Asian Games: Indonesia media fall for Hong Kong’s vanquished Vincent Wong after he speaks their language
The player’s parents are from central Java but there was no sympathy from the crowd as Wong and Angus Ng crash out of the badminton singles
Vincent Wong Wing-ki knows what it is like to play in front of a partisan Indonesian crowd – and he wants Hong Kong fans to do the same.
Wong felt the full force of 4,000-plus fans packed into the badminton arena of the Jakarta Convention Centre as they willed Indonesia Jonatan Christie to a 21-11, 21-18 victory over Wong in their Asian Games men’s singles quarter-final on Sunday.
Wong’s defeat came soon after Hong Kong’s other singles player, seventh-seeded Angus Ng Ka-long, lost 21-18, 21-18 to Taiwan’s fourth seed Chou Tienchien.
“I’m used to the crowd here, I’ve played here many times” said Wong, whose parents are from Indonesia and moved to Hong Kong before he was born. “He was in his hometown and very full of confidence and I think he deserved to win. I hope he goes on and wins the tournament.
“I hope that Hong Kong crowds can do the same when they come to our place, so our fans can give us the same kind of support.”
The Indonesian fans raised the roof every time their players win a point and the thundering of inflatable bangers can be felt within the foundations of the arena.
While the fans were fully behind Christie, the Indonesian media were fascinated by Wong’s heritage and quizzed him about his parents.
He told them that he and his parents would often visit his Indonesian home in central Java and spoke a few words of Bahasa to the delight of the local media.
Angus Ng, meanwhile, said he lost focus in his game against Chou, having led in both games but was unable to finish off his higher-seeded opponent.
“While leading in the first set 17-14 I lost my focus. I had a great chance to win but mentally I was very weak today and must learn to deal with the pressure for the future,” said Ng.
When asked why he lost his concentration when he was an experienced player on the international circuit, Ng said: “The Asian Games is different, this is what we all train for and it’s not like other tournaments.
“So I need to learn how to play under pressure and hopefully I can be strong for future events, like the Tokyo Olympics 2020.”
More to follow …