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.