The victory took Qatar to 15th spot on the medal standings, and with two more bronze added yesterday – won by the equestrian team and Abubaker Abdullah in the 800m – they now have a total of 10, a decent if not spectacular haul with four days to go for the closing ceremony.
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They won 26-24, 21-17 despite the vociferous support the Indonesian pair enjoyed from their home fans.
Rachmawan and Ashfiya were aggressive from the start, and had Samba and Janko on the defensive on several occasions.
But the Qatar pair held their nerve and proved more resilient when under pressure to secure the title.
“It’s been a dream come true that we have won the Asian Games gold. We were confident from the start and our win proved our confidence was not misplaced,” Samba said.
“The Indonesians were tough, it’s only that we played the bigger points better. We were better in soaking up the pressure and that helped us a lot,” Janko added.
The duo are rated as one of the top 10 teams in the world, with decent performances around the world in the past few years
In the first set, Rachmawan and Ashfiya briefly led as they successfully penetrated Qatar’s solid defence through tipping, an off-speed attack aiming to trick the opponent. In the second, however, Qatar were able to read Indonesia’s strategy and were able to anticipate such attacks.
Qatar’s defence was solid. Indonesia occasionally made successful blocks to add to their score here and there, but it wasn’t enough. Samba and Janko were able to handle Indonesia’s attacks and the host pair’s defence grew weaker by the second set, clearing Qatar’s path to glory.
Indonesia also won the bronze with their second team of Giland Ramadhan and Danangsyah Pribadi beating China’s Peng Gao and Yang Li 21-15, 19-21, 15-6.
Meanwhile Abubaker Abdallah clocked 1min46.38secs to grab the 800m bronze behind India’s Manjit Singh (1:46.15) and Jinson Johnson (1:46.38). Incidentally, yesterday was Abdalla’s 22nd birthday.
In boxing, Qatar’s Thulasimaraan Tharumalingam was beaten by Jordan’s Zeyad Eashash 5-0 on points in the 69kg category. The Jordanian thus advanced to the semis.
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