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Jakarta Post

Shuttlers travel for hope and glory

  • Matheos Viktor Messakh

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, June 30 2010   /  09:25 am

A former coach says badminton for Indonesia is perhaps like soccer for Brazil. In pursuit of glory — and money, ultimately — Brazilians swarm around the world to play soccer — just like Indonesians for badminton.

The difference is that Brazilians are almost always willing to defend their national honor and fight for their country. For some Indonesians, playing abroad means a switch in allegiance.

Not that it’s bad. In truth, they never really leave behind their identity as Indonesians even when playing for other countries.

Ask Tony Gunawan, winner of a 2000 Olympic Games men’s doubles gold medal with Candra Wijaya for Indonesia, who is now playing for the US and coaching for that country.

“Wherever I play, people will not forget that what made me what I am is Indonesia. Needless to say, I am still an Indonesian,” Tony told The Jakarta Post at ...