Dionisius Hayom Rumbaka will open two new chapters in his career when he starts play at the All England Super Series.
Having been touted as one of Indonesia’s rising stars in men’s singles, the 22-year-old initially rejected a pair of call-ups to the national camp before finally signing on in January. Now he makes his national team debut in badminton’s most prestigious championship.
“I had to drop the first two proposals because I thought I was not ready to join the national team. I thought I wasn’t good enough to accept the offer,” Dionisius told the Jakarta Globe. “But now I’m ready as I have been improving and also have a better world rank now.”
The Yogyakarta-born shuttler began his professional career in 2006 with Djarum Kudus Club, but it took three years for him to make his mark.
Dionisius won his first title at the Banuinvest International in Romania before going on to claim victories at the Australia Open Grand Prix and Indonesia International Challenge. He also enjoyed unprecedented success at the Super Series level, reaching the Hong Kong Open quarterfinals.
Those triumphs saw his world ranking climb from 44th at the start of 2009 to 28th, fourth-best in Indonesia after Taufik Hidayat (No. 3), Sony Dwi Kuncoro (11) and Simon Santoso (12).
“He deserves a place in the national team for his talent, achievements and also his world rank,” said national team head coach Christian Hadinata, who began recruiting Dionisius to the national team in 2007.
Dionisius faces a tough debut, having been drawn against world No. 4 Chen Jin of China.
“I’ll take it one step at a time. It would be very good for me if I can go into the second round,” he said. “I’ve never met [Chen] before, so I’ll just play my game and let’s see.”
He faces a friendlier draw than his countrymen if he advances, though. Taufik, Sony and Simon were all placed into world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei’s half of the draw, with Sony possibly facing the Malaysian in the second round if he gets past China’s Du Pengyu.
Maria Kristin Yulianti pulled out of women’s singles qualifying, which begins today, because of family issues. Women’s singles coach Marleve Mainaky said she pulled out to fly back home after her grandfather died on Friday.