Shuttlers Reshuffled After World Championships
Indonesia’s men’s and mixed doubles teams will start the new season with a reshuffled lineup.
National mixed doubles Fran Kurniawan Teng and Shendy Puspa Irawati have ended their two-year partnership following a disappointing showing at Guangzhou’s Tianhe Gymnasium.
“Communication between them was poor,” said Mixed Doubles Team Coach Richard Mainaky during a celebration held for the World Champions. “It led to poor results, so I think it is the best time to separate them.”
Shendy will now be paired with junior Alfian Eko Prasetyo, while Fran has been transferred to the men’s doubles team with Bona Septano, who has been separated from Afiat Yuris Wirawan.
“I believe Shendy can play her role as senior well with Eko as her new partner. It is good for the players’ regeneration,” Richard said.
The two other pairs, Mohammad Rijal-Debby Susanto and world champions Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsirwill likely remain unchanged, Richard said, as they are prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
With Fran’s transfer to the team, men’s doubles coach Herry Iman Pierngadi said he believed it would help him find the third pair. They will face two junior pairs for the slot; Berry Angriawan and Ricky Karanda Suwandi, Muhammad Ulinnuha and Rendy Sugiarto.
The team will still rely on two other pairs; Angga Pratama and Rian Agung Saputra, and world champions Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
Fran said he is ready to start the new partnership with Bona.
“It is not difficult for me, I think, because I have the experience in playing men’s doubles, mostly in team events,” Fran said. “I hope I can perform better with my new pair.”
Meanwhile, the celebration saw the two world champion pairs paraded down Jakarta’s Jalan Thamrin followed by thousands of fans who cheered them along the way.
Chairman of the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) Gita Wirjawan, coaching staff and national athletes joined the festival.
The champions joined a meet and greet with fans after the parade.
“We held the celebration to show our support and gratitude to the shuttlers for their achievements,” Gita said. “I hope it would help motivate them more in the future.”
Mustaqim, a resident from West Jakarta’s Kalideres, said he woke up early only to join the celebration and meet the champions.
“It’s a rare event in sports,” the 28-year-old said. “I think it is important to hold more celebrations like this to thank and support our athletes.”