Sat, 01 Apr 2000

PBSI extends contract deal with Yonex

JAKARTA (JP): The Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) extended its contract with Japanese sports equipment giant Yonex starting from October 2000.

PBSI chairman Subagyo Hadisiswoyo said on Friday at the Indonesian Badminton Center in Cipayung, East Jakarta, that the new contract stipulated PBSI would receive US$1 million, which will be paid based on a rupiah exchange rate of 8,000.

A four-year renewable contract, signed by PBSI on Nov. 1, 1996, stipulated that PBSI would receive 50 percent in rupiah -- which was later decided at an exchange rate of 5,000 to the dollar after the monetary crisis hit the country in mid-1997 -- and 50 percent in dollars. In the first and second years, PBSI received US$1 million annual contract fees while in the third and fourth years, the fee increased to $1.2 million.

The new contract also allows the association to make other sponsorship as long as the deals reach $300,000. In the past, the requirement was $600,000.

Yonex has also approved the provision of $50,000 in cash to assist the Indonesian Thomas and Uber Cups teams for the final round in Kuala Lumpur from May 11 to May 21.

PBSI executive director Karsono said the association was negotiating with a Singapore-based company for a sponsorship.

After giving a pep talk to Indonesian shuttlers scheduled to compete in the Japan Open next week, Subagyo said PBSI put as a priority the shuttlers peaking at two events; the Thomas and Uber Cups championships and the Olympic Games in Sydney from Sept. 15 to Oct. 1.

"Other tournaments in 2000 are only stepping stones to reach our goals," he said.

Subagyo acknowledged that an evaluation was needed of the country's slipping badminton fortunes.

"We have looked at this, and many factors have become obstacles in our shuttlers' failure, including technical, nontechnical and physical factors of the athletes," he said.

Subagyo blamed discord among athletes, coaches and officials.

The country's women shuttlers have fared particularly poorly in the past year.

PBSI training director Christian Hadinata said Cindana Hartono, Lydia Djaelawijaya and Ellen Angelina held an equal chance of qualifying for the Olympics despite the fact that none of them automatically made the draw with a ranking in the top 16 in the world.

The three are not competing in the Japan Open, which serves as the final qualifying event for the Olympics.

Wild cards

Cindana, who is still recovering from a calf injury, is ranked 28th, Lydia is 17th and Ellen is 29th. Two Indonesian shuttlers ranked between 17th and 29th in the world will be accorded wild cards in the Olympic draw.

"Lydia and Ellen cannot enter the world top 16 in the remaining prequalifying round for the Olympics. The Japan Open, which starts next week, will be the last qualifying event," he said on Thursday night.

He said the association would consider Cindana's achievements in deciding whether she should be included on the team.

An injury during a simulation for the Uber Cup semifinal round in February forced Cindana to missed the semifinal round, the All England, Swiss Open and Japan Open, which would have given her the opportunity to improve her ranking.

"If Cindana can show her best play, we will decide whether we will include her on the Olympic team," he said.

The contingent to the Japan Open consists of men's singles Marlev Mainaky, Hendrawan, Hariyanto Arbi, Johan Hadikusuma, Ronny Agustinus, Jeffer Rosobin and Ignatius Rudy; women's singles Yuli Marfuah and Ninik Masrikah; men's doubles Candra Wijaya/Tony Gunawan, Ricky A.Subagdja/Rexy Mainaky, Antonius/Denny Kantono, Tri Kusheryanto/Bambang Suprianto, Johan Hadikusuma/Ronny Agustinus; women's doubles Vita Marissa/Emma Ermawati, Elysa Nathanael/Deyana Lomban, Minarti Timur/Zelin Resiana; and mixed doubles Tri Kusherjanto/Minarti Timur, Bambang Suprianto/Zelin Resiana. (ivy/yan)