Thursday, October 1, 2020 | ePaper

When you say badminton, you say Indonesia:Oktohari

  • Print





Raja Sapta Oktohari, the muscular and youthful president of the Indonesian Olympic Committee, was finding it hard to contain his enthusiasm.
Badminton, he explained in an interview early this year, is more than a casual pastime in his country. It is part of the country's social fabric, a game played by families in backyards and cramped public spaces and by shop workers waiting for clients.
"When you say badminton, you say Indonesia," Oktohari declared. "That is how important it is."
So it was a blow to Indonesia's sporting culture when the Tokyo Olympics were postponed earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Badminton is the only sport in which Indonesia has won an Olympic gold medal, a feat its players have achieved seven times. It is, in an Olympic year, the only sport that matters here.
The coronavirus has tested that commitment since The Times visited in February to document badminton's place in Indonesian life, but it hasn't dimmed it a bit. Slowly but surely, the game and its players are emerging from lockdown. For months, training centres and courts in Jakarta have been closed, but any easing of rules will revive familiar routines, even if coaching instructions will have to come from behind masks and face shields.
The Olympics, rescheduled for next year, are never far from the players' minds. The national squad recently held an internal tournament "so they could not feel bored and can measure the results of training programs" during the lockdown, one official said.

More News For this Category

Spin hero Khan pays tribute to late mother, his 'biggest fan'

AFP, Dubai :An emotional Rashid Khan dedicated his Man of the Match award to his mother, who died earlier this year, after he bowled Sunrisers Hyderabad to their first win

National Men's Baseball Police, Ansar, SKSP, Community Sports Club in semis

Sports Reporter :Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Ansar, SKSP of Sirajganj and Community Sports Club reached the semis of the 7th Walton National Men's Baseball Championship on Wednesday.Bangladesh Police blanked DCC Baseball

Olympic artistic swimmer Kotani appointed as Tokyo 2020 sports director

Olympic artistic swimmer Kotani appointed as Tokyo 2020 sports director

The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee announced on Wednesday that former Olympic synchronized swimming bronze medalist Mikako Kotani has been appointed as the new sports director. The 54-year-old Kotani, who won

Serena Williams withdraws from French Open 2020

Serena Williams withdraws from French Open 2020

Three-time champion Serena Williams has withdrawn from the French Open because of an Achilles injury.The 39-year-old had been scheduled to play her second-round match against Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova on Wednesday.The

England Women crush West Indies to go 4-0 up in T20I series

England Women crush West Indies to go 4-0 up in T20I series

England Women remain on course for a T20I series whitewash over West Indies Women after cruising into a 4-0 lead with a 44-run victory at Derby on Monday night.Amy Jones

Karolina Pliskova survives scare against qualifier Mayar Sherif in first round

Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova came from a set down to avoid an upset against Egyptian qualifier Mayar Sherif in the French Open first round.World number four Pliskova, 28, had

Hockey's EC meeting next month

The Bangladesh Hockey Federation (BHF) will sit in an executive committee's meeting in the second week of next month.Earlier, the BHF fixed a tentative date of the meeting today to

Fulham boss Scott Parker 'disappointed' by Tony Khan apology after loss

Fulham boss Scott Parker says vice-chairman Tony Khan's Twitter apology for Monday's 3-0 defeat by Aston Villa was "disappointing" and "not helpful".Following the result at Craven Cottage, Khan promised to

Premier League returns 10 positive Covid-19 cases

Ten Premier League players and staff tested positive for coronavirus over the past week, the highest number of infections since the English top-flight returned from a three-month layoff in June."The

Nadal, Thiem kick off bids for Roland Garros title, Medvedev stunned by Fucsovics

Nadal, Thiem kick off bids for Roland Garros title, Medvedev stunned by Fucsovics

Defending champion Rafael Nadal, who is seeking his record 13th title at Roland Garros, eased through the first round with a comfortable 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Belarusian Egor Gerasimov