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September 22, 2000
Indonesia win men's doubles badminton goldMitch Phillips
Amid scenes of jubilation, Indonesians Tony Gunawan and Candra Wijaya beat Lee Dong-soo and Yoo Yong-sung of South Korea to win the Olympic badminton men's doubles gold medal on Thursday.
The world number ones and top seeds, lifted by deafening support from a crowd straight out of Jakarta, came through 15-10, 9-15, 15-7 after a one hour, 17 minute battle against the world championship runners-up.
The victory was doubly welcomed for the badminton-mad nation after top seeds Kusharyanto Tri and Timur Minarti had earlier lost the mixed doubles final to China's Zhang Jun and Gao Ling.
The victory takes Indonesia's all-time Olympic gold tally to four -- all in badminton, a sport introduced to the Games in 1992.
The value the country places on the sport was evident from the reception the fans gave their heroes as they entered the arena in the Olympic Park Pavillions. Even Indonesia's Olympic officials were out of their seats and shouting.
The very first point set the tone for the night, with the crowd roaring in unison as each smash was dispatched.
At 3-3 there was a rally of awesome power, lightning reflexes and sublime skill that eventually went the Indonesians' way after 79 shots.
They took the opening game in half an hour but the undaunted Koreans hit back strongly in the second to level.
The third game was just as tight, with wonderful defence and sustained attack from both sides.
But as the Koreans tired, the favourites gradually took charge, turning a 4-3 deficit into an unassailable 10-4 lead.
In the third-place play-off, South Koreans Ha Tae-kwon and Kim Dong-moon added Olympic bronze to their world title with a 15-2, 15-8 victory over Malaysians Tan Fook Choong and Wan Wah Lee.
The fourth seeds were much the better pair in the opening game, merely keeping the shuttle in play and waiting for their opponents' mistakes.
After losing the first two points of the game they won a remarkable 15 straight.
But after falling 6-1 down in the second the Malaysians began to make a fight of it, levelling at 7-7 only to concede a run of six unanswered points to go down after 50 minutes.
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