Sat, 12 Feb 2000

Critics motivate shuttlers: Coach

JAKARTA (JP): Critics from the media and badminton lovers have motivate Indonesia's women's players to prove themselves by qualifying in the final round of the Uber Cup championships in Kuala Lumpur in May.

Women's doubles coach, Imelda Wiguna, said in a meeting with National Sports Council (KONI) chairman Wismoyo Arismunandar and vice chairman Arie Sudewo and the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) chairman, Subagyo Hadisiswoyo, that the players were strongly motivated to prove that their generation was still reliable in international events.

"The shuttlers intend to recapture past glories and dismiss critics with victories in India. Our evaluation from recent competitions, is that players have problems with self-confidence and motivation," she said.

PBSI will send a team -- comprising Lidya Djaelawidjaja, Ellen Angelinawaty, Yuli Marfuah and Niniek Masrikah in the singles competition and Elysa Nathanael and Deyana Lomban; Cynthia Tuwankotta and Etty Tantri; and Carmelita and Indarti Issoliana in the doubles -- to the Uber Cup semifinal round in India next week.

Indonesia has to compete in the semifinal round from Feb. 13 to Feb. 20 after losing to China in the 1998's final in Hong Kong.

Many doubt Indonesia's chance to bring home the Uber Cup as the country no longer has badminton queen Susy Susanti, Mia Audina and Cindana Hartono, who injured her left calf muscle last week.

Elysa said: "With this team structure, we must prove to badminton lovers that our generation can also contribute something for the country."

Cynthia said her victory in her first team event of the 1999 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games would help her to overcome pressure on court.

"The Uber Cup may be harder, but my win in the Games might be useful and will motivate me to do my best," she said.

Cynthia said her toughest rival in the competition was Ra Kyung-min and Chung Jae-hee of South Korea.

"Etty and I have never won against them. But this time we want to narrow the record."

PBSI training director, Christian Hadinata, said that women's doubles would have to strengthen their motivation, especially with the absence of Cindana.

"The doubles must win both matches and we hope our singles players can steal one more point. But we are also hopeful the juniors, Yuli and Niniek, can show their quality and surprise their opponents," said Christian, who is also the team manager. (yan)