Hendra/Ahsan win RI’s 1st All England title after 11 years

Proud winners: Mohammad Ahsan (right) and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia hold their awards after beating Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa in the All England Open Badminton Championships men’s doubles final match in Birmingham, UK, on Sunday. AFP/Carl Court

Proud winners: Mohammad Ahsan (right) and Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia hold their awards after beating Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo and Kenichi Hayakawa in the All England Open Badminton Championships men’s doubles final match in Birmingham, UK, on Sunday. AFP/Carl Court

With a lively contingent of Indonesian supporters cheering them on in a packed National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, England, Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan finally ended Indonesia’s 11 year wait for a men’s doubles All England Super Series Premier title on Sunday.

The world number one pair claimed the trophy after defeating the world number two team of Hiroyuki Endo/Kenichi Hayakawa from Japan in a tight two-set game 21-19, 21-19.

Indonesia last won the men’s doubles All England trophy when veteran duo Sigit Budiarto/Chandra Wijaya clinched the title in 2003.

In a match aired live by a local TV, Hendra/Ahsan raced to a 3-1 lead in the first game before Endo/Hayakawa leveled the score at 16-16. Despite finding it difficult to close out points against the Japanese pair, Hendra/Ahsan finally sealed the first game 21-19.

With the score even at 2-2 early in the second game, it was clear that neither team was willing to take unnecessary risks and seemed more focused on not losing points rather than winning points. The conservative play continued right until the end of the game, where the Indonesian pair, who won the World Badminton Championship last year, finally held steady to take the game 21-19.

Both Hendra and Ahsan thanked all Indonesians for their never-ending support and dedicated the All England trophy to their country and families.

“We learned a thing or two at this year’s tournament and we hope that we can translate this into further success in the future,” said Hendra in a Skype interview with a local TV station.

In women’s doubles, defending champions Wang Xiaoli/Yu Yang won their third All England title in a match that went the full three games against compatriots Ma Jin/Tang Yuanting 21-17, 18-21, 23-21.

Despite both teams being from the same country, Ma Jin and her new partner Tang Yuanting were not given any favors by the world top pair Xiaoli/Yu Yang.

The final game went to wire, with no gap in the score until after it reached 21-21. However the 2011 and 2013 All England champions Xiaoli/Yu Yang proved their worth by sealing the decider 23-21.

In the women’s singles final, Wang Shixian defeated her compatriot Li Xuerui 21-19, 21-18 to clinch the trophy.

In the men’s singles final, Malaysia’s world number one Lee Chong Wei clinched the title after defeating his Chinese opponent, world number two Chen Long, in two straight games.

Indonesia’s other remaining representatives Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir, who will defend their mixed doubles title for the third time will play China’s Chang Nan/Zhao Yunlei in the last match of the US$400,000 tournament. The jakarta Post

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