Independence Day gift from Indonesian shuttlers
INDONESIAN mixed doubles pair Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir won a gold medal late on Wednesday after beating Malaysians Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying in an easy 21-14, 21-12 match, bringing home a gift for the country's 71st Independence Day.
The world number three pair were Indonesia's only medal hopes in badminton after the country's eight other shuttlers stumbled in their respective events.
The gold medal from Tontowi and Liliyana elevated Indonesia's position in the medal tally from 56th to 39th, above Vietnam, who have so far claimed one gold and one silver.
Indonesia have an advantage over Vietnam with one gold and two silvers.
Tontowi and Liliyana, the All England winners from 2012 to 2014, started their gold medal campaign in convincing fashion.
They were invincible in Group C after winning all three matches against pairings from Australia, Thailand and Malaysia.
In the quarter-finals, on-fire Tontowi and Liliyana outclassed compatriots Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto in a straight match.
They went on to knock out the world number one pairing of Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei from China, also in a straight match, in the semi-finals.
"(The semi-final win) was hard evidence that (Tontowi and Liliyana) can rebound.
"Tontowi revealed an amazing fighting spirit," team manager Rexy Mainaky said on Monday, as quoted by the Indonesian Badminton Association on its website badmintonindonesia.org.
THE JAKARTA POST/
ASIA NEWS NETWORK