A lot is being said and written about the forthcoming All England Championship. The Open will commence from March 6 and conclude by March 10 but different contingents are planning on their preparations in advance. While India's coach Pullela Gopichand has his hopes on his prodigal talented trio -- Kidambi Srikanth, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal -- Indonesia are likely to send 36-strong badminton team for the 2019 All England Open with an aim to win doubles title, an Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI)official claimed on February 4 (Monday).
PBSI Sport Development deputy director Susi Susanti said the association previously set the target of two titles -- men's doubles and mixed doubles -- at the prestigious five-day international championship, starting on March 6 in Birmingham. The target was revised to one after Indonesia's top female mixed doubles player Lilyana Natsir decided to retire from her badminton career.
Together with Tantowi Ahmad, the Indonesian mixed doubles pair seized All England championships in a row from 2012 to 2014. The pair also won gold medal in 2016 Rio Olympics.
Indonesia's other mixed doubles pair Debby Susanto and Praveen Jordan clinched the 2016 All England. However, their performance has not still not lived upto the expectations and often regarded as inconsistent since then.
"At least one (All England) title this year. We know our current condition in all groups for sure. We may miss mixed doubles target, but the other pair has been capable in fulfilling our targets so far and is likely to continue further," Susi said at the national badminton training centre here.
The federation is also expecting Indonesian women's singles players to advance further in the upcoming All England tournament. Indonesian player in women's singles, Fitriani won the 2019 Thailand Masters last month.
Susi, who earned gold medal in 1992 Barcelona Olympics, not didn't shy away from saying that though they played well in each match, Indonesian men's singles players are yet to perform consistently in international tournaments.
On the other hand, for India, it will be a chance to reclaim glory in the All-England Open after 2001 wherein Gopichand claimed the title and became only the second to achieve the feat (after Prakash Padukone).
About the Author
Aditya Sahay, a former cricket reporter/writer and statistician, has shifted gears to other sports (primarily badminton, tennis, kabaddi, hockey, golf etc). While cricket remains his first love, he enjoys covering and writing on kabaddi, hockey and tennis. He dons Germanys jersey during FIFA and believes Dhoni Dhoni hai, isko (aur) mauka mila toh bahut aage jayega