Indonesia finally take home Suhandinata Cup
Image credit : BWF & Raphael Sachetat
Three-time losing finalists Indonesia is finally bringing home the Suhandinata Cup - the symbol of supremacy in the World Junior Mixed Team Championships - with an emphatic 3-1 win over China in the final in Kazan, Russia on Saturday.
The Indonesians were losing finalists in 2013, 2014 and 2015. However, this time around the Indonesians, thanks to the year-long preparations for the world junior meet, put an end to China's stranglehold.
The mighty Chinese had won the title five times in a row. Indonesia became only the third team after Korea (2006 and 2013) and Malaysia (2011) to lay their hands on the Suhandinata Cup.
Tears of joy were shed in Kazan as Indonesia celebrated a great win which made up for their disappointment of losing the Asian Junior title to Thailand despite taking a 2-0 lead in the final in Suzhou, China earlier this year.
Indonesian Badminton Federation (PBSI) Head of Development and High-Performance Director Susu Susanti said winning the world junior mixed team title is a first for the country and it means a lot to the badminton crazy nation.
"The Cup is named after an Indonesian but we never won the title before. So it is great to take the silverware home finally after previous disappointments," said the former Olympics (Barcelona, 1992) women's singles gold medalist.
Indonesia took a 2-0 lead against China after winning the mixed doubles through Daniel Marthin-Indah Cahya Sari Jamil and the women's singles through Putri Kusuma Wardani but China narrowed the deficit by winning the men's singles.
In the mixed doubles, the Indonesian pair defeated China's Feng Yan Zhe-Lin Fangling 21-18, 18-21, 21-11 in 63 minutes. Putri battled for 71 minutes in her women's singles against Zhou Meng before prevailing 21-18, 20-22, 21-14.
Bobby Setiabudi could not seal the winning point when he lost his men's singles against Liu Liang 17-21, 21-17, 20-22 in an hour to hand China a lifeline.
However, Indonesia clinched the winning point when Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma-Putri Syaikah showed grit and determination to down Li Yi Jing-Tan Ning 16-21, 25-23, 21-13 in a marathon 88-minute women's doubles for an unassailable 3-1 lead.
Mixed Team Final
Indonesia 3 China 1
Daniel Marthin-Indah Cahya Sari Jamil beat Feng Yan Zhe-Lin Fang Ling 21-18, 18-21, 21-11
Putri Kusuma Wardani beat Zhou Meng 21-18, 20-22, 21-14
Bobby Setiabudi lost to Liu Liang 17-21, 21-17, 20-22
Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma-Putri Syaikah beat Li Yi Jing-Tan Ning 16-21, 25-23, 21-13