Indonesia to send 36-member team for All England Open

Indo Asian News Service

Jakarta, Feb 4 (IANS) Indonesia would send 36-strong badminton team for the 2019 All England Open with an aim to win doubles title, an Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI)official said here on Monday.

PBSI Sport Development deputy director Susi Susanti said the association previously set the target of two titles -- men's doubles and mixed doubles -- at the prestigious five-day international championship, starting on March 6 in Birmingham, reports Xinhua news agency.

The target was revised to one after Indonesia's top female mixed doubles player Lilyana Natsir decided to retire from her badminton career.

Together with Tantowi Ahmad, the Indonesian mixed doubles pair seized All England championships in a row from 2012 to 2014. The pair also won gold medal in 2016 Rio Olympics.

Indonesia's other mixed doubles pair Debby Susanto and Praveen Jordan won the 2016 All England, but their performance has not been consistent since then.

"At least one (All England) title this year. We know our current condition in all groups for sure. We may miss mixed doubles target, but the other pair has been capable in fulfilling our targets so far and is likely to continue further," Susi said at the national badminton training centre here.

Indonesia's top seeded men's doubles pair Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukomuljo won the All England's last two champions in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

The federation is also expecting Indonesian women's singles players to advance further in the upcoming All England tournament. Indonesian player in women's singles, Fitriani won the 2019 Thailand Masters last month.

Susi, who earned gold medal in 1992 Barcelona Olympics said even though they played well in each match, Indonesian men's singles players are yet to perform consistently in international tournaments.

--IANS

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