The $ 750,000 BCA Indonesia Open is one of the world’s most prestigious badminton tournaments, classified as BWF World Super-Series Premier. Every year, it attracts the best badminton talent from around the world. This year’s event was organized in Jakarta during June 17-22, 2014, immediately after the Yonex Japan Open. When the tournament concluded on June 22, Denmark’s Jan Jorgensen became the first European ever to win the men’s singles title since the event began in 1982. In the final, Jorgensen played superbly by setting aside a spirited challenge from Japan’s Kenichi Tago. On his part, Tago had created a flutter early on, after he defeated world no.1 Lee Chong Wei in the semifinal on June 21.
Jakarta’s Istora Gelora BBung Karno Stadium was a beehive of activity last Sunday; after all final matches of the BCA Indonesia Open were completed. There were scenes of jubilation as the fans lustily cheered the new champion from Denmark. The 26-year old Jorgensen threw himself on the court, even as his opponent in the final, Kenichi Tago of Japan, smashed the final point of the match into net. The 21-18, 21-18 victory for the Dane was a just reward for all the hard work he had done through the various rounds of the tournament. Tago spontaneously responded with an emotional sporting gesture as he hugged the champion after the two exchanged their shirts. Jorgensen couldn’t believe himself that he had won the Indonesian Open and labeled the victory as the biggest achievement of his entire badminton career. He thanked the supporters and took out three badminton rackets from his kit, before hurling these to appreciative supporters in the stadium.
Before the final, Jorgensen was not so sure since Tago had been playing brilliant badminton all through the week but the Dane was determined to do his best. He just wanted to repeat the same performance against the Japanese that fetched him the title at Yonex French Open in 2013. The opening game did not indicate as to which way the match would finally tilt. Both players had an equally good game but at 18-18, Jorgensen displayed a bit of an enterprise and forced Tago into making a few errors. It was enough for him to take the first game at 21-18. Encouraged by his first game tactics, Jorgensen played offensively in the second game and raced away to a 14-8 lead. But all of a sudden, he blew a few points to let the Japanese recover. He took deep breath to regain his focus and prevailed over the Japanese 21-18 in the second game as well. When the last point was played, Jorgensen was overcome by emotions, before running to the net and hugging his appreciative opponent.
On Saturday, Kenichi Tago caused a stunning sensation, when he defeated world champion Lee Chong Wei. Tago had a 1-17 victory record against the famous Malaysian before the match but that was destined to change soon. By inflicting a 21-16 15-21 21-16 defeat to Chong Wei, Tago prevented the Malaysian from reaching his seventh MetLife BWF World Super-series final. In the other semifinal Jorgensen overcame tournament second seed Chen Long of China 21-19 21-18.
It was a double joy for Denmark when veteran Joachim Fischer Nielsen combined with Christinna Pedersen in the mixed doubles to score a hard-fought win against China’s Xu Chen and Ma Jin. After losing the first game 18-21, the Danish pair came back strongly in the next two games to finish a glorious 18-21 21-16 21-14 victory. It was an apt reward for Danes, who had lost the Maybank Malaysia Open final to the same opponents in January.
In the men’s doubles, Koreans Lee Yong Dae and Yoo Yeon Seong dashed the hopes of local supporters by disposing off the Indonesian duo of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 21-15 21-17. Lee and Yoo began with winning the first game at 21-15 and then raced to a 7-1 lead in the second. The vastly improved Koreans did not yield many chances to the reigning champions and recorded the back-to-back victory against the Indonesians after their exploits in Japan last weekend.
Women’s singles was won by the invincible Chinese Li Xuerui, who defended her title with a super performance against Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand. The world’s no.1 women’s player finished with a creditable 21-13 21-13 victory against Intanon. The women’s doubles crown was claimed by the Chinese Olympic gold medalist pair of Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei without having to take the court. After the mixed doubles match, one of the doubles player, Ma Jin reported a torn muscle in her right thigh and yielded a walk-over to their compatriots.
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