Sports

Indonesia Open offers bigger
prize pot

The 2013 Djarum Super Series returns to Jakarta’s Istora Senayan from June 10 to June 16 with
increased prize money.

The tournament — which previously offered US$650,000 in prizes — will see 220 players from 23 countries, including China’s two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan, world number one Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and Indonesia’s 2004 Olympic gold medalist Taufik Hidayat, compete for $700,000.

“Out of 220 competitors, around 100 are from Indonesia,” the Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) chairman Gita Wirjawan told a press conference on Tuesday.

Looking at the record of Indonesian badminton achievements so far, Gita was upbeat that national athletes could win some titles at the tournament.

“Their recent performance at the Sudirman Cup was a good sign of the reawakening of Indonesian badminton. They were able to put on a good fight against powerhouse China,” said Gita.

The Trade Minister added that Indonesian badminton was on the right track even though the country was still left behind in certain events. “We put high hopes on mixed doubles and men’s doubles,” he emphasized.

The hopes were pinned on number one mixed doubles pair Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir — who brought home the All England title for the second time in March — and men’s doubles Angga Pratama and Ryan Agung Saputra — who won the Australia Open and the New Zealand Open in April — as well as the Indonesia Open men’s single defending champion, Simon Santoso.

“There are some adjustments this year. Aside from the increasing the prize money, we also reduced the courts to three from four so that fans can see more matches,” the organizers’ executive Basri Yusuf said.

He added that the organizers also decided to hold a two-day qualifying round to avoid long matches that could last until past midnight.

“This year we will see great matches from day one as Malaysia’s Lee plays against China’s Wang Zhengming. Should he win, Lee will face either Taufik Hidayat or Lin Dan in the second round,” Basri said.

The tournament will be streamed live on djarumbadminton.com and broadcast on Trans7.

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