Kevin Sukamuljo/Marcus Gideon & Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan to Focus on Malaysia and Singapore Open

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Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Gideon & Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan to only playing in Malaysia Open and Singapore Open. (photo: AFP)
Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Gideon & Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan to only playing in Malaysia Open and Singapore Open. (photo: AFP)

Jakarta: Indonesia’s legendary men’s doubles badminton coach, Herry Iman Pierngadi, did not want to rush into discussing how he would prepare his players for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics which is scheduled to be held this coming July.

Pierngadi wanted to focus on several qualifiers before working on the preparations for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Currently, badminton players can still earn the Olympic qualifying points via three tournaments, including the India Open (May 11-16), Malaysia Open (May 25-30), and Singapore Open (June 1-6).

“It’s still too early to talk about the Olympics. There’re three more tournaments that the players could earn the qualifying points,” said Pierngadi.

“Among the three tournaments, we will focus on Malaysia Open and the Singapore Open. After that, we will discuss the preparations for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics,” continued Pierngadi.

Pierngadi said they will not send the world’s top two men’s pair to the 2021 India Open.

“In terms of the distance and time, Malaysia and Singapore are closer. So, the risk is smaller. I planned to only send young players to India,” said Pierngadi to Jawapos.com.

In theory, both pairs – Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Gideon & Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan, have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. However, other Indonesian top men’s pairs such as World No. 7 Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto certainly do not want to give up on any opportunities that could provide them with valuable Olympic qualifying points.

Pierngadi also gave his assessment on the performance of the World No. 1 pair at the 2021 All England, nearly a year after the pair has competed in any international tournaments. He told reporters that Sukamuljo/Gideon have returned to their regular form, even though the Super 1000 event was tainted by the mandatory withdrawal of the whole Indonesian team from the event.

“Kevin/Marcus were indeed very upset about the withdrawal incident because they worked extremely hard to prepare for the tournament. Despite all that, both of them still hungry for victory, and will refocus on the next tournament.”

“Usually, they tend to play casually during the first round of the tournament, especially facing lower-ranked opponents.”

“However, Kevin/Marcus were playing the first round like playing in the semi-finals or finals, although their opponents were the young English pair. This means that mental-wise, they could focus immediately and be serious,” explained Pierngadi.

Sukamuljo/Gideon eked out a 21-12, 19-21, 21-9 win over World No. 82 Matthew Clare/Ethan van Leeuwen of England before being forced to pull out from the tournament.

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