Jakarta: The Badminton Association of Indonesia or PBSI’s head of Development and Achievement – Susi Susanti said that she would like World No. 1 men’s doubles pair Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Fernaldi Gideon to be more selective in choosing tournaments in 2019.
“This year is so crucial for all elite badminton players because of the Tokyo Olympic 2020 qualification,” said Susanti.
Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Fernaldi Gideon have been unstoppable and remained dominant in the men’s doubles category. In 2017, the pair won seven super series titles. In 2018, the pair also nicknamed the “Minions”, continued to sweep the men’s doubles event by winning eight world tour titles and the 2018 Asian Games gold medal.
“Kevin and Marcus will have to be selective in choosing tournaments, they must be able to maintain their condition, because everybody is trying to beat them,” said Susanti.
“We hope that Kevin/Marcus will reach their peak form at the Olympics, but they will have to play in fewer tournaments since they have secured such as huge advantage in their rankings. Nevertheless, they still need to take care of their conditions and stay motivated,” added Susanti.
According to the Indonesian badminton legend, Sukamuljo/Gideon would only be playing in major events this year such as the All England, World Championship, Sudirman Cup, BWF Tour Finals and other big tournaments. This was trying to prevent the pair from sustaining injuries and to help them reach their peak at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I totally agreed that they would only be playing in major events this year. Kevin/Marcus should not be playing too much, because they need to focus on the Olympics next year. Fortunately, their ranking position is safe. They would probably still end up at the top three rankings even if they don’t play in a lot of tournaments,” said Susanti.
The “Minions” got a chance to win their third consecutive All England title at this year’s edition that will be held in Birmingham, England, from March 6 to March 10, 2019.