A title in the Maybank Malaysia Open 2013 last weekend ended Indonesia’s success drought and the Indonesia Badminton Association is aiming to satiate its hunger for more titles by offering a bonus to the best shuttler.
Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan won the Malaysia Open men’s doubles title after defeating Ko Sung-hyun and Lee Yong-dae of South Korea, 21-15, 21-13, giving Indonesia its only title in the event.
With the ambition of reclaiming the country’s golden era, the Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) has been trying to find ways to boost shuttlers’ performances, including revising the salary schemes for athletes and coaches.
But the PBSI is now pushing even further by offering Rp 1 billion ($104,000) in purse money to the shuttler with the best achievement at the end of each year, PBSI chairman Gita Wirjawan said.
“We will select the most valuable player, who will receive a Rp 1 billion bonus every year,” Gita said during his visit to the national training camp at Cipayung, East Jakarta, on Tuesday.
Prior to the new offer, only shuttlers who won a medal in events such as the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games and Olympic Games received incentive cash.
The PBSI has been trying to improve the state of Indonesian badminton by bringing in new coaches and athletes and implementing strict rules at the training grounds, in addition to offering monetary incentives, Gita said earlier this month.
With such changes, the PBSI needs Rp 95 billion, more than double last year’s budget of Rp 40 billion. The association will spend Rp 25 billion to send athletes abroad while development will cost Rp 20 billion. Gita added that the PBSI was in negotiations with around 20 potential sponsors.
Meanwhile, the PBSI will find new athletes to replace three shuttlers — Tommy Sugiarto, Pia Zebadiah Bernadet and Rizky Amelia Pradipta — who refused to rejoin the national training camp.
“I will talk with coaching staff to find the replacements,” PBSI development director Rexy Mainaky said. “We’re not in a hurry, though we do need more players in the future. Bu, we will put current players on the priority list.”
Pia reportedly refused to join, as she has been enjoying a good run in mixed doubles with her brother Markis Kido. They won their maiden title at the Vietnam Open Grand Prix 2012 and are in 12th place in the Badminton World Federation rankings.
Pia’s women’s doubles partner, Rizky, followed her partner’s lead, while the PBSI said Tommy didn’t respond the call-up.