In a bid to revive Indonesia’s struggling badminton fortunes, the sport’s administrators are planning to expand the national training camp.
I Gusti Made Oka, the deputy chairman of the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI), said on Thursday that the organization would build a second training camp in the eastern part of the country.
National team shuttlers now train together in Cipayung, East Jakarta.
“We want to have more talent so that there will be stiffer competition for a place in the national team. That will give us the best shuttlers,” Oka said after a meeting with several of the country’s badminton legends in Cipayung on Thursday. “We also plan to start recruiting Under-18 prospects to the camp so they have top training and facilities from a young age.”
Oka declined to offer further details. “We all want to make Indonesia’s badminton the best in the world again,” he said.
After the men’s and women’s teams both failed to qualify for the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup semifinals in Wuhan, China, last week, the PBSI faced heavy criticism, especially from the country’s retired shuttlers.
Indonesia has not won the Thomas Cup since 2002, while the Uber Cup drought dates back to 1996. In recent major tournaments, local shuttlers have not fared well, with only mixed doubles pair Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsir able to claim a Super Series title this year.
Badminton greats met on Monday and produced a petition calling on the PBSI to stop the country’s results from sinking even further.
The group sent Joko Suprianto, Ivana Lie and Imelda Wigoena to Cipayung on Thursday to present the petition, which offered their advice on how to revive the sport, to top PBSI officials.
“We accept all the criticism as we’ve been regarding that as positive input. It means that lots of people really care about badminton,” Oka said. “Since it was legends who made this petition, we’ll take it seriously.”
Oka hoped all shuttlers would swiftly rebound given the Olympic Games in London are just two months away.