ASIAN GAMES 2018 R16 – Sung and He blocked from last eight

Sung Ji Hyun had to say good bye to a first individual medal at the Asian Games as she and He Bingjiao became the first top 10 players to exit […]

Sung Ji Hyun had to say good bye to a first individual medal at the as she and He Bingjiao became the first top 10 players to exit the women’s singles competition.

Story: Naomi Indartiningrum, Badzine Correspondent live in Jakarta
Photos: Raphael Sachetat  / Badmintonphoto (live)

The only two former World Champions involved in the women’s singles competition at the Asian Games in Jakarta were also responsible for the ouster of the first two top ten casualties. First 2017 World Champion Nozomi Okuhara repeated her success over world #7 He Bingjiao from the women’s team event earlier in the week.  Then 2013 World Champion Ratchanok Intanon advanced to the next round after defeating the only remaining representative from Korea, Sung Ji Hyun (pictured right).

Despite having an advantage in their head-to-head record – including a win the last time they met, in this very stadium – Sung Ji Hyun was unable to overcome the attack from Intanon from the beginning of the match.  The world #9  lost 15-21 in the first game.

Sung began to rise in the second game with a pressing and fast game.  A few times, the Thai even found herself chasing in the scoreline and the two finally ended up at 20-all and headed for extra points.  Intanon, who appeared more patient, managed to close the match with a 24-22 victory.

“In the beginning, I think my strategy was quite good and I was very confident but I couldn’t concentrate in this stadium,” Intanon said.

“I felt nervous when the score was getting tight but then I tried to focus on one rally at a time.  I just kept moving and tried not to think too much about the mistakes that I made,” she added.

In the quarter-finals, Ratchanok Intanon (pictured left) will be joined by her compatriot Nitchaon Jindapol, who won easily against Kavidi Sirimannage of Sri Lanka.  In fact, both ladies will face Indian opponents in the final eight, as India joined Thailand and also Japan in placing two representatives in the women’s singles quarter-finals.

As for the Indians, Pusarla Venkata Sindhu and Saina Nehwal both managed to advance after defeating host representatives on Saturday.  Saina Nehwal (pictured below)confirmed her quarter-final spot first after winning the opening match on Saturday afternoon against Indonesia’s Fitriani.  Nehwal had no significant difficulties, dominating the second game 21-6.

Nehwal’s compatriot Pusarla Venkata Sindhu (pictured bottom) also managed to keep alive her hope of winning a medal.  Sindhu managed to advance after defeating the rising player, Gregoria Mariska Tunjung.  The 3rd seed had a tight score to deal with at one point but Sindhu was still too strong for Tunjung.  The more experienced Olympic silver medallist overcome difficult shots from the Indonesian, who had still performed brilliantly in the team event.

The women’s singles quarter-final match at the 2018 Asian Games is still impossible to call.  The reason is that the other seeded players Tai Tzu Ying, Akane Yamaguchi and Nozomi Okuhara have been top contenders all along, as is China’s Chen Yufei.  She and Tai are the only ones who are sole representatives of their nation as of Saturday.

Who will win the gold medal and become the women’s singles queen of Asia?

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Naomi Indartiningrum

About Naomi Indartiningrum

Naomi began as a Badzine Correspondent in 2015, while still a Business Management student living in Jakarta. A badminton enthusiast since 2007, she mostly spends her spare time writing about local badminton events and also maintaining one of largest badminton twitter accounts in Indonesia.