INDONESIA OPEN 2012 R32 – Sony ‘Dwi’light

The momentum of winning and the confidence it brings is an inherent feature of all sport, on all levels, across the globe. There is no better feeling than that ultimate […]

The momentum of winning and the confidence it brings is an inherent feature of all sport, on all levels, across the globe. There is no better feeling than that ultimate feeling of winning and the mindset that accompanies success is comparable to a runaway train as it gains momentum heading down the tracks.

Today at the Djarum Premier, a rejuvenated Sony Dwi Kuncoro (pictured) was and is that steam train as he continued where he left off last week taking down his second top 5 ranked player in less than a week. Last week, it was Lin Dan who suffered at the hands of the Indonesian veteran and this week it was the turn of Denmark’s Peter Gade to fall at Sony’s sword.

By  Mark Phelan.  Photos: Yves Lacroix for Badmintonphoto (live in Jakarta)

Kuncuro, who has been dogged by a series of recurring injuries over the past few years, knows full well the loneliness of being down, out and almost forgotten so he knows all too well the turmoil that must be going on inside the mind of Gade at this point in time.

Gade, probably one of the most professional athletes we have ever witnessed in the game, continues to do as he has always done: work hard and, just when you think your finished, work some more.

Today, at one point, it looked like the tide had begun to turn on the Dane’s terrible 2012. An opening game win to 14 looked to have all the hallmarks of the resurgence of the wounded lion. That mixed with the mental fatigue that is more often than not apparent in an athlete who has just come off the back of a major win as Kuncoro did in Thailand last week, was sure to have given Gade an advantage. But sport is sport and as always you can never predict what will happen next. In this case, Sony Dwi Kuncoro came back to take the second almost unchallenged before closing out the win in the third game to keep that steam train running.

For Gade, it is another sad goodbye as it is widely known that the Istora Senayan Stadium has always been one of his favourite places to apply his trade. Inside, he must be churning as the Olympic Games are now only around the corner and he will not want to end on such a low note. But the measure of any good champion is how they deal with defeat more so than victory and Gade will keep going and be an example to us all. Meanwhile, Sony Dwi Kuncoro marches into round two at his home event, which is sure to have the crazy Indonesian crowd on their feet tomorrow.

‘This is my last time playing here [Gade looked visually emotional while saying that], I have many good memories of this place and I hope Indonesia will continue with their proud tradition of supporting badminton. Right now my focus is the Olympics. I really want to do well there. After that, I will be playing in a few Super Series [French and Denmark] and then my last game will be in Copenhagen in December. After that, I think I will be involved with coaching and enjoy life as much as possible with my two girls,” said Gade in his post-match press conference.

Gade was not alone today as a sizeable contingent of the Danish Olympic squad suffered early round defeats in the build-up to London. Both mixed and women’s doubles suffered first round defeats with Kamilla Rytter Juhl being the common denominator in both pairings.

On a somewhat brighter note for the European powerhouse of badminton, there were defiant displays from both of Gade’s understudies, Jan O Jorgensen (pictured above) and Hans Kristian Vittinghus.  Both Jorgensen and Vittinghus, who are in Indonesia playing without pressure or expectation, blasted their way into the second round. Vittinghus was taken to three by Liew Daren but the manner by which Jorgensen sent Chen Jin packing is sure to have buoyed the Danish number two as the memories of a year riddled with injury seem to now be firmly behind him.

“I played with great discipline today and followed the tactic I set out. Something went slightly wrong at the end of the second set but I controlled the third again which I am very satisfied about. I cannot wait to get back into this fantastic hall to play again,” commented Vittinghus (courtesy of the Badminton Denmark official website).

Finally, there was a tint of revenge in the air as top seeds, world number 1 and World Champion pairing of Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei (pictured left) stopped the rot against their bogey opposition and avoided three defeats in a row against the new darlings of British badminton, Chris Adcock and Imogen Bankier.

For all results click HERE

About Mark Phelan