Jakarta, August 28, 2018 - The entire city seemed to be on the roads and a beeline of cars were heading towards the badminton stadium. It was the grand finale for the Crème de la Crème of the sport, a national attraction.
The primary temptation, however, was local lad Jonatan Christie. The 20-year old, though unseeded, lived up to his name and emerged victorious after a keen battle against a more experienced, fourth seeded Chou Tienchen of Chinese Taipei in the men’s singles final.
The encounter that lasted 73 minutes saw the Indonesian claim the gold medal with 22-18, 20-22, 21-15 result, during the ongoing 18th Asian Games, here, on Tuesday.
Playing and attacking game, Christie started using his smashes and quick tempo to subdue the 28-year old veteran from Taipei, but ended up with many unforced errors. It took him a while to get into his groove in the first game. The result was keenly fought 22-18 in favour of the local hero.
However, Tienchen came back with renewed vigour in the second and outplayed Christie 22-20. Once again the Indonesian had to suffer at the hands of his unforced errors.
The final game proved to be a one sided affair as youth overpowered experience at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno, with Christie emerging victorious with 21-15 in the last game.
“First of all I am a bit sad because Anthony didn't make it to the final, if he were competing today Indonesia would have gotten a gold or silver. But it's okay now since Indonesia got one gold medal [sic],” said Christie post his win.
“Praise be to Jesus because of his blessing I could win the game. I am definitely happy since this is my first Asian Games and it never occurred to me that I could win because there are many qualified athletes such as Kento Momota, Chen Long, Anthony, Chou Tien Chen, Yuki (Kaneko), this is a blessing.”
“I am very happy to be playing in Indonesia and winning the men’s single and proud this is for Indonesia. Maybe Tokyo 2020 is still too far, there are Japan super series, China super series, and Korea super series. Obviously (pumped), not because of just the spectators here but also because of my grandma, parents, and everyone who supported me; it is truly amazing. Thanks to you, I did it.”
India’s Pusarla V. Sindhu (seed 3), who had been delighting the crowds with her impressive stroke play, powerful backhand smashes and quick play, failed to live up to the expectations of her fans and countrymen. She lost to first seed Tai Tzuying of Chinese Taipei in straight games - 21-13, 21-16 - in the women’s singles final.
Clearly, Tzuying was way ahead of the Indian in all aspects of the game and that came out crystal clear during the match that lasted just 36 minutes.
In the men’s doubles encounter Indonesian pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo defeated compatriots Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto 2-1 (13-21, 21-18, 24-22).