As the Indonesian team departs for the All England Open Badminton Championships in London, the hopes of a nation rest on their shoulders.
Under the leadership of Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan, the Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI) has been revamped.
The old issues of lack of funding and motivation have been resolved and the players now have a newfound sense of purpose.
They have increased the intensity of their training and are confident in their ability to perform well.
Indonesia used to dominate international tournaments like the All England, but in recent years, the trophy cabinet has been relatively bare. Other nations, particularly China, have risen to claim Indonesia’s mantle.
The association will send its strongest team to the All England tournament slated to begin on March 5 at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena, and the PBSI has set its ambitions on bringing the title home.
After a nine-year drought, Indonesia won the mixed doubles title last year when the pair of Tontowi Ahmad and Lilyana Natsir prevailed over their Danish rivals.
The joy of victory was sweet but the goal must be higher in 2013.
PBSI president Gita Wirjawan noted that he had seen a significant change among the shuttlers after they signed individual contracts with sponsors. This is an important move as when the financial needs of the players are settled, they can focus on their training and winning. Athletes, especially those who represent the nation, should be well looked after.
We wish the players, coaches and other members of the Indonesian team all success at the tournament. They carry the hopes and prayers of the nation on their shoulders and we will be willing them on to victory.