Damar Harsanto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Four days after the end of the World Badminton Championships in Madrid, Spain, the Badminton Association of Indonesia (PBSI) has blamed a lack of preparation for the failure to bring home a single title.
It seems we did not have enough preparation for such a major event like the championships, PBSI secretary-general Mangombar Ferdinand Siregar was quoted as saying by Antara on Thursday.
Siregar -- who was asked about an evaluation meeting held by the asso-ciation Wednesday evening -- said PBSI chairman Sutiyoso asked about reports some players missed training sessions ahead of the worlds.
The association also asked coaches to take responsibility for what they called the players' lack of preparation.
Sometimes coaches fail to ensure that the players are really doing what they are supposed to do, Siregar said.
Indonesia's 11 shuttlers came home empty-handed. The country's best result was in the men's doubles, where Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan and Luluk Hadiyanto/Alvent Yulianto made it to the quarterfinals. All of the other shuttlers, including 2005 men's singles world champion Taufik Hidayat, crashed out in earlier rounds.
But badminton observer Lutfi Hamid, a former PBSI official, called on the association to look beyond the fiasco in Spain.
Please, stop scapegoating our players. There are loads of things that should be addressed for evaluation and improvement, such as better planning for prioritized tournaments and the improved role of officials to take care of the needs of the athletes, the chairman of the SGS badminton club told The Jakarta Post by phone.
Lutfi said the poor performance of the mixed doubles pair Nova Widianto/ Lilyana Natsir at the championships after some consistent performances in previous tournaments could have reflected their exhaustion.
In this case, the coach must help select which tournaments they play in so they peak at the championships, he said.
PBSI secretary-general Siregar said Sutiyoso hoped the association would improve the programs at the national training camp ahead of the 2007 Sudirman Cup in Glasgow and the 2008 Thomas Cup and Uber Cup in Jakarta.
He said more juniors were expected to join the intensive training at the camp and take part in international championships.