Damar Harsanto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Indonesia will only be sending a small squad to the US,000 Malaysia Super Series — the first event of the newly created Super Series — because of regulations introduced by the Badminton World Federation.
"We can only send our top shuttlers to the tournament because the Super Series only allows the world’s top 32 in the competition. But some players will play in the qualification round," the head of training at the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI), Lius Pongoh, told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.
"This series is an opportunity for our shuttlers to improve their world rankings. This is their first international event of the year and hopefully they will get their best results."
Indonesian ace Taufik Hidayat, who successfully defended his men’s singles gold medal at the Asian Games in Doha in December, and Sony Dwi Kuncoro will compete in the men’s singles at the Jan. 16-22 Super Series. Taufik is now ranked 12th in the world, while Sony is ranked 48th. Sony is able to take part in the event because some higher ranked players are skipping the tournament, though he will have to go through the qualifying round.
"I expect Sony to return to his top form. He will be gearing up for bigger tournaments ahead, including the Sudirman Cup and World Championships," national men’s singles coach Hendrawan said.
Sony, who won the 2005 Asian Badminton Championship, had a down year in 2006 because of injury problems. His best showings were the quarterfinals of the Asian Badminton Championships in April and at the Hong Kong Open in September.
The Sudirman Cup mixed team event will take place in Glasgow, Scotland, from June 11-15, while the World Championships will be in Kuala Lumpur from Aug. 7-19.
PBSI is also sending women’s singles Maria Kristin Yulianti, men’s doubles pairs Luluk Hadiyanto/Alvent Yulianto Chandra and Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan, and women’s doubles Vita Marissa/Greysia Polii to the Malaysia Super Series. Vita is replacing Jo Novita, who is still nursing an injury.
In the mixed doubles, Indonesia is only sending the team of Nova Widianto/Lilyana Natsir to Malaysia.
Tony Gunawan and Candra Wijaya, the 2000 Olympics gold medalists in the men’s doubles, will compete in the Super Series event at their own expense and will not represent the PBSI.
(source: Jakarta Post)