Mon, 15 May 2000

Indonesia wary of KL girls in Uber Cup test

KUALA LUMPUR (JP): Indonesia is getting wary of Malaysia's euphoria in the last round-robin match of the pink group in the Uber Cup championships Monday considering their excellent aggressiveness against Japan Saturday.

Team manager Sumaryono hoped national shuttlers managed to accomplish the mission of qualifying for the semifinals by defeating Malaysia Monday.

"Regarding Malaysia's performance last night, I believed our shuttlers will have tough matches, especially in the doubles, where the host managed to defeat Japan," said Sumaryono Sunday at the Mines Beach Resort and Spa.

"The Malaysian shuttlers have better stamina and endurance compared to our athletes. They didn't seem exhausted at all after the match. Should our athletes fight them spiritlessly, it won't be enough."

Sumaryono said he would ask three women's coaches -- Imelda Wigoeno, Liang Chiusia and Retno Kustiyah -- for an evaluation Sunday night to discuss a strategy to beat Malaysia.

Fielding Lidya Djaelawidjaja as the first singles is believed to give an unlikely win over Malaysia. With support from local fans, Lidya may be unable to overcome the pressure, especially after her second loss here to Camilla Martin of Denmark Saturday.

It will be better for Indonesia to field Ellen Angelina in the first singles, followed by Yuli Marfuah and Niniek Masrikah. In the doubles, Indonesia will likely field Etty Tantri and Cynthia Tuwankotta and old partnership of Minarti Timur and Zelin Resiana. Putting Elysa Nathanael and Deyana Lomban on the bench might be considered as a wise decision, looking at Elysa's slow movement during her two matches.

Cynthia said: "I have observed Malaysia's second doubles form. Etty and I have discussed our strategy to overcome them. It's more important for us to keep focused on the contest, ignoring the thunderous support from local fans. The key is not to make unforced errors."

Observer Iie Sumirat, a former coach of Taufik Hidayat, suggested Indonesia to be daring in changing the line-up considering the poor form in earlier singles matches.

"Their playing doesn't show any results of long-term training programs. I think it would be better to field younger players who will fight with mounting motivation instead of a senior who turns out to be a liability to the team."


On the other hand, Malaysia's team manager Lim Teong Kiat expressed optimism at having a second chance to reach the semifinals after losing to Denmark and Japan.

"We have the chance to qualify especially with home crowd support. But we must beat Indonesia first. We may be already out of the game but hopefully our players can be spoilers in tomorrow's match," he said.

"Our girls are motivated to prove to our press and public that they can give a fight and contribute points to their country."

Malaysia is likely to field the same line-up of Ng Mee Fen, Wong Miew Kheng and Woon Sze Mei in the singles and Lim Pek Siah and Joanna Quay in the first doubles and Ang Li Peng and Chor Hooi Yee in the second doubles.

In another group match, Denmark is likely to ensure its group winner position in the match against Japan. Japan and Indonesia are in the same position of one loss and one win in the standings.

In the purple group, the Netherlands and Sweden will fight to avoid relegation from the elite group. China, already threatening to bring home the Uber Cup for the seventh time, will make every effort to halt South Korea. (yan)