Sports

All England champs lead
RI team to KL

Two-time All England champions Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir will spearhead Indonesia’s badminton team in the Sudirman Cup in Kuala Lumpur in May.

The Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) released a list of 28 players on Thursday.

The buildup to the tournament, which will run from May 19 to 26, has a negative outlook, with Indonesian shuttlers managing to bring home only one from a possible 15 titles, with only Tontowi/Liliyana being successful at the All England Championships.

Another player coming close to winning a title was Tommy Sugiarto, who was beaten in the final at the preceding German Open.

Tontowi and Liliyana could only reach the semifinals at the Swiss Open, which followed the All England Championships.

Tommy is one of the four men’s singles players on the list, with the other three being Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka, Simon Santoso and Sony Dwi Kuncoro. The women’s singles competitors comprise Linda Wenifanetri, Aprilia Yuswandari, Adriyanti Firdasari, Bellaetrix Manuputty and Maria Febe Kusumastuti.

PBSI media officer Ricky Subagdja said the list was definitive but subject to changes, depending on the performances of players in tournaments ahead of Kuala Lumpur.

“The list may still change up to the deadline set by the BWF [Badminton World Federation] on May 6,” he said.

The Sudirman Cup, which is named after Indonesian former player and founder of the PBSI Dick Sudirman, is the biennial world mixed team badminton championship, featuring matches in the men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles competitions.

Indonesia won the trophy the first time it was held in Jakarta in 1989. It has since advanced to the finals on six other occasions but has ended up runner-up each time.

China has a formidable record, winning eight times, while South Korea has won on three occasions.

Indonesian squad

Men’s singles: Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Tommy Sugiarto, Simon Santoso, Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka

Women’s singles: Linda Wenifanetri, Aprilia Yuswandari, Adriyanti Firdasari, Bellaetrix Manuputty, Maria Febe Kusumastuti

Men’s doubles: Rian Agung Saputro/Angga Pratama, Hendra Setiawan/Mohammad Ahsan, Muhammad Ulinnuha/Ricky Karandasuwardi

Women’s doubles: Nitya Krishinda Maheswari/Anneke Feinya Agustine, Suci Rizky Andini/Della Destiara Haris, Greysia Polii/Meiliana Jauhari (Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah)

Mixed doubles: Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir, Muhammad Rijal/Debby Susanto, Fran Kurniawan Teng/Shendy Puspa Irawati

Paper Edition | Page: 20

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