Indonesia may not be well known in the sporting world in general, but it is a powerhouse in the sport of badminton. Indonesia has won gold medals in badminton in every Olympic Games since the sport was first introduced to the Olympics in 1992, except in 2012. Also, out of all participating nations, Indonesia won the most games in the Thomas Cup (Men Nations Badminton Championship), winning 13 out of 24. In addition to that, Indonesia won the Uber Cup 3 times. (Women Nations Badminton Championship). and Won Sudirman Cup 1 Times. Why has Indonesia been so good in the sport? Rovo sought to find out.
National badminton body
Perhaps the biggest asset for the badminton scene in Indonesia is its national badminton body, which in our opinion is the most fervent in its efforts to develop the sport nationally, compared to those of other countries. Such Indonesian national badminton body, known by its Indonesian abbreviation, PBSI, covers all the sport's developmental expenses, and with the support of some corporate sponsors, operates 37 regional training centers throughout the entire length of the nation. This is no mean feat, because the Indonesian Archipelago spans a length of some 5,000km! An active scouting campaign for young talents has been in place for long, with the most promising of picks ending up in Cipayung in their late teens. Some, though like Susanti (one of the greatest badminton players of all time), and Mia Audina, arrive as early as age 15.Starting from the more recent years, the Indonesian badminton body has been conducting tournaments on the national level in order to provide greater opportunities for local players to groom their talent. This is to close the gap, with regards to training infrastructure, between Indonesia and some of her biggest rivals, particularly China. Such competitions include the National Sports Championships, which is meant to promote professional badminton among young players.
The Indonesian badminton national body is not the sole contributor to Indonesian badminton - the private sector is also heavily involved. One aspect in which public-private contribution is undertaken with regards to Indonesian national badminton development, is the establishment and maintenance of training centres. One of such is the PELATNAS (National Training Center). This one is a governmental effort, set up in order to provide a professional training camp for new players. Training centres run by the private sector are however, known for their more intense training regimes, and the cutting-edge facilities (typically absent in government-run facilities) available to players. Another difference lies in accessibility. Privately-run badminton training centers are open to all players who are interested whereas PELATNAS gives training only to those players deemed competitive enough to be deserving of their trainings.
Enthusiasm for the sport
Its all in the statistics! To put it simply, the combination of a national badminton craze with Indonesia having the 4th largest population in the world - over 260 million - makes Indonesia naturally well-endowed with some of the best players in the world. How crazy is badminton in Indonesia? When Susi Susanti and Alan Budi Kusuma came back home in August 1992, a crowd of between 500,000 to 1,000,000 welcomes their arrival!
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