The new board of the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI), announced Monday night in Jakarta, brings former Olympic gold medallists back into the picture, including home legends Susi Susanti, Rexy Mainaky (photo) and Ricky Subagja.
By Raphael Sachetat. Photos (archives): Badmintonphoto
According to the Jakarta Post, three former badminton heroes will be among some 30 board members, headed by Trade Minister Gita Wiryawan, who was elected Chairman of PBSI a few weeks ago.
Susi Susanti has been appointed as an expert staff member in charge of development while Ricky Subagja will be responsible as officer in charge of public relations. Rexy Mainaky’s name is down for the head of development, together with Susanti.
“He is a young guy full of creativity and ideas. We all know Rexy has coached overseas and those countries have made progress,” Koesdarto Pramono, the new general-secretary, told the Jakarta Post. “This is the best team that we can form after discussing and consulting with all badminton stakeholders in the country.”
Pramono was also quoted in the Jakarta Globe as saying: “We will do our best for Indonesian badminton but we will also need all the support that we can get.”
Rexy Mainaky had been working overseas for a while, first coaching in England before making the headlines in Malaysia for a few years before moving to the Philippines last April, where he had signed a two-year contract. This contract may come in conflict with the new appointment, even if the 1996 Olympic gold medallist had always made known his desire to help his home country if needed. His former partner, 41-year-old Ricky Subagja was never involved in coaching for a national body before.
Susi Susanti (photo, right), winner of the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, had been called back a few years ago to manage the Uber Cup team when Indonesia hosted the event in 2008 and her team had a successful tournament before their 0-3 loss in the final to China.
The expectations are high for this new board as the recent performances of Indonesian athletes have been below par, with London Olympics being the first Olympic competition with no medal for the badminton powerhouse.
The new board was welcomed positively within the badminton community. “I think PBSI is making a great breakthrough,” said Simon Santoso, the country’s top men’s singles shuttler and world No. 5, to the Jakarta Globe on Monday.
Markis Kido, one of Indonesia’s best men’s doubles players, is also hoping for the best: “I hope they can improve badminton here. They all are former great shuttlers. They know what we shuttlers need to do in order to improve our games. I’m happy to see former shuttlers are given crucial positions in the association. I will certainly help them, if they ask, to bring back our glory days,” he said.
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