Sun, 23 Apr 2000

Injuries haunt Indonesia team prior to finals in KL

JAKARTA (JP): With only 20 days to go to the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Kuala Lumpur next month, the Indonesia team is still worrying about the injuries suffered by key shuttlers.

The Badminton Association of Indonesia doctor, Michael Triangto, told reporters Saturday that four shuttlers are still recovering from enduring injuries.

Men's singles shuttler, Taufik Hidayat, is still suffering from back muscle pain, while men's doubles specialist Tony Gunawan is still bothered by an injury to his right shoulder. On the women's side, Cindana Hartono is still plagued with a left calf injury, and doubles players Cynthia Tuwankotta has pain in her sacrum and Vita Marissa is being treated for right shoulder injury.

"We are trying to speed their recovery, but it's quite difficult. We try to make them feel better than yesterday and enable them to perform their best."

Michael said Taufik has been undergoing physiotherapy to cure his back muscles and Tony is responding well to his therapy.

"Tony is able to move as usual but he still feels the pain. We just hope he can overcome it and play well."

Michael said Cindana needed more time to cope with her trauma after falling during a simulation in February prior to the Uber Cup qualifying round in New Delhi.

"She has been able to run fast but when the coach asks her to play, she is unable to overcome her barrier. She moves very slowly and is always in doubt."

PBSI official in charge of athletes development, Mangombar Ferdinand Siregar, confirmed that Cindana would miss the Uber Cup Finals due to the injury.

"Cindana will definitely skip the Uber Cup because she's not prepared for the event. Even if she can practice, it won't guarantee her performance; competing with the team has a heavier psychological burden," he said.

Michael said, "Vita is still being observed, especially her nerves. She suffered a relapse since the Japan Open early this month which made her motion range narrower than usual."

"Cynthia needs to stretch and sit-up more after training sessions to help her overcome the inelastic difficulty in her back."

PBSI training director, Christian Hadinata, said the association would only send athletes in fit physical condition.

"We need honesty from athletes. If they are really injured, they must take the risk of being excluded from the team. I don't want injured shuttlers on the team which may burden their teammates. It will also create an uncomfortable situation for coaches and officials."

Christian said PBSI has yet to name the shuttlers despite the deadline from the International Badminton Federation (IBF) on April 24.

"We will send the list on Monday but we'll pick the selected shuttlers after the simulation at the Pajajaran Stadium in Bogor, West Java, on April 27," he said, declining to mention the possible line up.

PBSI will likely pick Hendrawan, world ranked second, Taufik (5) and Marlev Mainaky (6) in the men's singles. The fourth singles will be decided between Budi Santoso and Hariyanto Arbi in the simulation.

The men's doubles will likely be Candra Wijaya and Tony (1) and Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky (5). The third doubles will be decided after the simulation.

In the women's singles, Indonesia will rely on Lidya Djaelawidjaja (17), Ellen Angelina (19), Yuli Marfuah (37) and Niniek Masrikah, whose ranking is above top 50.

In the women's doubles, Elysa Nathanael and Deyana Lomban (10) and Etty Tantri and Cynthia (12) and Vita and Emma Ermawati (14) will join the squad. (yan)