Sat, 13 May 2000

Taufik wants parents to be proud of him

KUALA LUMPUR (JP): All children want to make their parents proud and Taufik Hidayat, Indonesia's second singles badminton player, is no exception.

Playing for the first time in badminton's most prestigious men's team event, the Thomas Cup championships, Taufik has brought along his parents to witness him playing at the Putra Indoor Stadium here.

"I feel comfortable seeing my parents around me. I always wanted them to accompany me during a Grand Prix series but it was impossible. So I asked them to come here with me," he said on Friday.

"Realizing they are with me, I want to put on my very best performance for them. I want them to be proud of me. I have a responsibility to pay for all their hard work during my childhood. They have given everything to make me the way I am today."

Taufik's father Aris Haris and mother Enok flew out with the team on Sunday and are staying at the same hotel as their son, to comfort and support him.

"I asked the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) to arrange my parent's accommodation and transportation on my account," he said.

The 18-year-old shuttler is ignoring his teammates' opinions on his parents attendance at the biennial event.

"I don't think I disturb anyone. The most important thing is I still play well in every match."

Haris said he had fulfilled his son request to attend, seeing that he was serving his country in trying to recapture the Thomas Cup for the 12th time.

"He is on a very important mission. Hopefully we, his parents, can boost his motivation to fulfill his duty."

Haris said he met PBSI official in charge of athletes development Mangombar Ferdinand Siregar earlier this year to discuss the possibility of accompanying his son to the All England championships in Birmingham, England, in March.

"We couldn't afford to go to England to watch Taufik perform. We picked the Thomas Cup instead."

Taufik reached the All England final for the second time, where he lost to Xia Xuanze of Japan.

Haris was hopeful that Taufik would not experience a humiliating defeat similar to the one that was handed to him at the 1999 Sudirman Cup in Copenhagen.

"If only we could have accompanied him, I believe he could have played much better." Taufik was defeated 2-15, 3-15, by Dane Peter Gade Christensen in the semifinals.

Taufik himself said: "I have recovered from my trauma but I still remember that day. However, I have managed to overcome it."

Coming along with Taufik's parents are his first coach and former member of the national Thomas Cup team Iie Sumirat, and girlfriend and national tennis player Wynne Prakusya. (yan)