Jakarta: Indonesia’s legendary men’s doubles coach Herry Iman Pierngadi said the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) aimed to win at least a gold medal from badminton in the upcoming Asian Games that will be held from August 18 to September 2 in the two Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang.
“We are going to evaluate our players’ performance at three tournaments prior to the Asian Games, including the Malaysia Open, Indonesia Open and the BWF Badminton World Championships,” said Pierngadi.
Pierngadi told reporters that Indonesia’s World No. 1 men’s pair Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Markus Fernaldi Gideon who created history by winning 7 BWF-sanctioned Superseries tournament last years, are still the hot favorites to win the Asiad.
“They only lost a match in the recent Thomas Cup out of the four matches they’ve played,” added Pierngadi.
One of the most memorable moments for Pierngadi’s illustrious coaching career was when Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan won the 2015 World Championships at Istora Senayan, Jakarta, on the eve of Indonesia’s Independence Day when Ahsan/Setiawan defeated Liu Xiaolong/Qiu Zihan (China) 21-17, 21-14 in the final. The crowd started standing and singing Indonesia’s national anthem – “Indonesia Raya” after Ahsan/Setiawan’s victory.
“For me, that was a moment of pride. It was a day when every Indonesians’ heart was filled with honor inside the Istora stadium. I hope this can happen again during the 2018 Asian Games,” added Pierngadi.
Pierngadi also admitted that the Chinese players will be the toughest opponents for his shuttlers in the Asian Games.
“Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan managed to defeat Chinese players to win the 2010, 2014 Asian Games men’s doubles title. This year, it would be great if Markus and Kevin could win a gold for the host country.”
As host of the 18th Asian Games, Indonesia expected to win approximately 20 gold medals in several sports, among them badminton, weightlifting, bridge, rock climbing, jetski, archery, athletic, bowling, canoeing and rowing, cycling, paragliding, martial arts, taekwondo and wushu.