Tue, 06 May 2003

PBSI announces 2004 Olympics' nominees

Musthofid, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) announced on Monday the lineup of players for the 2004 Olympics, with chairman Chairul Tanjung cautioning about the tough road to Athens.

Given the current International Badminton Federation (IBF) rankings, Chairul said the players would have a challenging task in the next qualifying tournaments.

"It will be a difficult task for them. They need great motivation to qualify, and we, the (PBSI) officials, will need to monitor the players' performance during their practice at the training center and international performance," Chairul said on the sidelines of the opening of PBSI's new office at Wisma Karsa building in Central Jakarta on Monday.

The badminton competition at the Athens Olympics permits a country to enter up to three players who rank in the top 16.

If the country does not have a player in the top 16, it can have a maximum of two players who rank in the top 32, or a maximum of one player who ranks in the top 64.

In the men's singles, Taufik Hidayat and Sony Dwi Kuncoro are the only Indonesian players in the top 10, with Taufik in sixth and Sony in ninth place.

The women's singles rankings, which are dominated by Chinese duo Wang Chen and Zhang Ning in first and second place, have no Indonesian players, leaving Yuli Marfuah languishing at 63.

Likewise in the women's doubles, 21 is the highest position Indonesians have been able to achieve through Jo Novita and Lita Nurlita.

The men's doubles still have Indonesian hopefuls Candra Wijaya and Sigit Budiarto in contention, who are ranked 10th, while the mixed doubles have better prospects with three Indonesian pairs in the top 16.

Among the Indonesian nominees is singles player Marleve Mainaky, who will make a return to the training center.

Rudi Hartono, who is in charge of preparing the Indonesian Olympics team, said that Marleve, who is currently ranked 20, had been included in the shortlist with the consideration that he still had a chance to improve his ranking.

PBSI has assigned a number of trainers to prepare the Olympic team. They are Joko Supriyanto, Agus Dwi Santoso, Ivanna Lie, Verawati Fajrin, Heri Imam Pierngadi, Paulus Firman and Richard Mainaky.

Rudi said the team line-up would be announced in August, or six months before the deadline for qualifying which closes in May.

List of nominees: (Men's singles) Taufik Hidayat, Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Marleve Mainaky, Budi Santoso, Ronny Agustinus, (women's singles) Yuli Marfuah, Dian Novita Sari, Maria Kristin, (men's doubles) Candra Wijaya, Sigit Budiarto, Lulu Hadiyanto, Alvent Julianto, Halim Heriyanto, (women's doubles) Jo Novita, Lita Nurlita, Eny Erlangga, Lilyana Natsir, (mixed doubles) Nova Widiyanto/Vita Marissa, Trikus Heriyanto/Emma Ermawati, Anggun Nugroho/Enny Widiowati.