Mon, 15 Aug 1994

RI hopes to mine 5 badminton golds in Hiroshima

JAKARTA (JP): Badminton competitions looks to be the Indonesian team's gold mine at the Hiroshima's Asian Games, with national top shuttlers favored to scoop five out of seven titles up for grabs, a sport expert says.

Suhantoro, head of the center for sport science at the national sport governing body (KONI), told reporters on Saturday that all but one national shuttlers who joined the centralized training camp had been tested excellent during their recent physical examinations.

Suhantoro is KONI's official in charge of all physical examinations of national athletes.

"The shuttlers need only to maintain their forms to sweep gold medals," Suhantoro said. The examinations held early this month included physical endurance, strength and nutrition.

He also said that the Indonesian standards of both physical fitness and skills are now widely used by badminton players throughout the world.

Suhantoro declined to disclose the only shuttler who failed to meet the standards. "Ask PBSI (the Badminton Association of Indonesia)," he said.

"PBSI might impose a particular training treatment on the player, which now needs changing," he assumed. He said a betterment is still open up prior to the Oct. 2-16 Games. Athletes need between one and a half and two months to regain their top forms.

Indonesia, one of world badminton powerhouses, has been suffering from a 12-year gold medal drought in Asian Games badminton competitions. The national shuttlers last collected two "non-prestigious" golds in men's doubles and mixed doubles events in 1982.

PBSI has bid to complete a golden treble in Olympics, Thomas and Uber Cups and Asian Games by fielding its players who currently prevail the badminton world in the continent's biggest sporting meet.


Suhantoro, a former national soccer player, told a contrast story when he talked about Indonesia's chance in Asiad soccer competition.

"Our booters' physical fitness are two or three levels below those of world-rated teams," he said. The same tests over the national soccer team found only two out of 18 booters met the international standards. The doctor refused to identify the beyond average players.

The poor condition will turn to fiasco if the national players fail to enhance their skills, according to Suhantoro.

Suhantoro said the poor physical fitness has been the major handicap for national soccer development.

"Based on the facts, does our soccer team deserve places in the national squad for the upcoming Asiad?" he asked the pressmen rhetorically. KONI is expected to voice its final words about the fate of national soccer team today.

Indonesia is grouped with favorite South Korea, which will be represented by its World Cup team, China and Kazakhstan in the Games soccer competition preliminary round.

Other national athletes who were tested excellent came from wind surfing, boxing, karate and rowing.

Suhantoro was also curious about national tennis queen Yayuk Basuki's physical condition since he has yet to receive any report on the world-class player's fitness.

"She was tested poor before leaving for Barcelona's Olympic Games," he said. The Indonesian Tennis Association (Pelti) wants Yayuk to play in women's and mixed doubles events. (amd)