Jakarta (AFP): Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting extended his giant-killing spree on the badminton court with a stunning victory over the reigning Olympic champion in the Asian Games quarter-finals on Sunday.
Ginting beat Chen Long 21-19, 21-11 to sail through to the semis, guaranteeing Indonesia a medal in the men’s singles event in Jakarta.
The 21-year-old, fresh from victory against Japanese world champion Kento Momota on Saturday, brought the curtains down on China’s medal hopes after Shi Yuqi’s swift exit in the first round.
The new Indonesian poster boy will now face Taiwan heavyweight Chou Tien Chen, who battled past NG Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong 21-18, 21-18.
World number 10 Kenta Nishimoto kept up the Japanese fight after defeating Korea’s Son Wan ho in straight games and will meet Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie in the final-four clash. In the women’s draw, India’s Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu assured their country of at least a bronze after making the semi-finals.
Sindhu, who was recently listed as the world’s seventh highest paid sportswoman by Forbes, got past Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol 21-11, 16-21, 21-14 in the last-eight match.
But the lanky Indian — who is ranked third in the world — admitted to making mistakes in the second game, saying she was nervous. “I made unforced errors. I felt that I could have finished off in two sets but I think due to my easy errors I gave her the second set,” Sindhu told reporters.
“I was leading and then I started giving off points and then I was nervous. I thought nothing is going on, nothing happening with my strokes. They were simple errors but I began to get more nervous,” she said.
Earlier Sindhu’s teammate and rival Nehwal got past fourth-seeded Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 21-18, 21-16.
It is the first time in 36 years that India will be getting an individual badminton medal at the continental games since the late Syed Modi’s gold in 1982.
The Indian shuttlers will go head-to-head if they win their respective semis on Monday and Sindhu is looking forward to the challenge.
“Hopefully if that happens then it is very good for Indian badminton. Proud moment for the country. Two singles players in the finals,” said Sindhu, who recently lost the gold to Nehwal in the Commonwealth Games.
“Definitely hoping to get the best. Not just the medal but it should be a gold. It’s not over yet and I have to keep going,” she added.
Nehwal will face the world number one from Taiwan, Tai Tzu Ying, who knocked out 2017 World Champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-15 21-10.
Sindhu will play world number two Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, who won her match against Chen Yufei of China 21-19, 21-11.