The Malaysian women's team celebrates their victory over Indonesia in the semi-final. - FAIHAN GHANI / The Star
SINGAPORE: The women’s badminton team continued to fly high after delivering a superb performance to beat second seeds Indonesia 3-1 in the SEA Games semi-finals.
But the men’s team blew the best opportunities to lose 3-2 to Indonesia in the semi-finals at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The day belonged to the women as 19-year-old Ho Yen Mei rose to the occasion to deliver a crucial point for the team.
Indonesia had claimed the lead after Lindaweni Fanetri gave Tee Jing Yi a thrashing, winning 21-12, 21-10, before Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei levelled the tie by beating Anggia Shitta Awanda-Mahadewi Ni Ketut 21-18, 19-21, 21-6.
With Malaysia needing a point from the women’s singles, world No. 126 Yen Mei rose to the occasion by beating world No. 54 Hana Ramadhini 21-19, 11-21, 21-19.
Second ranked women’s pair Amelia Alicia Anscelly-Soong Fie Cho then sealed the win for the 2009 champions by beating Suci Rizki Andini-Maretha Dea Geovani 15-21, 21-19, 21-13.
“I just went all out against an opponent I’ve played before and won,” said Yen Mei.
“I think it helped that I played against Vietnam (on Wednesday) and I was more calmer this time and handled myself better.”
Malaysia meet top seeds Thailand, who had thrashed hosts Singapore 3-0, for the gold medal today.
It was disappointment however in the men’s camp as they failed to handle the pressure against Indonesia.
Malaysia took the lead twice after Chong Wei Feng and Lee Chong Wei beat Jonatan Christie and Firman Abdul Kholik respectively.
The men’s pairs of Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and Mak Hee Chun-Teo Kok Siang however failed to deliver when it mattered most.
And independent shuttler Mohd Arif Abdul Latif just couldn’t deliver, even blowing a 20-14 lead in the second game to lose 12-21, 20-22 to 18-year-old Ihsan Maulana Mustofa.
Indonesia will meet Thailand for the gold medal today.
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) technical director Morten Frost described Malaysia’s day as sweet and sour.
“I’m just pleased to see the women’s team win. This is a fine win from a young team and to have women’s singles deliver a point is simply outstanding,” said Frost.
The Star Online