UNHERALDED Lee Yun-gyu of South Korea continues to be a giantkiller in the Asian Games.
A day after slaying Ng Tze Yong in the second singles, which eventually saw Malaysia losing 1-3 in the opening round, the 25-year-old Yun-gyu dumped Jonatan Christie in the tie against Indonesia in the quarter-finals at the Binjiang Gymnasium in Hangzhou on Friday.
The world No. 119 Yun-gyu turned hero again by beating world No. 5 Jonatan 21-15, 21-16 and it helped South Korea enter the semis with a superb 3-1 win.
The reigning Hong Kong champion Jonatan knows he has to turn his game around if he hopes to defend his gold in the men’s singles in the Asian Games when the individual competition starts tomorrow.
“Honestly, it was not my best performance,” lamented the 26-year-old Jonatan in a post-match interview with the Indonesian National Badminton Association (PBSI).
“I really regret not being able to contribute a point for the team.
“I was rushing my shots at the front of the net and my opponent’s defense was very good.
“It’s never easy to play the first match in a tournament and I did feel a bit nervous.
“I was struggling with the rhythm of the game and unsure about the best strategy to use.
“I admit that I made mistakes and I will try to do better in the individual event.”
Jonatan will certainly need to improve in the individual event as he faces a tough task to defend the gold he won in the 2018 edition at home in Jakarta.
Antony Ginting, who contributed the sole point for his country against South Korea after beating world No. 47 Jeon Hyeok-jin 21-15, 21-17, will be one of Jonatan’s main challengers.
Thailand’s reigning world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn, world No. 3 Kodai Naraoka and homesters Shi Yuqi (No. 6) and Li Shifeng (No. 8) will also be vying for the gold.
Indonesia will also face a battle to win gold in the men’s doubles based on the performances of world No. 1 Fajar Alfian-Rian Ardian and world No. 11 Leo Rolly -Daniel Marthin, who suffered defeats against South Korea.
Fajar-Rian went down fighting 21-11, 22-24, 17-21 to world champions Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae while Leo-Daniel lost out 18-21, 17-21 to scratch pairing Kim Won-ho-Na Seung-sung.
South Korea will next take on India while China will play Japan in the other last four match today.
Meanwhile, in the women’s team event, China will take on Korea in the final after beating defending champions Japan 3-1 in the semi-finals.
South Korea had defeated Thailand by the same score in the other last four match.
Men’s team: South Korea bt Indonesia 3-1 (Jeon Hyeok-jin lost to Anthony Ginting 15-21, 17-21; Kang Min-hyuk-Seo Seung-jae 11-21, 24-22, 21-17; Lee Yun-gyu bt Jonatan Christie 21-15, 21-16; Kim Won-ho-Na Sung-seung bt Leo Rolly-Daniel Marthin 21-18, 21-17), India bt Nepal 3-0 (Lakshya Sen bt Prince Dahal 21-5, 21-8; K. Srikanth bt Sunil Joshi 21-4, 21-13; Mithun Manjunath bt Bishnu Katwal 21-2, 21-7), Japan bt Hong Kong 3-1 (Kodai Naraoka lost to Lee Cheuk Yiu 15-21, 22-20, 11-21; Takuro Hoki-Yugo Kobayashi bt Chow Hin Long-Lui Chin Wai 21-10, 21-13; Kenta Nishimoto bt Angus Ng Ka Long 21-17, 10-21, 21-16; Akira Koga-Taichi Saito bt Reginald Lee-Choi Yeung Shing 21-17, 21-15), China bt Taiwan 3-1 (Shi Yuqi lost to Chou Tien-chen 22-24, 11-21; Liang Weikeng-Wang Chang bt Lee Yang-Wang Chi-lin 21-17, 21-19; Li Shifeng bt Wang Tzu-wei 21-14, 21-12; Liu Yuchen-Ou Xuanyi bt Lu Ching-yao-Ye Hong-wei 21-18, 21-19).
Women’s team: China bt Indonesia 3-0 (Chen Yufei bt Gregoria Mariska 21-14, 21-12; Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan bt Apriyani Rahayu-Siti Fadia Ramadhanti 21-12, 19-21, 22-20; He Bingjia bt Putri Kusuma 21-15, 21-19), Japan bt Taiwan 3-1 (Tai Tzu-ying bt Akane Yamaguchi 21-14, 5-7, ret., Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida bt Lee Chia-hsin-Lin Wan-ching 21-11, 21-12; Aya Ohori bt Wen Chi-hsu 21-11, 21-14; Yuki Fukushima-Arisa Higashino bt Hsu Ya-ching-Teng Chun-hsun 21-18, 21-11), Thailand bt India 3-0 (Pornpawee Chochuwong bt P. V. Sindhu 14-21, 21-15, 21-14; Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai bt Treesa Jolly-Gayathri Gopichand 21-19, 21-5; Busanan Ongbamrungphan bt Ashmita Chaliha 21-9, 21-16), South Korea bt Maldives 3-0 (An Se-young bt Fathimath Nabaatha 21-1, 21-5; Kim Ga-eun bt Aminath Nabeetha 21-7, 21-4; Kim Ga-ram bt Aishath Afnaan 21-3, 21-1). n SEMI-FINALS Women’s team: China bt Japan 3-1 (Chen Yufei bt Aya Ohori 21-19, 12-21, 21-15; Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan lost to Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida 21-19, 9-21, 17-21, He Bingjiao bt Natsuki Nidaira 21-12, 21-14; Zhang Shuxian-Zheng Yu bt Yuki Fukushima-Naru Shinoya 21-19, 21-13), South Korea bt Thailand (An Se-young bt Pornpawee Chochuwong 21-12, 18-21 21-15; Baek Ha-na-Lee So-hee bt Jongkolphan Kititharakul-Rawinda Prajongjai 23-25, 21-13, 21-5; Kim Ga-eun lost to Busanan Ongbamrungphan 22-24, 21-14, 13-21; Kim So-yeong-Kong Hee-yong bt Benyapa Aimsaard-Nuntakarn Aimsaard 21-19, 21-12).