Aarhus: The Indonesian badminton team was finally able to practice inside the Ceres Arena, in Aarhus, Denmark on Thursday. Ceres Arena is the venue for the 2020 Thomas and Uber Cup Finals which will take place from October 9 to October 17.
On the same day, the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) also named two Olympic champions – Hendra Setiawan (2008 Beijing Olympics men’s doubles gold medalist) and Greysia Polii (2020 Tokyo Olympics women’s doubles gold medalist) to lead its Thomas Cup and Uber Cup teams.
Setiawan who is the oldest badminton player at the entire 2020 Thomas Cup competition, and Polii who is the most senior player in Indonesia’s Uber Cup team, were chosen based on their experience and their calm demeanor under pressure. The Indonesian Thomas and Uber Cup players needed their leadership and encouragement to carry on through the most difficult times at the prestigious men’s and women’s team championships.
The 37-year-old Setiawan started playing for the Indonesian team in the 2006 Thomas Cup while the 34-year-old Polii has the reputation of being easy to get along with.
After Thursday’s training at Ceres Arena, PBSI’s Head of Development and Achievement, Rionny Mainaky said that all players were in good condition and were training with passion and enthusiasm.
“Today we were able to try out the arena. We took advantage of the opportunity as best we could. We hope the players could adapt as quickly as possible to the arena. We still have two more days to practice here before our first tie against Algeria on Saturday,” said Mainaky.
Indonesia’s World No. 7 men’s singles player Jonatan Christie said he was happy to be able to practice in the Ceres Area to get a feel of the Thomas Cup competition.
“I was still careful during the practice because the badminton court mat was relatively new and a little slippery. The lights were okay. It’s just a matter of adjusting to the shuttlecock,” said Christie.
“The conditions were okay. The drift was not strong. I believe the condition inside the arena would get better as the tournament progresses,” said World No.2 men’s doubles player, Mohammad Ahsan.
Indonesia is the most successful team in the Thomas Cup history, having won the tournament thirteen times since 1958.