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Can Indonesia Keep Their Domination Until the Finals?

By numbers, Indonesia is dominating in the semifinals of the 32nd SEA Games Cambodia 2023. The country has two representatives in all categories except the mixed doubles. This was because the second seed, Zachariah Josiahno Sumanti/Hediana Julimarbela, had fallen in the previous round.


The Indonesian representatives who qualified for the top four are Chico Aura Wardoyo and Christian Adinata in the men's singles, Komang Ayu Cahya Dewi and Ester Nurumi Tri Wardoyo in women’s singles. In the men's doubles, there are Muhammad Shohibul Fikri/Bagas Maulana and Pramudya Kusumardana/Yeremia Rambitan, Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma/Amalia Cahaya Pratiwi and Meilysa Trias Puspita Sari/Rachel Allessya Rose in the women's doubles. In mixed doubles, Indonesia only placed Rehan Naufal Kusharjanto/Lisa Ayu Kusumawati.


However, domination in the semifinals is not a guarantee for domination in the finals. Malaysia and Thailand, each with 5 representatives, and Singapore with 1 representative are ready to fight for the gold medals. 


In the men's singles, two representatives of Indonesia will meet with two representatives of Malaysia. Chico Wardoyo, who is seeded in the top spot, will meet Lee Shun Yang, seeded fourth, and Christian Adinata, seeded second, will meet Leong Jun Hao, seeded third. In terms of ranking, Chico is predicted to win. His ranking, 19th, was way above his opponent's. But still, that is not a guarantee. The other semifinal will have Christian Adinata, ranked #59 against Malaysia’s Leong Jun Hao, ranked #64. Previously in the men’s team event, Leong Jun Hao defeated Chico, a victory that made Malaysia lead 1-0 before eventually losing 1-3.


Meanwhile, in the women's singles, Thailand's chance to win gold is wide open. Lalinrat Chaiwan, ranked 23rd, once defeated Komang Ayu, ranked 52nd, in the last women's team final with two straight games 21-19, 21-17. A win that gives Lalinlat more confidence. On the other hand, Supanida Katethong, seeded second and ranked 24th, has a big chance of winning over Ester Nurumi Tri Wardoyo, who is ranked 60th in the world. In the women's team final, Supanida Katethong won easily over Esther with 21-11, 21-12. 


In the men's doubles, the chances of Indonesian players to advance to the final are also very large. Besides occupying the top two seeds, Muhammad Shohibul Fikri/Bagas Maulana and Pramudya Kusumardana/Yeremia Rambitan have better playing experience than their opponents. Muhammad Shohibul Fikri/Bagas Maulana, ranked 14th, will meet Thailand's Peeratchai Sukphun/Pakkapon Teeraratsakul, ranked 79th. The two pairs met once in the 2022 Thomas Cup and won by Bagas/Fikri in two games 24-22, 21-11. Meanwhile, Pramudya Kusumardana/Yeremia Rambitan, ranked 33rd in the world, will meet the Singaporean pair Nge Joo Jie/Johann Prajogo round, ranked 155th. On paper, an all-Indonesian final is likely to happen. 


The absence of two tough Thai women's doubles, Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajongjai and Benyapa Aimsaard/Nuntakarn Aimsaard opened the way for Indonesian and Malaysian representatives to win. Indonesia’s Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma/Amalia Cahaya Pratiwi, ranked 14th, will face Lee Xin Jie/Low Yeen Yuan from Malaysia, ranked #257. In this semifinal, Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma/Amalia Cahaya Pratiwi are the favorites to win and qualify for the finals. The other semifinal will have Meilysa Trias Puspita Sari / Rachel Allessya Rose from Indonesia against another Malaysian women's doubles, Cheng Su Hui/Cheng Su Yin. However, as we have seen too many times in the history of badminton, ranking gaps don’t guarantee the ending of a match.


Unlike the other numbers, in mixed doubles, Thailand dominates the semifinals by placing their two representatives, Pakkapon Teeraratsakul/Phataimas Muenwong and Ratchapol Makkasasithorn/Chasinee Korepap. For Ratchapol Makkasasithorn/Chasinee Korepap, a tough challenge awaits them. This is because their opponent in the semifinals is the top seed from Indonesia, Rehan Naufal Kusharjanto/Lisa Ayu Kusumawati, a pair who is ranked 10th in the world. Meanwhile, Ratchapol Makkasasithorn/Chasinee Korepap is' ranked 56th. The other semifinals will have Thai pair Pakkapon Teeraratsakul/Phataimas Muenwong, ranked 123rd, against Malaysian representatives Yap Roy King/Cheng Su Yin, a pair who is yet to have a world ranking. (*)



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