The Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) has added 18 year old Ihsan Maulana Mustofa, who will turn 19 in November into the Thomas Cup team. Ihsan was the bronze medalist at the BWF World Junior Badminton Championships last year. PBSI believes Ihsan will be able to deliver a point for the team if necessary.
“I was surprised to be included in the team because there are many senior players on the list such as 2007 World Championships silver medalist Sony Dwi Kuncoro, and Wisnu Yuli Prasetyo and Riyanto Subagja,” Ihsan said on Wednesday. Actually, Ihsan outplayed Sony in straight game 21-19, 21-18 at the simulation program for the Thomas Cup in Kudus, Central Java, last March.
According to PBSI, they not only selected players based on their experience but also based on their improvement over the last few months.
As Indonesia aims to bring home the Thomas Cup, the men’s team will be spearheaded by men’s singles world number five Tommy Sugiarto as well as the world’s top men’s doubles team Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan.
The last time Indonesia won the Thomas Cup was in 2002 in Guangzhou, China, by defeating Malaysia 3-2. Since then, Indonesia only managed to reach the final in 2010, bowing down to China 3-0.
Indonesian is in Group A with Thailand, Nigeria and Singapore, while defending champion China is in Group D with Chinese Taipei, Russia and France.
As for the Uber Cup team, the last time Indonesia won the cup was in 1996 in Hong Kong. Captain Adriyanti Firdasari vows to fight hard to bring back the title after a hiatus of 18 years.
“I really did not expect to be selected for the Uber Cup team this year. But I’m grateful. Therefore, the team members and I will give our best to Indonesia,” she said.
Firda, as she is affectionately called, left the PBSI training camp in Cipayung, East Jakarta, in January after struggling with a foot injury over the past two years. Skipping several tournaments due to the injury, her world ranking dropped to 82 from 31 in September 2013. Her highest ranking was 15 in 2009.
Fifth-ranked Indonesian is in Group B with runner-up Korea, Australia and Singapore. Defending champion China is in group A with Chinese Taipei, Britain and Singapore. Group C consists of host India, Thailand, Canada and Hong Kong while group D comprises of Japan, Denmark, Malaysia and Germany.
Below is the lineup for Indonesia’s Thomas Cup and Uber Cup team:
1. Tommy Sugiarto
2. Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka
3. Simon Santoso
4. Ihsan Maulana Mustofa
5. Hendra Setiawan
6. Mohammad Ahsan
7. Rian Agung Saputro
8. Angga Pratama
9. Berry Angriawan
10. Ricky Karanda Suwardi
1. Linda Wenifanetri
2. Bellaetrix Manuputty
3. Adriyanti Firdasari
4. Maria Febe Kusumastuti
5. Greysia Polii
6. Nitya Krishinda Maheswari
7. Pia Zebadiah Bernadet
8. Rizki Amelia Pradipta
9. Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah
10. Suci Rizki Andini