Mixed doubles win pushes Indonesia to top of SEA Games badminton table
Mixed doubles joy for Indonesia as they earn bragging rights in badminton
The tension at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Court 1 was palpable.
Seven days of badminton action boiled down to this one moment yesterday.
With Indonesia and Malaysia tied at two badminton golds apiece, the mixed doubles final had became more than just a tussle for gold.
It turned into a country's battle against another for the right to be named kings of badminton at the 28th SEA Games.
The burden of the two nations was resting squarely on Indonesia's mixed doubles pair of Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto, and Malaysia's Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying.
Neither side would budge, with the score tied at 1-1. Then came the breakthrough.
And it was Jordan and Susanto who seized the moment in the deciding third set to eventually win 18-21, 21-13, 25-23.
With the victory, Indonesia moved past Malaysia to finish top of the badminton medal tally with three golds.
How apt, that the final act of the badminton competition went right down to the wire.
And how Indonesia rejoiced at the final point of a nail-biting, 70-minute showdown.
For the blossoming partnership of Susanto, 26, and SEA Game debutant Jordan, 22, this was sweet reward for a year of hard work, during which they trained six hours daily, six days a week.
Said Susanto, who won the 2013 gold in the same event with a different partner: "Even though we've trained together for one year, we had good communication and we trusted each other, that's important for playing doubles.
"I knew we must play aggressive, if we play defensive it's not good for us, because they'll take the chance to win."
Their composure stood them in good stead.
After losing the first set, they rallied to draw level.
In the deciding rubber, when the game was tied at 23-23, they showed nerves of steel to take the next two points to clinch the match.
Next in the sights of the golden pair, who also has an Asian Games bronze in their bag, are the Chinese Taipei Grand Prix and the World Championships in Indonesia, later this year.
Their Malaysian counterparts were left to rue their inability to finish off the game.
Chan 27, and Goh, 26, have been partners on court for seven years, but an injury to Goh had forced her to take an 11-month break last year following knee surgery.
But Goh refused to blame her injury for the loss.
She said: "We've been partners for seven years now, so we didn't really lose any connection on the court, we still understood each other well."
However, she admitted that she may have to start to slow down after this.
She said: "I can feel that my body is tired now, even during the match itself."