Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo: I Can’t Work With Herry IP Anymore

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Hope Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (L), and Herry Iman Pierngadi (Middle) could resolve their conflict in a constructive manner as soon as possible. (photo: Herry Iman Pierngadi's IG)
Hope Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (L), and Herry Iman Pierngadi (Middle) could resolve their conflict in a constructive manner as soon as possible. (photo: Herry Iman Pierngadi's IG)

Jakarta: In an interview with CNN Indonesia, the former World No. 1 men’s doubles player Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo opened up about his tense relationship with Indonesia’s legendary men’s doubles coach Herry Iman Pierngadi.

CNN: How did the dispute between you and Herry IP start?

Sukamuljo: “I guess it’s time for me to talk about the issue from my point of view. Actually, it’s a long story. At first, it was because he badmouthed me at the Indonesia Open.

From the moment I entered the national team, I felt like I was being neglected by him.

One of the incidents was during the 2016 Race to Olympics, I was not sent to the two European tournaments and the China Open. We (with Marcus Gideon) finished not far from Angga/Ricky, only 1-2 positions apart, but still in the top 15.

I was not sent because according to him, my standard was still lower than other top pairs. That’s the point. He always underestimated us. I’m with Sinyo (Marcus Gideon). Because we are small, we are underestimated.

At that time, I train more with Koh Ar (Aryono Miranat) whereas previously I was training with Mas Chafidz (Yusuf).

CNN: Then how was your relationship with Herry IP when you won the All England 2017 and started to dominate the World Tour?

Sukamuljo: “That’s when he emerged as our coach. Never before had he seen us as a strong pair before this.

As soon as we won our first All England, then he started to show up. I’ll train with him, as long as he doesn’t speak publicly whatsoever, we’ll keep quiet. We ignore some of his bad things, such as coming to training three times a week.”

CNN: Does that mean your relationship with him has been bad since a long time ago?

Sukamuljo: “He’s a head coach I respect, but there’s really no strong connection between us in any way. We didn’t say a word about his bad things. But why talk to the media?”

Sukamuljo also mentioned that Pierngadi asked him and Gideon to lose to Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi in the final of the 2016 India Open.

“Herry likes taller players who have great power, and yes, we are not at the top of his list because Sinyo and I are shorter.

When we reached the final of the 2016 India Open final, it was my first Super Series final, I was almost persuaded by Herry to give up that match, but we didn’t want to.

We were asked to give it to Angga/Ricky, but we didn’t want to. At that time, Aryono Miranat (Indonesia’s assistant men’s doubles coach), Sinyo, and Angga/Ricky got together, even Angga/Ricky also asked us to play seriously in the final. Sinyo and I didn’t want to give up. Aryono was also okay to have us play seriously. But Herry had asked us to give up the final.”

Markus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo eventually defeated Angga Pratama/Ricky Karanda Suwardi 21-17, 21-13 to win the 2016 India Open Super Series title.

Sukamuljo also made it clear that he wouldn’t want to work with Herry IP anymore.

“I guess I can’t anymore. I mean, I have no problem even if he doesn’t apologize, I’m okay.

But if you ask me to work together again, such as to train under him again, I don’t think I can. I’ve thought carefully, and this is my final decision.

Outside of badminton, I don’t have any problems with him, it’s just that we can’t work together anymore in the badminton world.”

The 27-year-old men’s doubles star also said he had brought this issue to the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) and is now waiting for the decision from the association.

Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Fernaldi Gideon were seeded second in the upcoming Denmark Open and will take on unseeded Akira Koga/Taichi Saito of Japan in the first round.

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