Indonesian shuttlers aim to repeat 1998 glory

AFP/Sonny Tumbelaka

 

Indonesia hopes to repeat history when it faces China in the badminton men’s team gold medal match at Gelora Bung Karno Sports Hall on Wednesday, a rematch of their 1998 encounter.

The two archrivals scored a 3-1 win each over their opposition in Tuesday’s semifinals.

Playing before the home crowd, Indonesia swept the two doubles games after losing the first men’s singles match in its semifinal against Japan. World number one doubles team of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and their second string pair of Fajar Alfian-Muhammad Rian Ardianto will remain the best bets to score points in the final.

Both Indonesia and China have met in many team competitions, with the last in the Thomas Cup semifinals in May, which China won 3-1.

The Indonesian men’s badminton team last won the Asian Games gold medal in 1998 in Bangkok, with a thumping 4-0 win over China. Indonesia reached the gold medal match in 2014, only to lose to host South Korea.

In the women’s team final, Japan expects to end defending champion China’s long-held domination in the Asian Games.

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