Tue, 31 Oct 2000

Junior shuttlers yet to adjust to new system

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesia's junior badminton players are still having trouble adjusting with the new scoring system of seven points in five games with only four days left to the World Badminton Junior Championships for the Bimantara Cup in Guangzhou, China.

Coach Joko Suprianto said on Monday after a modest ceremony to send off the youngsters at the Indonesian Badminton Center in Cipayung, East Jakarta, that some good players had difficulties using the new system.

"We have trained them and they have practiced quite often but they still find it difficult to apply the new system in the game. Some of them are still trying to adjust to it," he said.

"For example, Sony (Dwi Kuncoro), who is the best in national circuit, did not adjust to the new system as fast as his other teammates whose rankings are below him. While there are others who adjusted quickly."

"An aggressive player will definitely be more advantaged as compared to a defensive player. The only way to fit with the scoring system is by playing with more power and speed."

In the simulation that took place last week, the fastest game ended in only three minutes while the longest took 13 minutes.

The International Badminton Federation (IBF) decided in May that it would apply the new scoring system at the championships. In the new system, a player or team that earns seven points will win the game. The match would be won by the player or team that wins three out of five games (the best of five games system).

Indonesia is the second seed at the championships after defending champion China. The country is in Group W with fifth seed Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada and Singapore.

The Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) has groomed 22 youngsters at the center for about 10 weeks.

The players in the boys' side are: Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Ardiansyah, Anggun Nugroho, Taufik Hidayat, Markis Kido, Hendra AG, Yan Pieter, Tri Heru Pamungkas, Bambang, Yusuf A and Hendra Setiawan; and in the girls' side are: Mona Santoso, Dewi Tira, Diah Novita, Silvi Antarini, Felsirika, Lita Nurlita, Endang, Monika Permadi, Devi Sukma, Rani and Lina.

Joko said the new system had also made the youngsters more tensed. Thus, PBSI has called a psychologist to help overcome the mental barrier prior to the Nov. 3 to Nov. 12 event.

He also emphasized the importance of the championships in observing the strength of each country's badminton team.

"By sending our players to the championships, we can observe how well other countries prepare their athletes. Perhaps only 30 percent of the competitors will reach the senior level within four years. Therefore we still have time in developing the juniors to prepare them as our country's future hopes." PBSI chairman Subagyo Hadisiswoyo said earlier he hoped the youngsters would learn a valuable lesson from the event, especially in preparing themselves mentally for a major event. Hopefully with the good preparation the players will perform well at the championships. In the Asian Championships earlier in Japan, we finished second with only two weeks of preparation, hopefully they will perform much better here."

Subagyo said the competing shuttlers would be observed in the national championships in December before they are recruited by the center. (yan)