The Jakarta Post
Players and coaches have been urged to set “high and clear targets” in order for national badminton to bounce back from its current dismal condition.
“We can no longer target, say Simon and Sony, to be just world No. 8,” former national star Rexy Ronald Mainaky said in a press conference at the national training center in Cipayung, East Jakarta, on Friday.
The 1996 Olympic gold medalist has been placed in charge of the development division in the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI).
His return to Indonesia marks the end of his overseas coaching experience, which lasted over a decade and included stints in England, Malaysia and the Philippines.
With his duties also including supervising the athletes’ training camp, Rexy said he had to ensure that athletes and coaches worked toward clear targets.
“Simon is already No. 1 in Indonesia. So, his opponents must be [Malaysian shuttler] Lee Chong Wei and [Chinese shuttler] Lin Dan if he wants to be No. 1. Do Simon and Sony have that way of thinking?” asked Rexy, who won an Olympic gold medal in Atlanta in 1996 and the All England Championships back to back in 1995 and 1996 with his doubles partner Ricky Subagja.
Simon is now ranked seventh in the world, while Sony is 13th.
He said coaches also had to give their protégés targets.
“Coaches have to have the courage to set their trainees targets. For example, an athlete must win in five tournaments and become a finalist in three others during one year,” he said.
Training programs, he said, were being drawn up to cater to the PBSI’s targets.
He also said sports science would be more involved in the next development programs to develop
athletes’ skills and agility.
He said the deteriorating performances of Indonesia’s badminton players had made him return home.
“I was so annoyed seeing the graph of Indonesia’s badminton performance continuously decline. Other countries used to fear us,” he said.
Overseas, he helped Malaysian men’s doubles pair Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong climb to world No. 2, and steered British mixed doubles pair Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms into winning the Athens Olympics gold in 2004.
Rexy could have returned to Indonesia earlier but said an offer to coach at home never came, so he continued to look for work and headed to the Philippines.
PBSI chairman Gita Wirjawan said he would impose a tough player and coach recruitment policy.
“There will be new players and coaches in 2013 [at the national training camp],” said Gita, who is also the trade minister.
He set his sights on the upcoming four tournaments, which included the All England Championships, the Sudirman Cup, the SEA Games and the World Championships.