Tommy Tastes Taiwan Victory
Tommy Sugiarto finally earned the big break he’s been chasing his whole badminton career. The 23-year-old shuttler won the Taiwan Grand Prix Gold men’s singles title, beating Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand 21-15, 15-21, 21-17 in Sunday’s final at Shinjuang Stadium in Taipei. South Korea swept the other titles, including the mixed doubles and women’s doubles, which they won at the expense of Indonesian shuttlers. For Tommy, ranked No. 21 in the world, it was his first title at the Grand Prix Gold level — badminton’s second tier of tournaments — since he turned professional in 2005. It also went some way toward justifying his decision to quit the national training camp last June. He had slumped to No. 123 in the world rankings before leaving to take control of his career. “I’m very happy with this victory, especially because I beat several of the world’s top shuttlers here,” Tommy told the Indonesian Badminton Association’s Web site. “I’m more confident in myself as I’ve continued to improve this year.” The victory in Taiwan was Tommy’s fifth international title, and the third this year after the Fajr International Challenge in Iran in February and the Indonesian International Challenge in Surabaya in July. In the mixed doubles final, top seeds Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir of Indonesia lost 24-22, 16-21, 21-17 to unseeded Ko Sung-hyun and Eom Hye-won of South Korea. “It’s too bad we lost the match because we led early in the first game [15-10] before losing it,” Liliyana said. “In the last game, we didn’t play badly but lost our patience a bit in key moments and they gained confidence because of our mistakes.” In the women’s doubles final, No. 3 seeds Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari retired against South Korea’s Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung after Greysia took a tumble on the court and injured her shoulder. The score was 17-21, 21-18, 2-0 to the South Koreans when the match ended. Greysia initially continued playing after receiving some courtside treatment, but decided she could not go on when the Koreans went up 2-0 in the third and decisive game. “The pain was unbearable and I heard a cracking sound in my shoulder,” she said. “We thought it was better to quit rather than risk a worse injury. South Korea’s Sung Ji-hyun took the women’s singles title with a routine 22-20, 21-14 win over Inthanon Ratchanok of Thailand. And in the men’s doubles final, Ko Sung-hyun and Yoo Yeon-seong beat compatriots Jung Jae-sung and Lee Yong-dae 23-21, 21-17. News Source: The Jakarta Globe
LABEL: Tommy Sugiarto
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