Badminton: Indonesia’s Simon Targets Medals at Olympics
Simon Santoso, who currently occupies the seventh seed in world badminton rankings, is determined to medal for Indonesia at the upcoming Olympic Games in London, and is comfortable with the growing weight on his shoulders as one of the country’s gold hopefuls.
“I wish to win the medals no matter what it takes,” he said after receiving a bonus worth Rp 85 million ($9,000) here on Wednesday for his recent (and record) win at the Indonesia Open Grand Prix Gold championship.
Simon said he was at ease as one of Indonesia’s primary hopes for Olympic glory in the men’s single badminton event in the, even though this will be his first appearance at the games following his stellar world ranking.
“I have to be ready to bear the responsibility,” he said.
Simon also said he did not feel the pressure was a burden, but rather a motivating factor that will drive him harder. “This is my first participation in the Olympic Games and I will be the first men’s single player [from Indonesia], so I must be ready,” he said.
Speaking about his preparations, Simon, who along with Taufik Hidayat will represent Indonesia in the men’s single event, said that he had stepped up his training in the run up to the games.
“The training is heavier. While usually it is up to three times in a day, now it is four to five times a day. My friends are all helping me,” he said.
What’s more, Simon has already played at the Wembley Arena, where the
Olympic badminton events are scheduled to be held, when he played in the
world championships last year.
When asked about the sudden departure of Indonesia’s coach Li Mao, who unexpectedly returned to China last week, Simon said it would not distract him.
“The program has continued without disruption under coaches Agus Dwi Santoso and Rony Agustinus,” he said.