Juniors need to improve performance: PBSI
JAKARTA (JP): Looking to the future of badminton, the official in charge of athlete development at the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI), Mangombar Ferdinand Siregar, pointed out the necessity to improve junior shuttlers' speed and power.
"Indonesian shuttlers have always been known for their strokes instead of speed and power, but the trend is changing, as shown by the South Korean shuttlers," he said on Tuesday.
"Our juniors should improve their speed and power to anticipate this new trend. It doesn't mean that strokes are not important, but it can wait until they reach the senior level."
Siregar was commenting on the showing of the national junior shuttlers at fifth Asian Junior Badminton Championships in Taipei from July 8 to July 14.
Indonesia came away from the event with only one title, in the boys' singles, thanks to Ardiansyah who defeated compatriot Sony Dwi Kuncoro 15-12, 15-12 in the final.
South Korea romped home with four titles, with the help of badminton powerhouse China, who skipped the championships.
Jun Jae-youn, who beat compatriot Seo Yoon-hee 11-8, 8-11, 11- 6 in the girls' final, crushed Indonesian Silvi Antarini 11-6, 11-6 in the semifinals.
In the boys' doubles, South Korea's Lee Jae-jin and Hwang Ji- man defeated Adisak Wiriyap and Songphon Anugrit of Thailand 17- 15, 15-1. The Thais beat Indonesians Titon Gustaman and Devin Lahardi 17-14, 9-15, 10-15 in the semifinals.
The Indonesian girls' duo of Endang Nursugianti and Lita Nurlita fell short of the title, bowing out to South Korea's Hwang Yu-mi and Cho A-ra 13-15, 11-15 in the final.
In an all-Korean mixed doubles final, Hwang Ji-man and Bae Sung-hee eliminated Lee Jae-jin and Hwang Yu-min 15-7, 15-12.
Indonesia's mixed doubles pairs of Hendra Setiawan and Lina Marlina, and Devin Lahardi and Endang Nursugianti crashed out in the semifinals to the two Korean pairs.
"The championships reflected the future of badminton, despite China's absence. We must prepare our junior shuttlers eventually to replace the veteran shuttlers," Siregar said.
"However, the results show that our juniors are already on the right track in their development. It is a long process and we cannot expect immediate results.
"We can't compare them with their veteran counterparts, who are already at the peaks of their careers.
"It was a good thing that our shuttlers were still able to play so well despite losing in the team event. They received added motivation to improve their game.
"I guess they had stage fright, especially when meeting the host team. Besides, they still lack tournament experience. It was a good experience for them," he said.
Indonesia's boys team lost to host Taipei in the semifinals, while the girls team was defeated 3-0 by South Korea, which eventually won the title. Malaysia won the boys' title.
"Although Malaysia and Taipei grabbed the team titles, none of their shuttlers performed well in the individual events," Siregar said.
He also stressed the importance of promoting more juniors to the senior level to maintain Indonesia's badminton dominance.
"We need to accelerate the process in all events to maintain our domination. PBSI must focus on reaching world-class achievements and stop worrying about the regional events.
"While China is already thinking about the Beijing 2008 Olympics, the National Sports Council is still stuck with the Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games in September. It has even forgot to prepare for the Pusan 2002 Asian Games or the Athens 2004 Olympics.
"Such confusion would not occur if we had a solid system of development that would enable us to divide our shuttlers according to their levels of development," he said. (nvn)