Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting gestures after he won against Japan’s Kento Momota .
Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting gestures after he won against Japan’s Kento Momota .

Indonesia's Ginting stuns Momota in Asian Games badminton

sports August 26, 2018 07:00

By AFP

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Badminton world champion Kento Momota crashed out of the Asian Games against Indonesia's Anthony Ginting as the home favourite raised the roof at the Jakarta arena on Saturday.



 

Ginting, 21, beat the Japanese world number four 21-18, 21-18, afterwards collapsing on the court in disbelief before shaking hands with his shocked opponent.

"Thank God I could win today's match and win against Momota," the world number 12 told reporters.

"I was trying a new strategy with my coach and thankfully it worked. Nothing special, but was just more focused on today's game," said Ginting.

The win comes only two days after Ginting had to retire with severe cramps during Indonesia's team final defeat to China. He said he will be fully fit to face China's Chen Long in the quarter-finals.

South Korea's Son Wan Ho, who is now the highest ranked men's player after China's Shi Yuqi bowed out on Friday, and Taiwan's Chou Tien-chen both advanced to the quarters. 

Son beat Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia in straight games and Chou was a two-games-to-one winner against Thailand's Kantaphon Wangcharoen.

In the women's singles, India's Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu had easy outings against their Indonesian opponents to subdue a raucous home crowd.

Nehwal got past Indonesian teenager Fitriani 21-6, 21-14 in just 31 minutes, while Sindhu defeated Gregoria Mariska Tunjung 21-12, 21-15.

Ratchanok Intanon who defeated Sung Jihyun of Japan 21-15, 21-24.

- 'Crazy' atmosphere -

 

The 28-year-old Nehwal, who won her second Commonwealth gold in April, said the intimidating crowd had made life difficult.

"It's crazy. It's how football or cricket matches are. You have to play against so many of them. Sometimes it plays in your head," said Nehwal.

Sindhu has eclipsed Nehwal as India's biggest badminton star after winning silver at the 2016 Olympics.

But former world number one Nehwal, who has won over 23 international titles, said tournaments like the Asian Games and Olympics are always unpredictable.

China's Shi and India's Kidambi Srikanth both crashed out on a day of men's upsets on Friday, before Momota followed them a day later.

"Playing (in these big tournaments) is not easy because there's a lot of expectation, especially from yourself. Whoever comes out with that pressure is champion," Saina said.

Nehwal will now face Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon who defeated Sung Jihyun of Japan 21-15, 21-24.

World number one Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan and Japan's Akane Yagamuchi also sailed into the last eight after comfortable wins.