Indonesia breaks Chinese stranglehold in badminton women’s doubles

by AFP

JAPAN – Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu won badminton women’s doubles gold on Monday, breaking a Chinese stranglehold and claiming Indonesia’s first title of the Tokyo Olympics.

The pair beat China’s Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan 21-19, 21-15 to pick up Indonesia’s first Olympic medal in women’s doubles.

China had won every women’s doubles gold but two since badminton’s debut at the 1992 Games, but the Indonesians came flying out of the blocks and never let up until the final point.

Jia sent the last shot of the match wide, but a challenge from the Chinese pair put Indonesian celebrations on ice until a replay confirmed the victory.

Polii had been on the brink of retiring after the 2016 Rio Games, but was persuaded to continue after teaming up with Rahayu – 10 years her junior.

South Korea’s Kim So-yeong and Kong Hee-yong won the bronze, beating compatriots Lee So-hee and Shin Seung-chan 21-10, 21-17.