Tue, 19 Dec 2000

Any coach but Paulus: Deyana, Lita

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia's women's doubles Deyana Lomban and Carmelita expressed hope that Paulus would not be made their coach by the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) on Feb. 1 after the body temporarily closed the Indonesian Badminton Center due to the coming holidays and preparation for the National Interclub Championships.

"Any coach will be fine except Paulus and Imelda Wigoena," said Deyana in a telephone interview on Monday.

Imelda, women's doubles coach, had said that she would retire at the end of this week when PBSI returns all shuttlers and coaches to their respective clubs.

Paulus, Imelda's assistant, is regarded by both shuttlers as unfair and favoring certain athletes.

"If I could choose, I want a coach like Tong Sin Fu. I was under his supervision when I was admitted to the center. He rarely speaks but he is the best coach," Deyana said.

Tong returned to China after his request of naturalization was turned down by the Indonesian government. He is now coaching the men's singles in the Chinese national team and has produced All England winner Xia Xuanze and Olympics gold medalist Ji Xinpeng.

"I would prefer Herry Imam Pierngadi (men's doubles coach) to take over the women's doubles. I believe we can all perform much better under his coaching. He's currently coaching three men's doubles in the International Badminton Federation (IBF) top 10," said Carmelita.

"I'll wait until February. If Paulus is assigned by PBSI to coach the women's doubles, I'll quit. Besides, Lita and I are aiming to be among the world's top 10 within one year. If we fail, we would be resigning anyway," Deyana said.

Both Deyana and Carmelita will have a closed-door meeting with Paulus on Tuesday morning, accompanied by PBSI official in charge of athletes development Mangombar Ferdinand Siregar.

"Let's just see how PBSI solves the problem. I won't take back my statement," said Deyana.

"If Deyana withdraws, I will also resign from the Indonesian Badminton Center. We can't stand the unfair treatment," Carmelita added.

Deyana said that Paulus had been unfair to Carmelita and her and favored newly partnered Etty Tantri and Indarti Issoliana.

Deyana and Carmelita was on the top list of players to compete in the US$250,000 Korea Open followed by juniors Diah Novita and Rossy Riani. But last week, Paulus added Etty and Indarti on the list without notifying the others. His decision forced the two pairs of players to pay US$200 each as PBSI lacks the funds to send three pairs of players to Korea.

"I had challenged the others to prove our strength in a tournament abroad. We decided to use the Korea Open as the first test. But since Cynthia Tuwankotta (Etty's original partner) has been injured and Vita Marissa (Indarti's original partner) had just undergone shoulder surgery, both Etty and Indarti should not be going," Deyana said emotionally.

"We just found out recently that they have been registered to compete in Korea. We thought they are being prepared for the Sudirman Cup and World Championships.

"I wouldn't mind at all if Etty or Indarti were better than me. But we are equal and the deal was that we'll compete with our original partners, not substitutes."

"Paulus didn't even dare answer my question if Etty will partner Indarti for the long-term or only temporarily."

Carmelita said: "I can understand if he is favoring Indonesia's best player. But Etty has earned nothing. Why should he favor her?"

Deyana urged PBSI to change the training system, including the selection of coaches.

PBSI executive director Karsono said last week that they would be setting up a new system of hiring coaches on a two-year contract. The changes will include the number of coaches in the training camp, the coaching period and the value of the coaches' contract. (yan)