Indonesia win the gold in men’s doubles on home soil, buoyed on by crowd
Indonesia won gold on home soil at the badminton world championships on Sunday, with Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan defeating Chinese duo Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan in the final of the men’s doubles in Jakarta.
The third seeded men’s pair never looked in trouble as they swept the title match 21- 17, 21- 14, buoyed on by a raucous home crowd to a fairytale finish for the tournament hosts.
Ahsan knelt down on the court in silent prayer upon winning the crucial point, before leaping up to celebrate with overjoyed spectators.
The pair thanked fans who had turned out in droves to support them, saying their win was particularly special on the eve of nationwide commemorations celebrating 70 years since Indonesian independence.
“We are very proud we can give this gift, even though it’s not yet tomorrow,” Setiawan told reporters after the match.
The Indonesian duo swept through to the title match after upsetting top seeded Korean pair Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong in the semi- finals.
Earlier, China maintained its stranglehold over the women’s doubles with Zhao Yunlei and Tian Qing defeating Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl of Denmark.
Zhao and Tian, defending champions and Olympic gold medalists, fought back from a game down to win convincingly 23- 25, 21- 8, 21- 15.
China has won every single women’s doubles crown apart from one since it began competing at the world championships in 1983.
Four Chinese pairs qualified for this year’s competition but unusually only two progressed to the quarter- finals, with fifth seeded Zhao and Tian ultimately prevailing.
“This put a lot of pressure on us,” Zhao told reporters after the match.
The fourth- seeded Danish pair had the Chinese on the ropes in the first game but collapsed in the second as Zhao and Tian built momentum.