MANILA: The national men’s badminton squad fails to end the 14-year gold medal drought in the team event after losing 1-3 to Indonesia in the final action in the 30th SEA Games at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex, here today.
The loss saw the same script at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games two years ago repeating itself when Malaysia succumbed 0-3 to the same opponents in the final stage.
In the first action, singles player, Lee Zii Jia, the world’s 14th ranked player, failed to contribute the main point to the nation, after losing to Jonathan Christie who is ranked sixth in the world.
The 21-year-old player lost easily in the first set, tried to rise in the second set but his efforts were inadequate to check the advance of Jonathan who won 21-9, 21-17.
The national sensational pair of Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik revived the national hope when he beat the combination of Fajar Alfian-Muhamad Rian Ardianto to tie the position 1-1.
The powerful smashes and fast game exhibited by Aaron and Wooi Yik could not be matched by the opponents who had to accept the reality of losing 21-17, 21-13.
The excellent move, however, could not be continued by the national second singles player Soong Joo Ven who was cowed in the rubber set action against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.
Despite winning 21-13 in the first set, the 24-year-old player lost his rhythm in the subsequent sets before being vanquished 15-21, 18-21.
The much hoped for rise via the pair of Teo Ee Yi-Ong Yew Sin in the fourth action spluttered after they lost 16-21, 19-21 to Wahyu Nayaka-Ade Yusuf Santoso to simultaneously see the national squad failing to secure the gold medal after last winning it at the 2005 edition in Manila.
The bronze medal in the men’s team event went jointly to the Thailand and Singapore teams.