INDONESIA GPG 2012 SF – Home team clinches 2, eyes 4 titles

Eom Hye Won and Kim Sa Rang reached one final each at the Bukit Asam Indonesia Open Grand Prix Gold, while China’s Han Li (pictured) joins the Koreans in attempting […]

Eom Hye Won and Kim Sa Rang reached one final each at the Bukit Asam Indonesia Open Gold, while China’s Han Li (pictured) joins the Koreans in attempting to deny the home team a further two golds.

By Don Hearn.  Photos: Ira Ratnati (live from Palembang)

There will be no sweep for Indonesia at their home Grand Prix Gold event in Palembang this weekend. Pia Zebadiah Bernadeth and Rizki Amelia Pradipta were the home team’s only hope in women’s doubles on Saturday but they could not make it past Japan’s top-seeded Misaki Matsutomo / Ayaka Takahashi.

Pia also came up short in the mixed doubles, though she and brother Markis Kido posted a respectable result against All England champions Tontowi Ahmad / Lilyana Natsir, who consistently maintained a slight lead en route to winning the pair of 21-19 games.

Ahmad and Natsir will not be in danger of letting the title slip away from the host archipelago, however, as Muhammad Rijal / Debby Susanto took care of the other two players who, as of Saturday, were still hoping to reach two finals.  Rijal and Susanto took care of Korea’s scratch pair Kim Sa Rang and Eom Hye Won in a pair of 21-12 games.

The Koreans both found a way through in their other doubles matches however.  Eom and Jang Ye Na were troubled by unseeded Chen/Huang in the day’s longest match.  The young Chinese girls may failed to reach their first ever Grand Prix final but these – particularly Chen Qingchen – are names that will doubtless be heard again and again in the years to come.  It is especially rare to see a 15-year-old distinguish herself so early in such a talent-rich team as that of mighty China

Eom and Jang, meanwhile, face off against the Japanese pair in the only final that will not involve a home representative.  Kim Sa Rang and partner Kim Ki Jung (photo) are also hoping to take a title home to Korea, now that they made it past Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki / Hendra Aprida Gunawan on Saturday.

“I was too much in doubt when I was trying to return the shuttlecock,” said Yonathan after the men’s doubles semi-final.  “The wind situation here makes me little bit confused and that was causing a lot of bad returns from me.”

For the Koreans, it is their second final in as many weeks but they are only slight favourites over local shuttlers Angga Pratama / Ryan Agung Saputra.  This will be the first meeting between the two pairs but Kim Ki Jung was half of one of two Korean pairs the Indonesians beat in their strong run at last Year’s Indonesia Open Superseries Premier.

Han’s up, Huan’s down

While Han Li’s appearance in the finals was certainly to be expected, Indonesia’s unseeded Lindaweni Fanetri also created the expected difficulty for the Chinese shuttler in closing out her semi-final.  Han finally prevailed 22-20, 21-18, becoming first of two to block an all-Indonesian final.

Han’s opponent will be world #177 Yeni Asmarani (pictured).  Though Asmarani was clearly the surprise semi-finalist, this is not the first time she has had a respectable outing at the Indonesia Grand Prix Gold.  Last year, she had 5 match points against former top 5 shuttler Pi Hongyan.  This year, however, she has made the most of a string of lucky breaks and solid performances and has a chance at her first career title on a very big stage.

“I never expected that I could win this match. Firdasari is my senior, it’s still unbelievable even now. I have different level with Han, but I hope I can play my best tomorrow,” said Yeni to Badzine.

China’s Gao Huan could not duplicate the success of his compatriot, however.  Gao fell to veteran Sony Dwi Kuncoro in two straight games.  Sony is in an all-Indonesian final against Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka, now playing in his third straight final in Indonesia’s biggest autumn tournament.

Click here for complete semi-final results

Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @