Indonesian men's badminton team saw off Thailand 3-1 in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games semifinals at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil, Malaysia, on Wednesday (23/08). (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro A.)

Men's Badminton Team Advances to SEA Games Finals Over Thailand

BY :AMAL GANESHA

AUGUST 24, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesian men's badminton team saw off Thailand 3-1 in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games semifinals at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil, Malaysia, on Wednesday (23/08).

Indonesian Jonatan Christie, ranked 28 in the world, defeated the Thai Khosit Phetpradab by a straight game 21-6 and 21-18 in the first match, giving the Indonesian side its first lead.

However, Indonesian men's doubles pair Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto failed to win in their second match against Thailand's Bodin Issara and Nipitphon Phuangphuapet, with rubber set 21-13, 15-21 and 16-21.

In the third match, Indonesian 21-year-old Ihsan Maulana Mustofa won easily against Thailand's Suppanyu Avihingsanon by a straight game 21-15 and 21-14.

Indonesia ensured its place in the final and claimed a 3-1 win after men's doubles pair Berry Angriawan and Hardianto conquered Kittinupong Kedren and Dechapol Puavaranukroh by a straight game 27-25 and 21-9.

Berry and Hardianto were tightly challenged by the Thais in the first set before winning.

"That was our first match in 2017 SEA Games, so we were nervous and doubtful in the first set," Berry said after the game, as quoted on the Indonesian Badminton Federation (PBSI) website.

Indonesia will play host Malaysia in the finals on Thursday evening.

Non-Technical Factors

The 2017 SEA Games have been rife with controversy, however, as fans of participating countries have criticized host Malaysia for cutting corners and benefiting their own teams.

Before the contests began last week, the men's football teams of Vietnam, Indonesia and Laos criticized the drawing mechanism for deciding group compositions that saw Malaysia placed in Group A without any of the competition's most serious competitors, like Thailand and Vietnam.

On Sunday, Indonesia's women's sepak takraw, or kick volleyball, team walked out of a match after a controversial ruling by a Singaporean referee.

PBSI technical and development chief, Susi Susanti, said the Indonesian side must be ready to face non-technical issues that may interfere with their ability to conquer their opponents.

"Any possible non-technical things, like intimidation from the host crowd, and other things, we must be ready for," Susi said.

Indonesia's men's badminton team has won gold in the last four SEA Games.

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