Mon, 08 Aug 1994

Indonesia Open to keep top rating

JAKARTA (JP): The high number of absentees in the Indonesia Open badminton championships in Yogyakarta this week does not have anything to do with the quality of the tournament, a top International Badminton Federation (IBF) official said.

IBF Vice President Ian Palmer said in a press meeting in Yogyakarta yesterday that despite the big names who would be missing the event, the US$166,000 championship still deserved the top rating.

"The participation of Indonesian top shuttlers undoubtedly guarantees that the tournament remains a prestigious one," Palmer was quoted by the Antara news agency as saying.

Palmer was accompanied by RAJ Gosal, secretary general of the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI), during the conference.

Malaysian top flights who reached the Thomas Cup men's team championships final last May will not turn up for the Aug. 10-14 badminton grand prix meet, as they will don their national colors in the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada starting Aug. 17.

China will also miss women's singles defending champion Ye Zhaoying and Asia Cup men's singles winner Dong Jiong. Other big guns to skip the annual event are Denmark's Poul-Erik Hoyer- Larsen, with compatriot Thomas Stuer-Lauridsen set to follow in his footsteps.

Stuer-Lauridsen broke his leg in his final match against Hariyanto Arbi at the World Cup in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday.

"IBF will not impose any sanctions on those who failed to make a trip here," Palmer said, adding that IBF had accepted the reasons for the absences.

The five-star tournament held at the newly completed Amongraga indoor stadium will serve as the final testing ground for Indonesian shuttlers who are preparing themselves for the Asian Games in October.

With most of the major challengers missing the event, Indonesia's shuttlers are likely to produce a clean sweep. World champions Joko Suprianto and Susi Susanti top the seeding lists in the men's singles and women's singles respectively. (amd)