Badminton Asia Team Championships 2016: Indonesia and China win titles!


Badminton Asia Team Championships 2016: Indonesia and China win titles!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff

___________

The 2016 Badminton Asia Team Championships were held at the GMC Balayogi Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad, India, on 15–21 February 2016 and were organised by Badminton Asia Confederation.
Indonesia and China won the Badminton Asia Team Championships in the men and women’s categories respectively at the Gachibowli indoor stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday the February 21. .
Indonesia beat Japan 3-2 in men’s category and China defeated Japan 3-2 in the women’s category in the two finals of the week-long tournament.

In the women’s finals held in the morning session, Japan’s World Champion Nozomi Okuhara gave a great start to her team with a 17-21, 21-16 and 21-15 win against China’s Shixian Wang. It was a clash of equals as Wang is ranked seven, while Okuhara is ranked just below her at eight. Okuhara lost the first game, but bounced back to win the remaining two games.
Japan’s doubles pair of Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi continued their team’s winning streak with a 21-12, 21-16 victory over China’s Ying Luo-Qing Tian in the first doubles match of the five-match tie. The tie comprised three singles and two doubles matches. The fortunes of the Chinese team were, however, revived by Yu Sun, in the second Singles match with a 22-20, 21-19 win over Japan’s Sayaka Sato. In the second doubles, China’s Yu Luo-Yuanting Tang trounced Naoko Fukuman-Kurumi Yonao of Japan 21-11, 21-10.
In the final and decisive match, China’s Bingjiao He, who is ranked 31, humbled 16-ranked Yui Hashimoto to make her team the winners of Asia Team Championships in women’s category. (If one doubts if the Japanese player decided to lose there may be some justification)
In the women’s finals held in the morning session, Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara gave a great start to her team with a 17-21, 21-16 and 21-15 win against China’s Shixian Wang. It was a clash of equals as Wang is ranked seven, while Okuhara is ranked just below her at eight. Okuhara lost the first game, but bounced back to win the remaining two games.
Japan’s doubles pair of Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi continued their team’s winning streak with a 21-12, 21-16 victory over China’s Ying Luo-Qing Tian in the first doubles match of the five-match tie. The tie comprised three singles and two doubles matches.
The fortunes of the Chinese team were, however, revived by Yu Sun, in the second Singles match with a 22-20, 21-19 win over Japan’s Sayaka Sato.
In the second doubles, China’s Yu Luo-Yuanting Tang trounced Naoko Fukuman-Kurumi Yonao of Japan 21-11, 21-10.
In the final and decisive match, China’s Bingjiao He, who is ranked 31, humbled 16-ranked Yui Hashimoto to make her team the winners of Asia Team Championships in women’s category.
In the men’s finals in the evening session, Japan’s Kento Momota, ranked number four in the world, had an easy 21-17, 21-7 win against Indonesia’s Ihsan Maulana Mustofa, who is ranked way below at 33. In the singles match that followed, Indonesia’s Ginting Anthony, who is ranked 34, shocked Sho Sasaki 21-7, 21-16 to boost his team’s chances. Sasaki, ranked 22 now, was a seasoned shuttler. In the second doubles match of the tie, Japan’s Takeshi Kamura-keigo Sonoda beat Indonesia’s Berry Agriawan-Ryan Agung Saputra 21-16, 21-15.
With both sides having won two matches each, the final match (singles) between Kenta Nishimoto (Japan) and Christie Jonatan (Indonesia) became decisive. The match turned out to be a battle of wits and full of suspense with both the players winning one game each. Indonesia’s Jonatan dominated the last game as his side won the team championship. Jonatan secured a hard fought 14-21, 21-19, 21-13 victory against Japan’s Nishimoto.
India claimed bronze in the men’s category, while the women’s team crashed out in the quarter-finals. When India hosted the Asian level event it would have expected to clinch both the titles and Indian sport media would have blasted the “victory” news but that Indonesia could win the men’s title cannot be happy news and Hyderabad would like to forget this as early as possible . In fact, India does not consider or treat teams from South Asia and South East Asia as under dogs. India, on the other hand cannot digest the continuous onward sport journey of China and Japan in Asia. Most nations in these regions in fact do not fight as serious as they should. That way these nations are allowing India to enjoy and shine.
While the shining of China and Japan does not make India worry more, but the rise of a “small” nation Indonesia in badminton, in spite of all possible precautions, is major cause of Indian worry and cannot make it happy.

 

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