Wed, 31 Mar 1999

RI unprepared for Sudirman Cup, World C'ships

JAKARTA (JP): With only six weeks to go to the Sudirman Cup and the World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, Indonesian shuttlers are not properly prepared for either event.

Men's doubles player Rexy Mainaky accused officials of the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) of being careless in preparing its athletes for the prestigious events.

"I don't want to blame the officials but I think they don't give enough attention to us. We used to have food supplements during our training back in 1997," Rexy told The Jakarta Post and Kompas after a training session at the Indonesian Badminton Center in Cipayung, East Java.

"Now, with only six weeks before the events, we don't get anything. Maybe they (officials) think that even with serious training two years ago we still lost, so now they don't want to spend as much money or time training us," he said.

Indonesia's badminton team -- comprising Susi Susanti in the women's singles, Ardy B. Wiranata in the men's singles, Sigit Budiarto and Candra Wijaya in the men's doubles, Elysa and Zelin Resiana in the women's doubles and Flandy Limpele and Minarti Timur in the mixed doubles -- lost to China in the Sudirman Cup semifinals in Glasgow two years ago.

In the World Championships two years ago, Candra and Sigit saved face for Indonesia by winning the men's doubles title against Malaysians Cheah Soon Kit and Yap Kim Hock.

Rexy said the PBSI was not providing athletes proper nutrition, quality shuttlecocks or psychological consultations during the training for this year's events.

"They are asking us to win both events without any support. They just talk a lot," said the 1996 Olympic gold medalist, adding that he preferred to compete only in the World Championships.

Indonesia has a very slight chance of claiming the Sudirman Cup, which has been won by China since 1995. Indonesia won the event in 1989, the first time it was contested. South Korea won the event in 1991 and 1993.

"We only hope to win points in the men's doubles, men's singles and mixed doubles," Rexy said.

Women's singles coach Liang Chiusia also complained that Indonesia's number one female shuttler, Mia Audina, had not yet arrived at the training center after the All England Championships from March 10 to March 14 in Birmingham.

"I want her to come here right now because we have very little time to prepare. After the All England, Mia asked my permission to marry Tylio Lobman in the Netherlands. I just told her to keep on practicing during her time away," said Chiusia, declining to give the date of the wedding.

Chiusia said she would not count only on Mia in the upcoming events.

"I am also training other shuttlers. Just because Mia is not here doesn't mean its the end of the world. We must go on."

World number nine Cindana, number 11 Lydia Djaelawidjaya, number 17 Ellen Angelina and number 23 Meiluawati are being prepared for both events.

"With Mia on the team, we might have a slim chance of beating Denmark, South Korea or China because their women's singles are very strong," she said.

Mixed doubles specialist Tri Kusherjanto will likely be replaced by Bambang Suprianto because of a left heel injury.

Coach Richard Mainaky said Bambang would play in the Japan Open with Minarti next week as a warm-up for the Sudirman Cup and World Championships.

"We may also partner Bambang with Zelin. But we'll see what happens. We'll also prepare second stringers Emma Ermawati and Agung Wahyu," he said.

Zelin and husband Joko Suprianto, the coach of the men's singles, are planning to hold their wedding reception on Saturday in Magelang, Central Java. (yan)