The hunt has commenced anew to find the best team in Indonesia in 2011.
Story and photos: Ira Ratnati, live in Jakarta
The success of the badminton super league in 2007, has inspired the Indonesia Badminton Federation (PBSI) to held a super league again this year. Bearing the title Djarum Superliga Badminton 2011, this tournament will serve up prizes totalling 1.35 billion rupiah (approximately US$145,000). The organizing committee will also be subsidizing accommodation, hotel, transportation to the tune of Rp 30 million (US$3,400) per team, with another bonus for playing in the league, Rp 35 million/team and US$1,500 for a foreign athlete.
In past editions, this super league had allowed clubs to hire two foreign athletes. But for this year, they have changed the regulations to allow a club to hire foreign athletes for two matches.
“The club can allow, two singles players, or two doubles pairs or one single and one pair,” secretary general of PBSI, Jacob Rusdianto said.
Only seven teams will participate. These are PB Tangkas Aflamart, PB Jaya Raya, PB Mutiara, PB SGS Elektrik, PB Djarum, PB Jaya Raya Suryanaga, PB Musica Flypowet. Most of them are known for training successful badminton players in Indonesia.
“The selections of these seven teams are based on their athletes’ achievements in national or international tournament,” said Indonesia Badminton League Chairman Yoppy Rosimin on Thursday (2/10) in Jakarta.
PB Tangkas has created a strong a mixed doubles player, Liliyana Natsir. They also found Simon Santoso, Nova Widianto, Vita Marissa. PB Jaya Raya is the club of reigning Olympic Gold Medallists, Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan. PB SGS Elektrik is home to Taufik Hidayat, PB Djarum discovered such huge names as Maria Kristin Yulianti, and the legend, Liem Swie King. PB Suryanaga has Sony Dwi Kuncoro in its ranks, and PB Musica will have some veterans to play, Haryanto Arbi and even Sigit Budiarto will play for them.
Some foreign athletes have confirmed their participation in the league as well. Yip Pui Yin from Hong Kong and Vientam’s Nguyen Tien Minh will play for PB Tangkas while Malaysians Hafiz Hashim and Wong Choong Hann will play for PB Musica. Crossing down from Singapore will be world number 10, Shinta Mulia Sari / Yao Lei at PB Jaya Raya Suryanaga and Chayut Triyachart at PB SGS Elektrik and Cheng Shao Chieh from Taipei will be playing for PB Mutiara.
As some clubs still have intense negotiations going on with other foreign athletes, the committee will wait until February 15 for the final lists of team members.
“We are still negotiating with some players, but we cannot mention them, because we are afraid they’re not going to join us,” PB Tangkas manager Juniarto Suhandinata explained.
On the other hand, world number two, Taufik Hidayat explained about his participation on this tournament.
“I will give the best for my club. No matter where I go, if the club needs me, I’ll try to fulfill it, and we [PB SGS Elektrik – red] hope we will give the best for our club. In the last super league we reached semi-final so we hope we can go further,” Taufik said.
The Djarum Superliga Badminton 2011 will take place in Surabaya from February 20-26.