New PBSI plan to overhaul RI’s badminton
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The new organizational board of the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) has lined up former Olympic gold medalists to be active in efforts they are taking to overhaul the nation’s performance in international tournaments.
Three former badminton heroes will be among some 30 board members, headed by Trade Minister Gita Wiryawan, announced in Jakarta on Monday.
Susi Susanti, whose triumph at Barcelona in 1992 gave the country’s its first ever Olympic gold medal, has been appointed as an expert staff member in charge of development.
Two more Olympians, Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky, who won gold in Atlanta in 1996 in the men’s doubles are also part of the line up.
For this off-court mission, Ricky is posted as officer in charge of public relations while Rexy is charged with development.
“He is a young guy full of creativity and ideas. We all know Rexy has coached overseas and those countries have made progress,” Koesdarto, the new general-secretary, said.
“Pak Gita has voiced concerns about national badminton,” he said.
Rexy’s appointment may end his overseas work, which have seen him coach both English and Malaysian players for several years before moving to the Philippines.
However, Rexy is reported to be tied to a two-year contract with the Philippines badminton association.
“I cannot comment [about the appointment] as yet,” Rexy said, as quoted by Antara.
While being committed to his overseas contract, Rexy has never concealed his interest to help national badminton if an opportunity was presented to him.
Koesdarto said that before the board was officially inaugurated the program was yet to be finalized.
The announcement appears to snub a legal move launched by former world champion Icuk Sugiarto who is challenging the legitimacy of Trade Minister Gita’s election as the new PBSI chairman in Yogyakarta last month.
The unanimous decision that made Gita the new chairman later drew protest by Icuk, the only other candidate for the chairmanship. He cited a violation of organizational rules and has since filed an appeal to the sport arbitration body (BAORI).
Disputes aside, Gita faces the tricky task of regaining national pride following a string of failures in international tournaments including the embarrassing results at the Thomas Cup and London Olympics.
The Indonesian men’s team fell short of reaching the semifinals of the Thomas Cup in May. In London, the Indonesian shuttlers returned home without any golds or even a bronzes — an Olympic first for Indonesia since 1992.
To add to the Olympic woes, Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari were ejected from the women’s doubles competition for misconduct after the Olympic committee found them, along with three other pairs from China and South Korea, guilty of purposely loosing one of their matches to avoid strong opponents in the next game.
The respective national associations, as urged by the world body, punished them with competition bans.
On Monday, PBSI announced that Greysia and Meiliana’s ban had been reduced from three to two and a half months and are expected to return to play at the Hong Kong Open later this month.
The most recent grim performance was the players’ mass exit from the Denmark Open that concluded on Sunday. Mixed doubles’ Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir were the only players in the final but they lost to their Chinese opponents.