He won back-to-back men's singles gold at the 2009 and 2011 South-east Asia (SEA) Games, and he also stormed through to lift the OUE Singapore Open crown last year as a qualifier.
But Indonesia's Simon Santoso, who was the world No. 3 in 2009, is still not sure if he will represent his country at the 28th SEA Games here in June.
"Whether I compete in the SEA Games or not is not up to me, but the PBSI (Badminton Association of Indonesia). I've heard nothing from them yet," said the 29-year-old (right), at the press conference for the 2015 OUE Singapore Open at the Mandarin Orchard Hotel yesterday.
"In the meantime, I will start trying to accumulate points for next year's Olympics from next month."
Santoso will start his title defence today with a first-round qualifier against Denmark's Emil Holst, with a potential duel against Danish world No. 6 Viktor Axelsen looming in the later rounds.
"It is definitely not easy to win a tournament as a qualifier and it all boils down to hard work. I will just have to take things one at a time," he said.
It has been an eventful time for the world No. 38 since he fought through the qualifying rounds to beat Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei in the men's singles final in Singapore last year.
He got married last December, and resigned from national team training last month, amid contradictory reports in the Indonesian press.
Some claimed that he wanted to spend more time with his family, while others suggested he felt he had been unfairly treated by the PBSI.
Ironically, Santoso also resigned from the national squad in January last year, but rejoined the fold after winning the Singapore Open.
Yesterday, though, the veteran shuttler avoided even a hint of controversy, insisting he would answer the call if his country needed him for the SEA Games.
He said: "I am ready to be called up whenever required by the PBSI, and also the Indonesian badminton team.
"If they feel I am needed in the team, then I will rejoin them."
This article was first published on Apr 7, 2015.
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