Jakarta, MINA – The Indonesia women’s badminton team had a bad outing in the semifinals of the 2018 Asian Games, losing 3-1 to Japan at the Istora stadium in Jakarta on Tuesday.
The only point for the host team was contributed by singles player Gregoria Mariska Tunjung. Indonesia failed to build off of the favorable start, losing in three consecutive contests and allowing first-seeded Japan to secure its place in the final.
In the first match, Gregoria beat Akane Yamaguchi 21-16, 9-21, 21-18. “It was our first encounter. I certainly wished to beat her despite her far higher rank,” Gregoria said.
Akane now ranks second in the world while Gregoria is ranked 22nd. With local fans’ full support, Gregoria claimed her victory came amid an absence of burdens, even though she was tasked with setting the tone for the day.
However, Japan stopped any momentum that Indonesia might have had after its seeded doubles pair of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota defeated Greysia Polii and Rahayu Apriyani 21-13, 21-12.
In the second game, Greysia had to swap rackets because of broken strings. “We’re evaluating the outcome of this match for our next game,” said Greysia.
Japan managed to expand on its lead when singles player Nozomi Okuhara won in three games over Fitriani 19-21, 21-4, 21-10.
Japan established its supremacy over Indonesia in the fourth match. World number two doubles pair Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi won 21-13, 21-10 over Indonesia’s Della Destiara Haris and Rizki Amelia Pradipta.
With the loss, the Indonesia women’s badminton must settle for a bronze medal, sharing the same fate as Thailand, which lost to China 3-0. The final round will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 22, with Japan facing first-seeded China.(L/R04/RS5)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)