Indonesia hopes for survival in Uber Cup tie
KUALA LUMPUR (JP): The Indonesia Uber Cup team hopes to survive in the upcoming match against Denmark on Saturday in the Thomas and Uber Cup championships at the Putra Indoor Stadium.
Indonesia's 3-2 victory over Japan in Thursday's opening day match is expected to be an injection of motivation for the team's performance.
"I hope the victory can make the players more confident in facing their next match," coach Imelda Wigoeno said on Friday.
"We hope to get two singles and one doubles. Our second and third singles and the first doubles players have a better chance against the Danish shuttlers."
"Elysa Nathanael and Deyana Lomban lost narrowly to Rikke Olsen and Helene Kirkegaard in the Indonesia Open. But they were not in their best form at that time. Hopefully they can improve their form here."
Imelda declined to mention the team line-up, only saying: "We must see the condition our athletes day by day. We will ask them personally about their preparations for the match."
Indonesia will likely field first singles player Lidya Djaelawidjaja, despite her loss to Yasuko Mizui on Thursday, against 1999 world champion Camilla Martin.
"It will be a good chance for me to defeat Camilla again as I did in the Indonesia Open last year. Hopefully I can play more relaxed," Lidya said.
Second singles player Ellen Angelina is likely to take on Mette Sorensen while the third singles player could be Niniek Masrikah facing Mette Pedersen. Yuli Marfuah, who lost to Miho Tanaka on Thursday, may be left as a spectator.
In the doubles event, Indonesia has a chance to field second best Etty Tantri and Cynthia Tuwankotta to challenge Olsen and Kirkegaard. Second doubles will likely be Minarti Timur and Zelin Resiana to take on Ann-Lou Jorgensen and Mette Schjoldager.
In another match, Japan will force its shuttlers to play hard to avoid relegation by defeating Malaysia, which previously lost to Denmark 1-4.
While in the Thomas Cup, Indonesia aims to create another whitewash of 5-0 against England. However, the doubles must be aware of the partnership of Simon Archer and Nathan Robertson, who, surprisingly, took one point from Chinese pair Zhang Jun and Yu Jinhao.
Head coach Christian Hadinata said: "Shuttlers must perform as well as last Thursday, showing consistency from the first to last matches."
"We must improve our performance from day to day as our opponents are doing exactly the same thing."
Indonesia is likely to field the same singles players as on Thursday. Hendrawan may play first, followed by Taufik Hidayat and Marlev Mainaky. The team seems reluctant to field Hariyanto Arbi, who is still recovering from a hamstring injury.
In the doubles, however, world number one pair Candra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan are likely to sit on the bench.
The old partnership of Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky, the 1996 Olympic Games champions, are likely to take over the duty and the second doubles will likely be a new partnership of Antonius and Sigit Budiarto.
On another court, Sweden seems realistic about its chance against another favorite China in the Thomas Cup match.
"In facing China, we hope to be able to defeat their first doubles as done by Simon and Nathan. Their victory has motivated our doubles Par-Gunnar Jonsson and Peter Axelsson to grab a point. I also think we have a good chance in the third singles between Martin Hagberg and Luo Yigang as Luo is not a very special shuttler compared to his teammates," said coach Atik Djauhari.
Atik, formerly a coach at the Indonesian Badminton Center, complained about his team's limited preparation for the biennial event.
"We only prepared for two days. For Sweden, the Thomas and Uber Cup Championships is not a top priority. We only aim to be ahead of England in order to avoid relegation."
"We are focussing our attention more on the preparation of our shuttlers for the Olympic Games in Sydney in September. By competing here, they can observe world shuttler performances." (yan)