Badminton: Singapore's men lose 3-2 to Indonesia in Asia Team C'ships semis

Singapore's Loh Kean Yew beats Indonesia's Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo 21-17, 21-19 in the Badminton Asia Team Championships men's semi-finals first singles match. PHOTO: BADMINTON ASIA
Singapore's men's national badminton team comprising Andy Kwek, Wesley Koh, Joel Koh, Loh Kean Yew, Terry Hee, Kubo Junsuke, Danny Bawa Chrisnanta, Jason Teh and Lim Ming Hong ahead of the Badminton Asia Team Championships in Selangor, Malaysia. PHOTO: LOH KEAN YEW

SINGAPORE - Singapore's run at the Badminton Asia Team Championships ended at the semi-finals as the men's team tested defending champions Indonesia before losing 3-2 on Saturday (Feb 19).

There was some consolation as they will return home with a historic joint bronze and a spot in the May 8-15 Thomas Cup in Bangkok.

The Republic had taken an early lead at the Setia City Convention Centre in Selangor as world champion Loh Kean Yew beat 55th-ranked Chico Aura Dwi Wardoyo 21-17, 21-19 in the first singles match.

Doubles pair Andy Kwek and Wesley Koh put up some early resistance but the unfamiliarity from playing in only their second match as a combination showed as they eventually succumbed to world No. 28 duo Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin 21-16, 21-12 in 29 minutes.

With the tie at 1-1, it was Singapore who regained the advantage thanks to world No. 104 Jason Teh. He had lost his previous three matches against Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay but showed great determination to beat the 90th-ranked Indonesian 18-21, 21-8, 21-9 in just under an hour.

After Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Terry Hee won the first game 21-15 against Shohibul Fikri and Bagas Maulana in the next doubles clash, Singapore was just one game away from the final.

But the world No. 528 Singaporean pair, reunited because Hee's regular partner Loh Kean Hean was ruled out with Covid-19, could not maintain their level and lost the next two games 21-11, 21-15 to the 29th-ranked Indonesians.

In the fifth and deciding match, Joel Koh could not overcome the difference in rankings - he is world No. 274 and his opponent Christian Adinata is 71 places higher - and lost 21-11, 21-14 in 35 minutes.

The Indonesians will seek their fourth straight title as they face hosts Malaysia, who beat South Korea 3-0 in the other last four encounter, in Sunday's final.

There was some consolation for the Koreans as their women's team are in the final after beating Malaysia 3-0. They will face Indonesia, who advanced after their semi-final opponents Japan withdrew as several of their players were "unfit to play".

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