While Malaysian badminton continues its downward spiral, without any real effort save for what David Wee the Development Chairman is trying to do, the Indonesians have taken stock of problems that they face and implement rectification processes in order to attain world standards once again.
Read the article below on how the PBSI starts looking ahead while here in Malaysia distrust rules the roost as Independant players and the club structure continues to be victimized.
As the fortunes of the country’s top shuttlers continue to decline, the Indonesian Badminton Association is well aware of the need to produce a new crop of talent.
Hadi Nasri, head of athletes’ development at the association known as the PBSI, assured fans that youth development efforts were underway.
“We know our senior players have been playing poorly, but trust me that we are trying everything possible for the sake of regeneration, including giving young players more exposure on the world stage,” Hadi said. “We are trying to save our badminton, which has brought pride to the country in world-class competitions, including the Olympics.”
The PBSI has 64 shuttlers in its training camp in Cipayung, East Jakarta, about half of whom are in the youth set-up.
Hadi said the PBSI would continue sending shuttlers to events appropriate to their skill level, which for the youngsters means lower-level events on the International Challenge and Grand Prix circuits.
“Sending them to lower-level tournaments is better for their mental strength. Once they win a tournament, it will grow their confidence to play at a higher level. But if we push them to play in higher-level tournaments, such as the Super Series, and they lose to tougher opponents in the first round, it will hurt their confidence,” he said.
Though perhaps not quickly enough for some observers, green shoots of recovery have started to emerge with youngsters showing well in recent tournaments.
Hera Desi took second in women’s singles at the Malaysia International Challenge in November, losing to teammate Bellaetrix Manuputty. Hera reached the quarterfinals of the India Open Grand Prix Gold a month later, pushing top Japanese shuttler Eriko Hirose to three sets before losing in the quarterfinals.
Elisabeth Purwaningtyas reached the final of last year’s World Junior Championships in Taoyuan City, Taiwan, losing to defending champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand. Those showings have boosted hopes of a resurgence in women’s singles, in which Indonesia has struggled to make an impact since the retirement of Susi Susanti.
Men’s doubles has also shown promise. Andrei Adistia and Christopher Rusdianto reached the India Open Grand Prix Gold final before falling to top-seeded Naoki Kawamae and Shoji Sato of Japan. Afiat Yuris Irawan and Rendy Sugiarto reached the last eight of the Indonesia Open Grand Prix Gold, as did Ricky Karanda Suwandi and Muhammad Ulinnuha.
Suci Rizki Andini and Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah gave the country a welcome boost with their women’s doubles title at the Asian Youth Under-19 Championships in Lucknow, India, last July.
“The PBSI has given them the opportunity. It is now about how hard they try to keep their commitment to play for the country,” Hadi said.
Bellaetrix said she was excited about having the chance to face more international competition.
“It’s good that the PBSI has started to send us on more international tours,” she said. “I heard that they will send me on 10 tours this year, which is good, though it’s still far less than Thailand. They send their young players to 20 tournaments each year.
“Look at Thailand, which trusts its young players. The benefit of sending youngsters is that they play without pressure, which helps their confidence.”
As for the older shuttlers who have struggled to maintain their winning form, the PBSI does not plan to put them out to pasture, Hadi said.
“They will help their juniors as sparring partners during training. It is hard to find sparring partners, and it cost a lot to hire new ones. Other countries such as Japan hire our senior players as sparring partners,” he said.
The regeneration effort will also include coaches, nutritionists, psychologists and talent scouts, he added, as the PBSI keeps its local and national coaches up to date on the latest techniques through workshops.
“We keep in touch with the [Badminton World Federation] to send its experts to share the latest info with our coaches,” he said.