Home2017Indonesia confident of finishing Group B champions in Asia Mixed Team meet

Indonesia confident of finishing Group B champions in Asia Mixed Team meet

Olympic mixed doubles gold medallist Tontowi Ahmad is in the team but Indonesia have also turned to their young shuttlers to vie for honours in the inaugural Robot Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships in Vietnam from Feb 14-19.

Tontowi won the mixed doubles gold medal in last year's Rio Oympics with his regular partner Liliyana Natsir. They beat Malaysia's Chan Peng Soon-Goh Liu Ying 21-14, 21-12 for the gold medal.

However, Tontowi is now paired with Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja as Liliyana has hung up her racquet after the Olympics.

Apart from the break-up of the Tontowi-Liliyana partnership, Indonesia have also broken up the partnership of their No 2 pair of Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto. Debby got married after the Olympics and has quit the sport. Praveen-Debby are the reigning All-England champions.
Lius Pongoh, the team manager of the team for the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships believes Indonesia will not have a problem advancing to the knockout stage from the three-team Group B which pits them with Malaysia and minnows Sri Lanka.

"We are confident of winning the group…this is our initial target," Lius, himself a former Indonesian international.

The Robot Badminton Asia meet will be held in Ho Chi Minh City with 13 countries vying for honours. The top two in each group will advance to the knockout stage.

Indonesia have included up and coming 17-year-old Gregoria Mariska, who finished runners-up to India's Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu in the women's singles in the recent Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow, India.

Mariska, was also runners-up in last year's Asian Junior Under-19 championships in Bangkok where she lost to China's Chen Yufei in the final 25-23, 21-14. Yufei is the reigning junior world champion.

Indonesia will bank on their national No 2 pair Angga Shitta-Mahadewi Istirani Ni Ketut and No 4 pair Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah-Rizki Amelia Pradipta in the women's doubles.
In the men's singles the burden is carried by their No 7 ranked Firman Abdul Kholik.

Indonesia are unseeded in the Asian meet. China are the top seeds followed by South Korea, Japan and Malaysia. The seedings are based on the overall team strength based on BWF world rankins dated Jan 19. 

The Indonesian Team

Men: Edi Subaktiar, Wahyu Nayaka Arya Pankaryanira, Firman Abdul Khlik, Muhammad Bayu Pangisthu, Alfian Eko Prasetya, Angga Pratama, Ricky Karanda Suwardi, Ade Yusuf
Women: Angga Shiita Awanda, Gregoria Mariska, Mahadewi Istirani Ni Ketut, Tiara Rosalia Nuraidah, Rizki Amelia Pradipta, Hanna Ramadini, Annisa Saufika, Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja



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