Olympic champion to miss Sudirman Cup

Tontowi Ahmad will be without his fellow Olympic mixed doubles gold medallist as Liliyana Natsir will not be on hand to partner him at the upcoming Sudirman Cup competition in […]

Tontowi Ahmad will be without his fellow Olympic mixed doubles gold medallist as Liliyana Natsir will not be on hand to partner him at the upcoming competition in Gold Coast.

Photo: Mikael Ropars / Badmintonphoto

Obviously suffering from injury and hampered in her mobility of late, Rio champion Liliyana Natsir still managed to reach the quarter-final and semi-final stage at the first two Superseries Premier events of 2017.  However, she was not among the players named for the Sudirman Cup contingent by the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) yesterday.  Ahmad has competed in two Grand Prix Gold events this year with Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja (pictured), who will be on the headed for Australia this month.  Also available to play mixed doubles for Indonesia are world #8 Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto.

The Sudirman Cup, which is the ’s world mixed team badminton championship, was last won by Indonesia in its first edition in 1989, which was also the only time it was hosted by the country of origin of its namesake, PBSI founder Dick Sudirman.  Indonesian teams have reached the final on 6 occasions since then and in the last edition, 2015 in Dongguan, China, Indonesia was beaten by China in the semi-finals.

The only Indonesians apart from Ahmad and Natsir to have won a Superseries title in the past year are men’s doubles world #1 Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo / Marcus Fernaldi Gideon.  With 5 such titles in the past 12 months, they will be carrying the weight of Indonesians’ expectations.  An additional 5 Grand Prix Gold titles have gone to Indonesian winners in the same period but almost all of these, including Thailand Masters champion Tommy Sugiarto, have been left off the list of those who could see action in the Gold Coast. The only exception is Thailand Open winner Rian Agung Saputro, who has been named to the squad along with his new partner, two-time World Champion Mohammad Ahsan.

The complete Indonesian Sudirman Cup team is as follows:

Men Women
Jonatan Christie Fitriani
Anthony Sinisuka Ginting Dinar Dyah Ayustine
Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo Gregoria Mariska Tunjung
Marcus Fernaldi Gideon Greysia Polii
Ricky Karanda Suwardi Della Destiara Haris
Angga Pratama Rosyita Eka Putri Sari
Mohammad Ahsan Anggia Shitta Awanda
Rian Agung Saputro Apriani Rahayu
Tontowi Ahmad Debby Susanto
Praveen Jordan Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja

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Don Hearn

About Don Hearn

Don Hearn is an Editor and Correspondent who hails from a badminton-loving town in rural Canada. He joined the Badzine team in 2006 to provide coverage of the Korean badminton scene and is committed to helping Badzine to promote badminton to the place it deserves as a global sport. Contact him at: don @ badzine.net