Huang Kaixiang-Chen Qingchen react after defeating Indonesian pair Muhammad Rian Adrianto-Rosyita Eka Putri Sari 21-14, 17-21, 21-17 in the World Junior Championships mixed team event. - Chan Boon Kai / THE STAR
ALOR SETAR: China swept their ninth Suhandinata Cup at the World Junior Championships after routing Indonesia 3-0 in the final at the Sultan Abdul Halim Stadium here.
China, eight-time winners (2000, 2004, 2006, 2007-2010 and 2012) were the favourites to land the title although the unbalanced scoreline was not expected, as Indonesia had come very close to turning the tide in each of the matches. “It wasn’t an easy win. Indonesia did not relent and the mixed doubles was the toughest match. We were prepared for the worst case scenario, that it would go to the fifth match. So, to win it 3-0 comes as a surprise,” said China coach Sun Cheng Hwa.
Mixed pair Huang Kaixiang-Chen Qingchen drew first blood as they got the better of Indonesian pair Muhammad Rian Adrianto-Rosyita Eka Putri Sari (21-14, 17-21, 21-17) in the opening match on Friday.
Indonesia were a little slow getting off the blocks and didn’t cope as well with Kaixiang-Qingchen’s fast attacking play, allowing China to wrap up the first game 21-14.
Rian-Rosyita found their feet in the second game as they opened up a huge 7-1 lead in the second, but China came storming back to tie 7-7. But Indonesia held on to win the second game 21-17.
Tied at 8-8 in the decider, Kaixiang-Qingchen put the pedal to the metal as they pulled away to take the third game 21-17 for the win.
“It was very important for us to take the first point. It takes a lot of pressure off of our teammates and puts us in the best position in a team event. They (Rian-Rosyita) pushed us hard but in the third set, we didn’t put so much thought into it and just wanted to take away points,” said Qingchen after the match.
China’s Shi Yuqi held his nerves to down Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie 20-19, 22-20 in the boys’ singles. The Indonesian clawed back from 3-10 down to collect eight straight points in the second set, but just could not get the better of Yuqi.
It was then up to the boys’ doubles pair, Kaixiang-Zheng Siwei, who bounced back from a game down to beat Rian-Clinton Hendrik Kudamasa 20-22, 21-12, 21-18 and secure the win for China.
“The pressure and nerves got the better of us today. We came so close, but it just wasn’t our day. China proved they have the quality, but they are not impossible to beat. I think if we had had the girls’ doubles as the first match, things might have turned out differently,” said Indonesia coach Bambang Suprianto.
Indonesia also finished runners-up last year when they lost to South Korea 3-2 in Bangkok.