Glass "half-full" for Indonesian shuttlers before Olympics

JAKARTA - The glass is still half-full for nine Indonesian shuttlers wanting to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics, an official for the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) said on Wednesday.

According to Hadi Nasri, who heads the athletic development division, All England mixed double champions Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad, leads the nine players who still in the running for London in terms of world ranking.

Liliyana and Tontowi currently placed third in the BWF (Badminton World Federation) ranking list.

"Surely we hope that there will be additional players outside the nine players that currently had the biggest chance to compete at the Olympics," Hadi said as quoted by kompas.com.

Besides the All England champions, the nine players included men's double players Mohammad Aksan and Bona Septano, and women's double pair Greysia Polii and Meiliana Jauhari.

The two pairs ranked World's No. 7 and No. 9 respectively.

Men's single players Simon Santoso (12) and 2004 Olympics gold medalist Taufik Hidayat (13) also have the chance for qualification which ends on May 3.

Meanwhile, female shuttlers Adriyanti Firdasari and Maria Febe Kusumastuti must compete each other for one spot to represent Indonesia for the women's singles.

The two women currently ranked in the 30s in BWF ranking list.

"Our athletes still have to compete at the Asia Championship in China as well as India Super Series to ensure that they indeed get the tickets to London," said Hadi.

Indonesian shuttlers remain the key players to secure gold medals in Olympics.

Hadi added that PBSI had also prepared sparring partners, nutritionists, physicians and psychologists to prepare both physical and mental aspects of the Indonesian players ahead of London.

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