The Malaysian was able to overcome the setback, 21-23 21-16 21-17, in 75 minutes.

In contrast, his semi-final rival overcame a potentially dangerous challenger in No.3 seed Kenichi Tago (Japan) in just 46 minutes: 21-14 21-18.

Compatriot and World champion Chen Long too made the last four, avenging his defeat in the team final to Korea’s Son Wan Ho, 21-16 21-19. He will face Hong Kong’s Wei Nan, who beat No.7 seed Chou Tien Chen (Chinese Taipei) 21-12 18-21 21-18.

China assured themselves of the Women’s Singles gold medal with Li Xuerui and Wang Yihan making the title round. Li overcame a feisty challenge from Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying, 21-16 24-26 21-8, while Wang (above) recovered from a first-game loss to Korea’s Bae Yeon Ju before wrapping up the contest 10-21 21-12 21-16.