INDONESIA GPG 2011 Finals – Indonesia’s men turn silver to gold

Indonesia’s men held court at home at the 2011 Bankaltim Indonesia Grand Prix Gold event in Samarinda.  As for the women, Chinese youngster Chen Xiaojia picked up her first major […]

Indonesia’s men held court at home at the 2011 Bankaltim Indonesia Gold event in Samarinda.  As for the women, Chinese youngster Chen Xiaojia picked up her first major title, as did Malaysia’s Vivian Hoo and Woon Khe Wei, at the expense of the Japan Open champions.

By Don Hearn, Photos: Ira Ratnati for Badzine (live from Samarinda)

Indonesia’s Bona Septano and Mohammad Ahsan bounced back effectively from their disappointment in Tokyo last weekend to repeat as Bankaltim Indonesia Grand Prix Gold champions in East Kalimantan and top the podium for the first time in 2011.  The pair had come up short in the Japan Open final against World Champions Cai and Fu but they made no mistake in Samarinda, seeing off Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo / Kenichi Hayakawa 21-13, 21-14.

“I feel so happy today.  Finally we can have our first title, even there are none of the top 5 pairs here,” said Bona Septano after the final.  “Our opponents said that they were not at their best in today’s match.”

“No matter who our opponent is, we still confident we can win here, and defend our title, and maybe our opponents were a little bit nervous because of the crowd,” added Mohammad Ahsan.

Earlier, Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka had done his own job of making amends for a runner-up finish.  In his case, it was at last year’s edition of this event that he was unable to prevail over compatriot Taufik Hidayat.  This year, however, he went one better and took out fellow Indonesian Tommy Sugiarto in two straight, 21-16, 21-17 to win his biggest ever title.  Although Hayom had two regular Grand Prix titles to his name and Tommy had just leapfrogged him with a Grand Prix Gold title performance in Taipei two weeks ago, it was still Hayom who seemed to have the edge going into Sunday’s battle, having played in the final last year, partly on the back of a hard-fought defeat of Tommy.

“With all my performances this whole year long, I didn’t expect that I would be able to reach the final, said Hayom after his victory, “but on the other hand, I was pretty sure that I could beat Tommy today.”

“Congrats to Hayom.   Today I feel a little bit tired, and I was playing badly.  This is like an anti-climax.  I feel that my best match was yesterday when I beat Taufik,” said Sugiarto.

New women champions

It really seemed last week as if China’s Bao Yixin and Zhong Qianxin had come out of nowhere to take the Japan Open Super Series title.  And yet, both women had featured in the finals of major tournaments in the past year.  For Bao, her second of four finals in the past 14 months came in the spring, when she and veteran partner Cheng Shu made the final of the Thailand Open, beating none other than Malaysia’s Vivian Woo / Woon Khe Wei.

Hoo and Woon really put themselves on the map in this week’s quarter-finals, when they exacted some payback from half of that pair, scoring their first ever win over a Chinese pair, in three games over Cheng Shu and new partner Pan Pan.  However, Cheng and Pan have been looking vulnerable, whereas Bao Yixin and Zhong Qianxin are obviously the in-form pair at the moment.  Still, the Malaysians did not flinch and fought hard for a whole 75 minutes before finally taking their first ever major title with the 19-21, 21-19, 21-18 victory.

In the women’s singles, China’s Chen Xiaojia recorded her most impressive win to date, beating former world top-five mainstay Pi Hongyan of France.  For Chen, who was one point away from the Russia Open title in early July, this was the first time atop a podium since her Asian Junior Championship title in 2009.

The mixed doubles was a write-off as the inability of a Chinese side to finish a match versus a compatriot was once again in evidence.  In Team China’s three tournaments since the Badminton World Federation announced, in London, its intention to investigate walkovers and retirements, particularly in internecine matches, six such occasions have arisen in all-Chinese matches.

Final results
WD: Vivian Hoo / Woon Khe Wei (MAS) bt Bao Yixin / Zhong Qianxin (CHN) [8] 19-21, 21-19, 21-18
WS: Chen Xiaojia (CHN) bt Pi Hongyan (FRA) [6] 19-21, 21-15, 21-17
MS: Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka (INA) [8] bt Tommy Sugiarto (INA) [7] 21-16, 21-17
XD: He Hanbin / Bao Yixin (CHN) bt Xu Chen / Ma Jin (CHN) [4] 21-19, 1-4, Retired
MD: Mohammad Ahsan / Bona Septano (INA) [1] bt Hiroyuki Endo / Kenichi Hayakawa (JPN) [7] 21-13, 21-14

Click here for complete 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 @