Sat, 03 Jun 2000

Taufik vows to retain Indonesia Open title

JAKARTA (JP): Indonesian rising star Taufik Hidayat has vowed to retain the Indonesian Open title that he won last year in Bali.

This year's tournament will be held at Senayan indoor stadium from July 19 to July 23.

"As a defending champion, I want to maintain my domination here. But I will feel terribly sorry if China does not take part in this tournament," Taufik told a media briefing on Friday.

"China has been absent for three years and I think the tournament is not complete without the Chinese shuttlers. It's not like the All England or Thomas Cup, which are attended by teams from all over the globe," he said.

Secretary-general of the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) Leo Chandra Wiranata said China could spoil its chances for a good draw in the 2000 Olympic Games should it miss the five-star tournament.

"China used to promise to come here but at the last moment it always withdrew for various reasons. Any result in the Indonesia Open, and Malaysia Open, can affect the seedings in the Olympic Games. If China misses this tournament, it will suffer in the seedings," he said.

Leo, however, hoped that China could compete here as the organizer had offered to subsidize the team's accommodation.

The 18-year-old Taufik, who completed Indonesia's winning streak in the Thomas Cup by defeating China 3-0 in Kuala Lumpur last month, said he wished he could meet world top ranking player Peter Gade Christensen of Denmark in the US$150,000 tournament sponsored by Sanyo electronics company.

"I have played Peter Gade many times, but I could only beat him in the Singapore Open last August. I'm still expecting to fight him even though I've lost to him in most of our meetings," he said.

He also said he did not like Danish veteran Paul-Erik Hoyer- Larsen's playing style. "I don't like his style, but I managed to beat him in the Thomas Cup," said Taufik, who received on Friday Rp 100 million in sponsorship payment from Sanyo.

Taufik beat teammate Budi Santoso to clinch the men's singles title in the 1999 Sanyo Indonesia Open in Bali. Lydia Djaelawijaya took the women's singles title by defeating fellow countrywoman Ellen Angelina. Veteran Ricky Ahmad Subagja and Rexy Mainaky won the men's doubles title after overcoming teammate Candra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan.

Dane doubles pair Helene Kirkegaard and Rike Olsen beat host pair Eliza Nathanael and Deyana Lomban to take the women's doubles title while the long-time partnering of Trikus Haryanto and Minarti Timur beat Bambang Suprianto and Zelin Resiana in the all-Indonesian mixed doubles final. (ivy)