Djarum Indonesia Open: Pride of the Nation

After being successfully crowned as the world’s best tournament organizer for 2012 by the BWF, Djarum Indonesia Open Superseries Premier is ready to hit Istora Senayan again beginning on June 10th, and the media was invited to a press conference on Tuesday where some new features for 2013 were introduced.

Story by Altania Cut Wigri and Mathilde Liliana Perada, Badzine Correspondents live in Jakarta
Photos courtesy of Image Dynamics

The Indonesia Open always combines a world class tournament with spectacle and entertainment. “Pride of the Nation” was chosen as this year theme, replacing last year’s “Badminton Heroes” theme, and the Istora Senayan will be transformed with decorative batiks.

“The organizers will set all decorations with batik pattern to show off Indonesian cultural heritage.  Even DIO, the mascot of the Indonesia Open will wear a batik costume,” said Djarum representative Roland Halim at the press conference in the Shangri-La Hotel Grand Ballroom, Jakarta.

More than 200 athletes from around 22 countries will participate in this prestigious tournament, which has prizes worth US$700,000.  Unlike in previous years, 2013 will mark the first time that the Indonesia Open will be held over the course of seven days.  The organizers are making a new breakthrough to hold the first round in two days.

“We have added one more day to anticipate the matches going on until late at night and to give the opportunity to rest to athletes who play in two categories.  We also will use three courts, instead of four courts, for better media coverage,” said Basri Yusuf, the head organizer.

As the host, Team Indonesia has put in some quality preparation and hopes to win more titles, especially from the mixed and men’s doubles categories.

Chairman of the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) Gita Wirjawan considered this tournament as a test for Indonesian athletes to hone their skills because all of the world’s top athletes, in particular all those ranked in the top 10, are obliged to join.

“We hope that [Indonesian players] will give their best in Istora, and that they can even sweep the titles.  Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir and Angga Pratama / Rian Agung Saputro are expected to show outstanding performances.”

Tontowi Ahmad / Liliyana Natsir failed to get the Indonesia Open titles in last two years.  In the 2011 final, Tontowi/Liliyana lost to the top seeded Zhang Nan / Zhao Yunlei while last year, they lost to Sudket Prapakamol / Saralee Thoungthongkam.  These two painful losses make Tontowi/Liliyana feel pretty anxious to become this year’s home champion. Tontowi/Liliyana will get sturdy challenge from the top seeded Chinese pair Xu Chen / Ma Jin.  Besides that, Malaysian pair Chan Peng Soon / Goh Liu Ying, the defending champion from Thailand Sudket/Saralee, and Danish pair Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen can’t be taken lightly.

“In every tournament, we have to be sure to get the best result.  This year, we believe we can be the champions.  Indonesia hosts a Premier event, so we should be able to prove that not only can we win abroad, but that we can also win the home competition,” said Liliyana.

Mixed doubles coach Richard Mainaky assumes all of the opponents are tough, but the most important thing is Indonesian pair can win and get the title.  “I have the ambition to make the best of this coaching opportunity and increasing numbers of champions in this new board of PBSI.  We (Richard, Tontowi, Liliyana) have agreed to win the home championship,” said Richard.

Rexy Mainaky, the head of development of PBSI added that all of the athletes should have the confidence and spirit to be champions.  The coaches and athletes have prepared strategies to deal with opponent siege, the example is “Performance Analysis”.

“We don’t need to be glued to the coach analysis anymore, because there’s performance analysis now.  By watching opponents’ match videos, we can analyze our strengths and weaknesses.  This strategy was applied twice at Sudirman Cup when Indonesia was facing China and the results are satisfactory,” said Rexy.

For badminton fans who want to watch the players at Istora Senayan, tickets can be purchased online at www.blibli.com.  And for those who can’t, organizers will stream the events live from all of the courts starting on the first day at www.djarumbadminton.com

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