Indonesia got off to a winning start when they overpowered Hong Kong on the opening day of the women’s event in the SELANGOR Badminton Asia Team Championships at the Setia City Convention Centre here today.

World number 23 Gregoria Mariska Tunjung and second singles Putri Kusuma Wardani were both instrumental in sealing Indonesia’s victory after easily prevailing over their opponent in just 26 and 33 minutes respectively.

Following Gregoria’s 21-16, 21-12 win over Cheung Ying Mei in the first singles, the first pair of Yeung Nga Ting-Yeung Pui Lam downed Febriana Dwipuji Kusuma-Amalia Cahaya Pratiwi in a hard-fought tie which lasted 65 minutes before winning 21-19, 19-21, 23-21 over the Indonesians to put Hong Kong on level terms.

“There were some errors on my part as this is just the opening match…hopefully, things will get better as the tournament progress,” said Gregoria after her match.

Second singles Putri Kusuma put up a commanding show to brush aside Yeung Sum Yee 21-14, 21-5 in 33 minutes, putting Indonesia back on the lead.

It was a close battle as both the second pair of Lanny Mayasari-Jesita Putri Miantoro and Fan Ka Yan-Tau Mau Ying were involved in a 48-minute battle which eventually saw the former winning 12-21, 21-14, 21-19.

“Unlike our opponent, this is our first appearance in a big tournament. So, we were a bit overwhelmed and under pressure. We managed to claw our way back and forced them into rubber game by minimising errors and improving our on-court communication,” said Jesita Putri.

On tomorrow’s tie against Kazakhstan, partner Lanny Mayasari, meanwhile, said that they will not be taking the tie lightly. “It’s important to keep our momentum to prepare for tougher matches,” she said.

Stephanie Widjaja completed Indonesia’s win after prevailing 21-18, 21-13 over India-born Saloni Mehta Samibhai in 31 minutes.

In another tie, Korea had no problem overcoming Kazakhstan 5-0 in a one-sided tie which ended in just 98 minutes.

Second pair Lee Seo Jin/Seong Yeon Seung became the fastest Korean to win on day one of competition after needing only 16 minutes to win over Nargiza Rakhmetullayeva/Aisha Zhumbaek.

Lee See Yeon, Kim Joo Eun and Park Ming Jeong ensured Korea’s victory after winning all their single matches with Lee getting the better of Aisha Zhumbaek 21-7, 21-12, Kim winning over Kamila Smagulova 21-8, 21-10 and Park registering a 21-10, 21-6 win over Nargiza Rakhmetuyalleva in just 18 minutes.

Korea’s last two winning points came from the doubles pair Baek Ha Na-Kim Min Ji who beat Arina Sazonova-Kamila Smagulova 21-8, 21-5 while Lee Seo Jin-Seung Yeon completed the rout, winning over Nargiza Rakhmetullayeva/Aisha Zhumbaek 21-6, 21-4.

The Selangor Badminton Asia Team Championships 2022 serves as a qualifier for the 2022 Thomas and Uber Cup Finals scheduled to be held in Bangkok from May 8 to 15.

The tournament, organised by the Selangor Sports Council, is hosted by the Selangor State Government and in collaboration with Badminton Asia and Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), ends on Sunday, February 20.

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