SEA GAMES QF – Tanongsak on track to defend title

SEA Games men’s singles defending champion Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk marched on to the semifinals in Singapore. He beat host country’s #1 shuttler Derek Wong in three games, 21-18, 17-21, 21-13. Serla […]

men’s singles defending champion Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk marched on to the semifinals in Singapore. He beat host country’s #1 shuttler Derek Wong in three games, 21-18, 17-21, 21-13.

Serla Rusli and Seria Rusli, Badzine Correspondents live from Singapore Indoor Stadium. Photos: Yong Chuen Siang (live)

In the first game, 25-year-old Thai Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (pictured) seemed to struggle to get into his game. Coupled with the crowd support, Derek seemed to be dominating in the beginning, but Tanongsak eventually managed to overtake the Singaporean at crucial points of the match.

Derek Wong (pictured below) revived the crowd’s spirit and hope for their hero to be in the semifinal when he confidently took the second game from the Thai.

“I was a bit nervous in the beginning, and sometimes I lose my focus. In the second game I was a bit slow,” commented Tanongsak on his match earlier.

Realising his mistake, Tanongsak decided to outpace him and launched more of his powerful attacks in the deciding battle.

“I just  reminded myself to keep my focus as well as keep my power and tried to play faster.”

His strategy worked, and he was able to avenge his loss to Derek earlier in the tournament in the men’s team event when the Singaporean prevented him from contributing a point to the Thai team in the semifinals.

“My mistake was that perhaps I played too slowly and I gave him the chance to control the game. My opponent definitely played very well today. He was able to move all around the court, and his attack was very sharp to the corners, which made it very difficult for me to retrieve,” admitted Derek on his defeat. “I wish him all the best in his upcoming match.”

The Thai shuttler will face Malaysia’s Chong Wei Feng in the semifinals.

Chong Wei Feng (pictured) beat Indonesia’s seventeen-year-old wunderkind Jonatan Christie for the second time in the tournament. The match went to just over an hour and eventually ended in Wei Feng’s favour, 20-22, 21-19, 21-18

“The first game was a wasted chance. I was already leading 20-19 but was unable to win it. I think what made the biggest difference today is my mental toughness. I just kept reminding myself to keep focusing in the game, whether I was winning or losing.”

Malaysia was able to nick another spot in the men’s singles semifinal as Wei Feng’s compatriot Mohamad Arief Abdul Latif upset one of the tournament favourites Boonsak Ponsana (pictured below) in a match that kept the audience at the edge of their seats. The exhausted Boonsak had his hope for a medal dashed when he lost 20-22, 21-19, 19-21 to the Malaysian.

“I’m very happy with today’s play. During the final game, there was a point when I was lagging behind, but thanks to the fans who were supporting me and my coach, I could gain back my motivation and stay focused to win the game, point by point. I’m really happy and I hope for the best for my match tomorrow.”

Latif will face the host Singapore’s last hope for a men’s singles title, Loh Kean Yew. Loh, who stunned Vietnamese Nguyen Thien Minh in the first round, had a relatively easy win today against Tep Chanmara of Cambodia. Loh wrapped up the quarterfinal match in 14 minutes, 21-7, 21-17, and strode confidently into the semifinal.

Busanan marches on

Women’s singles defending champion Busanan Ongbumrungpan played her first match in the tournament today and won convincingly. She ousted Malaysia’s Tee Jing Yi in straight games, 21-13, 21-13.

Busanan will face the only Vietnamese representative left in the tournament Vu Thi Trang. Vu delighted the Vietnamese supporters in the stadium with a win against her much higher ranked opponent Fanetri Lindaweni from Indonesia, 21-19, 9-21, 21-17.

The other side of the draw will see Hanna Ramadini face up against Goh Jin Wei. Hanna won her ticket to the semifinals by defeating Liang Xiaoyu from Singapore, 21-15, 11-21, 21-14. Goh, on the other hand, ousted Nichaon Jindapon from Thailand, 21-16, 23-21.

Indonesia dominates doubles

Indonesian doubles made an incredible achievement as all their representatives in the three doubles events are still intact to fight for the title.

In men’s doubles, Ricky Karandasuwardi / Angga Pratama received little trouble from their opponents Peter Gabriel Magnaye / Paul Jefferson Vivas. They reigned over the Philippines in a quick 21-16, 21-8 win.

Ricky / Angga will face Singapore duo Danny Bawa Chrisnanta / Chayut Triyachart. Danny / Chayut survived a quarterfinal scare against Thai pair Pakkawat Vilailak / Wannawat Ampunsuwan, 21-19, 17-21, 21-18.

The explosive duo Marcus Fernaldi Gideon / Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (pictured above) performed impressively against their Thai opponents Bodin Issara / N. Puangpuapech. They beat the odds and won the match along with a well-deserved semifinal berth, 14-21, 21-15, 21-11.

“In the first game, we found it difficult to find our rhythm and to kill our opponents. As we trailed behind too much, we just focused in finding our game, and gave it all in the second and third game,” commented Kevin.

Their next hurdle to the finals will be Ronel Estanislao / Philip Joper Escueta who won against Cambodia’s Kanora Nguon / Vannak Yong Teav, 21-8, 21-10.

In women’s doubles, Anggia Shitta Awanda / Ni Ketut Mahadewi (pictured) won their quarterfinal match against Duanganong Aroonkesorn / Kunchala Voravichitchaikul in straight game, 21-16, 21-12.

Awanda / Mahadewi will face Malaysia’s Vivian Hoo / Woon Khe Wei in the semifinal.

Maretha Dea Giovani / Suci Rizki Andini made their way to the semifinals by beating Pham Nhu Thao / Thai Thi Hong Gam, 21-12, 21-12. They will face another Malaysian pair Amelia Alicia Anscelly / Soong Fie Cho.

Riky Widianto / Dili Richi Puspita kept the Indonesian flag flying high in the mixed doubles event. They survived a close match against N. Puangpuapech / Puttita Supajirakul, 22-20, 19-21, 21-15.

Riky / Dili will face the tough opponents in Malaysia’s pair Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying.

Finally, Praveen Jordan / Debby Susanto completed it for Indonesia when they triumphed over Tan Aik Quan / Lai Pei Jing, 21-17, 21-23, 21-17. The Indonesians will face Sudket Prapakamol / Sapsiree Taerattanachai, who emerged victorious against Singapore’s Terry Hee / Tan Wei Han in quarterfinal.

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