Indonesia celebrate as Greysia-Apriyani break Chinese stronghold for historic gold

Indonesia's Greysia Polii, left, and Apriyani Rahayu celebrate after defeating China's Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan during their women's doubles gold medal match in Tokyo. - AP

TOKYO: Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu won badminton women's doubles gold on Monday, breaking a Chinese stranglehold and claiming Indonesia's first title of the Tokyo Olympics.

The pair beat China's Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan 21-19, 21-15 to pick up Indonesia's first Olympics medal in women's doubles.

"Twenty years ago, when I was 13 years old, I knew that Indonesia hadn't made any history in women's doubles," said Greysia.

"I knew that I was born to be a badminton player, and I had that faith when I was 13 years old that I wanted to make history for Indonesia."

China had won every women's doubles gold but two since badminton's debut at the 1992 Games, but the Indonesians came flying out of the blocks and never let up until the final point.

Yifan sent the last shot of the match wide, but a challenge from the Chinese pair put Indonesian celebrations on ice until a replay confirmed the victory.

"I'm speechless right now," said Greysia.

"This is how it feels to get a gold medal. You cannot describe it in words."

Polii had been on the brink of retiring after the 2016 Rio Games, when she reached the quarter-finals with Nitya Krishinda Maheswari, but was persuaded to continue after teaming up with Rahayu - 10 years her junior.

South Korea's Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee-yong won the bronze, beating compatriots Lee So-hee-Shin Seung-chan 21-10, 21-17. - AFP

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