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SEA Games: A Golden Week For Young Hidayat

** This NEW SHUTTLENWS report is presented by YANG YANG Badminton Products and their Ontario (Canada) agents - SHAH Enterprises **

August 14, 1999 (NEW SHUTTLENWS) - Indonesia's youthful badminton phenom, Taufik Hidayat, today capped his 18th birthday celebrations by winning his second gold medal of the 20th South East Asian Games in Brunei. Hidayat who turned eighteen this past Tuesday (August 10) beat Wong Choon Hann of Malays= ia in a closely-contested men's singles championship match 15-10, 11-15 and 15-= 11.

On Tuesday, Hidayat had led the Indonesian men's badminton team to a gold medal in the team event. Hidayat had trounced Wong in the first singles matc= h that day with a scoreline of 15-5 and 15-2.

Today's final was much closer.

In the first set, Wong took an early 3-0 lead before Hidayat got going. T= he Indonesian lad caught up to Wong at 7-all and then went on to win the game 15-10.

In the second game, Hidayat continued to dominate in the early going and = led 4-0. However, he began to make mistakes and Wong then took control. The play= er from Malaysia had gained an 11-7 advantage when Hidayat mounted a comeback a= nd tied the game up at 11-11. Hidayat though made several crucial errors. Wong capitalized on the Indonesian's misplays and scored 4 times to win the set 15-11.

In the decider, Hidayat regained his touch early and took a 3-0 lead. Won= g came back with some excellent rallies and smashes to pull even and then went ahead 8-5. Hidayat countered with well-played combinations and scored 6 time= s to take an 11-8 advantage.

Wong pulled even at 11-all but Hidayat again put together a string of poi= nts to reach gold medal point at 14-11. The Indonesian then took the match when Wong, playing desperately to save match point, hit a smash out-of-bounds.

Cindana Hartono won another badminton gold medal for Indonesia in the wom= en's singles event. In today's final, she easily defeated Sujitra Ekmongkolpaisar= n of Thailand 11-5 and 11-2.

The Indonesians had sewn up the women's doubles gold medal yesterday when= two Indonesian pairs - Etty Tantri and Chynthia Tuwankotta plus Indarti Isoliana and Emma Ermawati - won their semifinal matches. In today's all-Indonesian gold medal match, Tantri and Tuwankotta beat Isoliana and Ermawati 17-15 and 15-6.

Indonesia failed to hold on to the gold medals in the men's doubles and t= he mixed doubles events. Pramote Teerawiwatana and Tesana Panvisvas of Thailand upended men's doubles top-seeds Flandy Limpele and Eng Hian of Indonesia in today's gold medal match.

In the first game, the Thais banked primarily on the quickness of Panvisv= as at the midcourt and at net. With Panvisvas' short smashes and killshots, the= y won the first convincingly 15-8.

In the second, Limpele and Hian, bolstered by the cheers of a mostly pro-Indonesian audience, turned the tables on the Thais. The left-handed Limpele found the openings in the Thai defense with crosscourt smashes and helped bring his side to set point 14-8. Hian's deceptive dropshot then notched the game-winner for te Indonesians.

In the decider, the Indonesians took an early 6-2 advantage but the Thais caught up with cautious and defensive play. The Thais tied up the game at 8-all and then 10-all. The Indons nosed ahead 11-10 when Teerawatana struck = a powerful smash but could not land the shuttle within the lines.

The Thai pair was undeterred. They caught up with more cautious and defensive play, combining smashes, dropshots and kills to put the score at 12-all. In the next rally, a deceptive shot by Panvisvas wrongfooted the Indonesians and the Thais had moved ahead 13-12.

The Thais were not to be stopped after that. With combinations of smashes= , drops and kills, they rolled past Limpele and Hian to win the decider 15-13.=

After the match, the Indonesians were so upset by the unexpected defeat t= hat one of them slammed his racket to the floor.

In the mixed doubles, Malaysia's Chew Choon Eng and Chor Hooi Yee had sco= red an upset victory over Indonesian top-seeds Wahyu (Agung) Setiawan and Emma Ermawati in yesterday's semifinals. Chew and Chor then captured the mixed doubles gold medal today when they beat their fellow Malaysians, Rosman Raza= k and Norashikin Amin, 12-15, 15-6 and 15-7 in the final.


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