Jakarta: Three years ago, when the 1995 World Champion, Hariyanto Arbi arrived in Chandigarh, India, he said India was a developing country in the sport of badminton.
However, three years later, the former World Champion from Indonesia has completely changed his mind, and told reporters on Sunday at the closing ceremony of SPSC badminton Cup that was held in Chandigarh, that India is now a super power in Badminton.
“Indian players like Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy are becoming better day by day, their technique and their stroke play are very good. Nowadays, the sport of badminton is getting very competitive and the key to success is try to train harder.”
“Winning several Super Series titles will definitely boost Srikanth’s confidence and if he keep playing like this, he has huge potential to win an Olympic medal.”
Arbi has won the 1993, 1994 All-England Badminton Championships men’s singles’ title, the 1994 Asian Games men’s singles and team champion titles, the 1994 Badminton World Cup and the 1995 World Championships men’s singles titles. Together with his teammates including Ardy Wiranata and Joko Suprianto, they were also part of the Indonesian team that won the Thomas Cup in 1994, 1996 and 1998. Arbi also clinched the Indian Open title against Pullela Gopichand in 1997.
“Gopichand was still in the early stage of his career in 1997 and he later won the All England Championships. As a coach, Gopichand worked very hard and was able to produce great players such as P.V. Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth. In addition, Indonesian coach Mulyo Handoyo has also made a difference in changing the way Indian players compete at the highest level of badminton.”
“When we played in the 80’s and 90’s, there were 2-3 world champions who would compete against each other at the club level in Indonesia, which helped us improve our games and made Indonesia a powerhouse in badminton.”
“Right now, it is obvious that Indian players too have the skill to be the elite badminton players in the world for a long time.”