The party has ended for badminton players competing at the Djarum Superliga Badminton 2013 in the DBL Arena in Surabaya last week. Some of them, however, have returned home with unforgettable moments from the competition.
Chou Tien Chen, the world number 27 from Taiwan who represented the Musica Champions, proved decisive for his team by winning the last match. He expressed his astonishment on the warm welcome received during the competition.
Chou sealed his victory for the unseeded Musica Champions when he easily defeated Malaysia Tigers’ Mohamad Arif Abdul Latief in the final round of the men’s group on Saturday.
“It was wonderful. I received great support from the spectators here. They made me feel like an Indonesian,” he said via an interpreter.
More than 4,000 spectators who packed the arena gave their full support to Chou. It was no longer a competition between two badminton clubs but more like a competition between Indonesia and arch-rival Malaysia. Musica’s journey to winning the competition began when Tommy Sugiarto beat Malaysia Tigers’ Liew Daren 21-11, 14-21, 16-21. Musica’s first men’s doubles pair, Rian Sukmawan and Rendra Wijaya, extended the team’s lead by beating Hoon Tien How and Tan Wee Kiong 16-21, 21-19, 21-11.
The Tigers narrowed the game when their second men’s singles player, Chong Wei Feng, beat the world’s number 25, Lee Hyun-il, 21-15, 21-19. The Tigers managed to tie 2-2 after their men’s doubles pair, Lim Khim Wah and Goh V Shem, defeated Musica’s duo, Fran Kurniawan and Hadi Saputra, 22-20, 21-19.
One of the spectators, Sudarmaji, said the main attraction of the competition was the presence of world-class players.
In the men’s group, three out of 10 clubs were from Malaysia and Japan with 14 top players participating, while the women’s group comprised four foreign clubs from Malaysia, Japan and South Korea, while the remaining four were Indonesian clubs with eight world-class shuttlers.
Director of Djarum Superliga Badminton’s league division, Yoppy Rosimin, said he expected the participation by foreign clubs and players to encourage Indonesian players to perform better and improve their competitiveness.
“The more world-class players who participate [in this event], the more we can benefit including attracting more spectators; and the shuttlers will meet stronger opponents,” he told The Jakarta Post.
The organizing committee provides Rp 35 million (US$3,621) of subsidy for each team and an additional $1,000 for each team that hires foreign players.