AXIATA CUP Day 2 – Garuda sails past Singapore

Indonesia’s first team, Garuda, beat Singapore without dropping a game and will now face a Malaysia Leopard team hit by the tragic loss of Ow Yao Han’s father. By Don […]

Indonesia’s first team, Garuda, beat Singapore without dropping a game and will now face a Malaysia Leopard team hit by the tragic loss of Ow Yao Han’s father.

By Don Hearn, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Arief Rachman (live) and Badmintonphoto (archives)

After wining their opener against Vietnam on Friday, Indonesia Garuda, one of the favourites to win the , silenced Singapore in six straight games.  They now face the Malaysia Leopards to determine who will top Group J, whose matches are being played this weekend at Jakarta’s Indoor Tennis Senayan.

Malaysia’s second straight victory came against a tragic backdrop however.   After Ow Yao Han (pictured right) and Chooi Kah Meng completed their victory over Bui Bang Duc and Dao Manh Thang, Ow was informed that his father had passed away just minutes before their match.  Ow’s father apparently had been in his living room when he died, preparing to watch his son play on television.

Ow, who partnered Chooi for the first of his two consecutive World Junior Championship titles, in 2009, returned home to Malaysia to be with his family after learning the tragic news following his match.

The victory helped the Malaysian hopefuls to a 2-1 victory.  World #12 Nguyen Tien Minh earned the only point for his team so far in the tournament when he beat Misbun Ramdan Misbun in two straight.

“It’s too bad that this tournament is being held only in ASEAN. With the big prize money, every team must be very interested,” said Misbun after his match. “If this were a world tournament, other participants from other countries like China would join and make the games and tournament interesting.  We think that Indonesia Garuda and the Malaysia Tigers will be in the final.”

World Junior Champion Zulfadli Zulkifli capped it off with a win over Nguyen Hoang Nam in three games.

“For us, as the junior members of the team, this event is very useful for us as a practice. We are still young so, we play with nothing to lose, although our coach has given us a target in this event to be in the semi-finals,” said Zulfadli.  “We are all under age 21. We are preparing ourselves for Thomas Cup and Olympiade in the next four years.”

Taufik Hidayat (pictured top) may have been troubled by Nguyen on Friday but he got Indonesia Garuda off to another winning start on Saturday by beating Robin Gonansa.  His success was followed up by even more convincing wins by Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan (pictured left) and Sony Dwi Kuncoro to see them maintain their comfortable lead atop Group J as they head into their final round robin match with the Malaysia Tigers.

Saturday Results – Group J

Indonesia Garuda 3, Singapore 0

Taufik Hidayat bt Robin Gonansa 24-22, 21-13
Markis Kido / Hendra Setiawan bt Terry Yeo / Yi Liu 21-12, 21-16
Sony Dwi Kuncoro bt Huang Chao 21-19, 21-6

Malaysia Leopards 2, Vietnam 1

Misbun Ramdan Misbun lost to Nguyen Tien Minh 10-21, 15-21
Chooi Kah Meng / Ow Yao Han bt Bui Bang Duc / Dao Manh Thang 21-8, 21-8
Zulfadli Zulkifli bt Nguyen Hoang Nam 21-19, 16-21, 21-14

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 @