SEA GAMES Women’s Team Final – Thais on Target

In the women’s team final at the SEA Games XXVI in Indonesia, held in Istora, Jakarta, Thailand took it to the SEA Games hosts and clinched the first of this […]

In the women’s team final at the XXVI in Indonesia, held in Istora, Jakarta, Thailand took it to the hosts and clinched the first of this year’s badminton golds, with a 3-1 victory.

Story and photos: Ira Ratnati, live in Jakarta

Indian Open champion Porntip Buranaprasertsuk reaches the first point for Thailand. She beat Lindaweni Fanetri, as expected, but unexpectedly dropped the first game before winning in three, 17-21, 21-11 and 21-16.

The second match also saw an unexpectedly strong performance by the hosts, but this time the upset was within the grasp of Anneke Feinya Agustine / Nitya Krishinda Maheswari, who won in straight games over world #11’s Duanganong Aroonkesorn / Kunchala Voravichitchaikul 22-20, 21-9.

Rising star and three-time World Champion Ratchanok Intanon (pictured right) brought the match score to 2-1 when she beat the Indonesia’s sweetheart, Adrianti Firdasari.  After winning easily the first game by 21-12, the semi-finalist of Denmark Open Premier Super Series lost the second game 19-21, but clinched the third by the same tight score, 21-19.

A reunion of Vita Marissa and Liliyana Natsir (pictured below) failed to fill the hopes of Istora spectators as they failed to handle Savitree Amitapai / Saralee Thoungthongkam. Winning the first game by 21-19, the 2008 China Masters winner lost their second game, 16-21.

Third game became a thrilling one. The legendary Istora crowd had a chance to play their part in a winning effort that would make the score 2-2. But after Vita/Liliyana took a promising 22-21 lead, they failed to snatch any of the last three points and lost 22-24.

“I really appreciate what the teams have done.  They played really well, but we just had no luck,” said Maria Fransisca, the team manager.

For Thailand, this is the result that they had promised from the beginning.

“From the beginning we believed that we would win the gold medals for the women’s team, and we did it today.  We are really happy with the result, and we won it at the home of our opponents,” said Utis Pakpoom, the team manager of Thailand.

On Tuesday afternoon, meanwhile, the stage is set for another classic, as the Indonesian men, who barely survived their own encounter with Thailand, will play for gold against an under-strength Malaysian team.

Women’s Team Final Result

Thailand 3, Indonesia 1

Porntip Buranaprasertsuk bt Lindaweni Fanetri 17-21, 21-11, 21-16
Duanganong Aroonkesorn / Kunchala Voravichitchaikul lost to Anneke Feinya Agustine / Nitya Krishinda Maheswari 20-22, 9-21
Ratchanok Intanon bt Adriyanti Firdasari 21-12, 19-21, 21-19
Savitree Amitapai / Saralee Thoungthongkam bt Vita Marissa / Liliyana Natsir 19-21, 21-16, 24-22

Click here for complete SEA Games badminton results

About Ira Ratnati