JAKARTA: It was ecstasy and agony for Indonesian badminton as Jonatan Christie stormed into the final but Anthony Sinisuka Ginting’s dream run at the Asian Games ended Monday.
Christie pulled off his shirt in jubilant celebration as he edged out Kenta Nishimoto of Japan 21-15, 15,21, 21-19 amid deafening roars from the home crowd in Jakarta.
But 12th-ranked Ginting, who stunned world and Olympic champions in previous rounds, lost out to a determined Chou Tien-chen of Taiwan 16-21, 23-21, 21-17 in the second men’s semi-final.
Both Chou, who is ranked sixth in the world, and Ginting collapsed to their knees after the epic encounter ended in one hour and 18 minutes.
“I do my best every time and try to come out as a winner,” an exhausted Chou said after the hard-fought win.
“Christie is a very good player and tomorrow will be a great final tomorrow. Rankings don’t matter it’s how you perform that day,” Chou said of the upcoming title clash.
Ranked 15th in the world, Christie began his men’s singles journey in the regional Olympics with a shock win over China’s world number two Shi Yuqi in the opening round.
“I first didn’t expect that I could enter the final. Just my second Asian Games but first time played in the singles event,” said Christie.
“I am really happy and overwhelmed with the support of the Indonesian fans who have backed me on court and in front of their TV sets,” said Christie.
Ginting, who had shocked China’s Chen Long and Japanese world number four Kento Momota in his giant-killing spree, will get the bronze alongside Nishimoto.
In the women’s draw, India’s PV Sindhu defeated second-seeded Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 21-17, 15-21, 21-10 to set up a final against Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan.
The lanky Indian shuttler, who is ranked third in the world, defeated Yamaguchi for the second time in this edition of the Asian Games after her win in the team event.
But Sindhu will be up against the odds as she has lost all her previous five encounters against Ying.
“I have a strategy in place for her. It should be a good match,” Sindhu, who was recently listed as the world’s seventh highest paid sportswoman by Forbes, said.
“I was always thinking about improving with each match. It is a big competition and there are no easy matches. Hope to go all the way tomorrow,” she added.
Meanwhile Sindhu’s teammate and rival Saina Nehwal faltered against her superior Taiwanese opponent in Ying as she went down 17-21, 14-21 to settle for a bronze.
It is the first time in 36 years that India has won an individual badminton medal at the Asian Games since the late Syed Modi’s gold in 1982. —AFP