Indonesia still a leader in badminton: Minister

PHOTO: The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs Puan Maharani lauded the achievements of the Indonesian badminton team who won two gold and two silvers medals at the International Junior Badminton Tournament 2017 at the Amongrogo sports stadium in Yogyakarta.

During the international tournament, which ended on Sunday, Gregoria Mariska won a gold medal in the women's singles category. The Indonesian mixed doubles team of Rinov Rivaldy and Pitha Haningtyas also won gold.

Mixed doubles pair Rehan Naufal and Siti Fadia and women's doubles team Jauza Fadila Sugiarto and Ribka Sugiarto snatched the silver medals for Indonesia.

"The achievements of our young badminton players will raise our self-confidence, that in the future Indonesians will still be placed among nations whose athletes are known to be great achievers in the badminton field," Puan said.

She congratulated the Indonesian junior badminton team who had been working hard in Yogyakarta with the help of their trainers and managers.

"We are proud of their achievements," she said, giving special thanks to the double women's team.

"I think it has been a long time since Indonesia achieved a gold medal in the women's category. I do hope [the women athletes] will continue to get adequate training and supervision as well as opportunities to play in international tournaments."

During the international tournament, three gold medals were won by players from three different countries -- Thailand, South Korea and Japan.

Puan said she was pleased to see the distribution of gold medals in the tournament, whereby new badminton champions were emerging from countries like Thailand and Japan, in a scene that had largely been dominated by South Korea and China.

"Through the mental strength of our youngsters in Yogyakarta, we are optimistic we will be much stronger in the future," Puan said, adding that she would work closely with Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi to organise more junior badminton tournaments across Indonesia to uncover new talent.

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