Shuttlers Get More Time to Impress Before SEA Games
National shuttlers have more work ahead of them to make it into the Southeast Asian Games squad.
The Indonesia Gold Program (Prima), which oversees training camps for of the Games, has extended the deadline for national sports federations to submit their entry forms from the end of this month to the end of September.
For the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI), that means more time to oversee shuttlers’ progress.
“There is plenty of time for us to carefully select the candidates. We will see their progress in several upcoming tournaments before deciding who will be selected for the final squad,” team manager Maria Fransisca said.
One of the tournaments is Taiwan Open Grand Prix Gold. Most national shuttlers will take part in the Sept. 6-11 event, including 2010 runners-up Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir.
The PBSI has submitted its provisional squad of 23 for the Games, which take place Nov. 11 to 22 in Jakarta and Palembang.
For men’s singles, the PBSI is preparing five names, led by world No. 5 Taufik Hidayat. The others are Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Simon Santoso, Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka and 17-year-old Shesar Hiren Rustavito.
Sony, Maria said, was still struggling to recover from a back injury but would likely join Taufik if he recovered in time.
In women’s singles, four players are in the national training camp. They are Adriyanti Firdasari, Lindaweni Fanetri, Aprilia Yuswandari and Maria Febe Kusumastuti.
The PBSI named two pairs each for women’s and mixed doubles: Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari as well as Vita Marissa and Nadya Melati in women’s doubles, with Tontowi and Liliyana competing in mixed doubles as well as Fran Kurniawan with Pia Zebadiah Bernadet.
Men’s doubles is the association’s biggest headache, with three pairs fighting for two berths. While Markis Kido has recovered from the typhoid that saw him miss the World Championships, he and partner Hendra Setiawan face tight competition from sixth-ranked Bona Septano and Mohammad Ahsan and eighth-ranked Alvent Yulianto Chandra and Hendra Aprida Gunawan.
The PBSI is targeting four gold medals in this year’s Games, matching its performance at the 2009 event in Vientiane, Laos.
Elsewhere, Indonesia secured two titles at the Vietnam Open Grand Prix on Sunday. Women’s doubles pair Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Anneke Feinya Agustine earned their first title since being paired together earlier, ousting second-seeded Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei of Singapore with a 23-21, 26-24 victory.
Young men’s doubles pair Angga Pratama and Rian Agung Saputra grabbed another title when they beat Singapore’s Chayut Triyachart and Danny Bawa Chrisnanta, 21-12, 16-21, 21-19. It was their first title after a year as partners.