The Jakarta Post
Despite its bitter defeat in the Thomas Cup championship last week, Indonesia’s badminton team has expressed optimism at the prospect of winning at the BCA Indonesia Open Super Series Premier 2016, scheduled to run from May 30 to June 5.
Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) development division head Ricky Subagja said the Indonesian team was ready to pursue the five titles and US$900,000 in prize money.
Each of the badminton players recently participated in a program designed to prepare them for the championship series, he added.
Ricky said that several of the players who had participated in the Thomas Cup tournament had used their defeat in the event as a lesson and aim to perform better in the impending competition.
“All players are ready, especially because this event is so important in the lead up to the Olympics,” said Ricky in a press conference in Jakarta on Sunday.
Women's doubles team Greysia Poli and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari, men's doubles team Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, and mixed-doubles team Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad are expected to win titles in this championship, according to Ricky.
Commenting on Nitya's readiness for the game after a long absence due to health problems, Ricky said he was sure that she would perform well.
"Her condition is almost 100 percent," Ricky said.
Apart from furthering the team’s ambition to secure a place at the Olympics, Ricky hoped, the Indonesian Open 2016 could increase the world ranking of the team.
Indonesian singles player Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, 19, who was beaten by Danish player Jan O. Jorgensen during the Thomas Cup tournament, also expressed his optimism to nail the game.
Anthony said he tried to raise his spirit by going to malls and watched soccer games to 'forget' badminton for a while.
"I learned a lot from the Thomas Cup tournament. I'm ready for this game," Anthony said.
Danish singles player Viktor Axelsen, who also attended the press conference, said he would focus his attention toward securing a win in the first round of the game.
After the Thomas Cup, he said, he returned to Denmark, leaving him little time to prepare for the upcoming competition.
"Unfortunately, I've been sick for few days but I'm getting better now. I'm looking forward to competing in Indonesia. It is always great to come here because the fans are so energetic," Axelsen said.
Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei, currently ranked second in the world, voiced enthusiasm about the competition, saying that it may be his last Indonesian Open.
"The most important thing is to be seeded for the upcoming Olympic Games. I'll try my best at the Indonesian open," he said. (ebf)