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Nova Widianto and Liliyana Natsir to split

Discussion in 'Indonesia Professional Players' started by Loh, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Jakarta Globe
    August 25, 2009


    By Sandy Pramuji

    Indonesia’s Badminton Dream Team Split Up Ahead Of Taiwan Tourney

    When the Taiwan Grand Prix Gold starts today, Liliyana Natsir will open a new chapter in her badminton career.

    Longtime partner Nova Widianto, who has repeatedly said he is too old to compete at the highest level, asked the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) to find another partner for Liliyana, and the association answered by sending Muhammad Rijal for a trial run in Taiwan.

    “Just like Nova has been guiding me throughout my career, now I’m ready to be Rijal’s mentor,” Liliyana, 24, said on Tuesday.

    Rijal and Liliyana’s first test is today’s first-round match against Terry Yeo and Li Yujia of Singapore at Hsingchuang Stadium.

    Liliyana and Nova had been together since 2004 and became one of the best mixed doubles teams in the world. Together they won 13 tournaments, including world championship titles in 2005 and 2007.

    But since winning the silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, their performances tailed off, with only one Super Series title this year, a victory in the Malaysia Open in January.

    They lost to Denmark’s Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Rytter Juhl in the world championship final in Hyderabad, India, earlier this month.

    After the worlds, mixed doubles coach Richard Mainaky admitted that Nova was not as fast and strong as before. The PBSI started the search for Liliyana’s new partner with Rijal (23), Fran Kurniawan (24) and Tantowi Ahmad (21) the main candidates.

    At first, the coach chose Tantowi to have a test run with Liliyana in Taiwan.

    He switched to Rijal after Rijal’s partner, Debby Susanto, injured her back in training last week and could not go to the tournament.

    Rijal has one decided advantage over the rest of the candidates.

    He is the only one of the three to win a Super Series title, having claimed the Japan Open mixed doubles crown with Vita Marissa last year.

    Rijal and Vita were seen as a promising pair to take over Nova and Liliyana’s spot, but Vita left the national team earlier this year when she and the PBSI could not agree on contract terms.

    Before Vita, the Tangerang-born Rijal was partnered with Greysia Polii. Their best showing was a runner-up finish at the Swiss Open Super Series.

    Rijal’s best achievement this year with Debby was the semifinals of the Philippine Open Grand Prix Gold and Vietnam International Challenge.

    With Liliyana and Rijal still undergoing a try-out period, they will only compete together in second- and third-tier tournaments.

    “We’ll assess their performance after the Taiwan tournament,” national team head coach Christian Hadinata said. “For Super Series tournaments, Liliyana will still play with Nova, at least until the end of this year, because they are still the best that we have.”
     

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  2. SibugiChai

    SibugiChai Regular Member

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    I wonder why Nova Widianto is such a succesful mixed double player but never play in men doubles?
     
  3. george@chongwei

    george@chongwei Regular Member

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    Maybe no perfect md partner for him or he only wants to focus in the mixed doubles;)
     
  4. Makunouchi

    Makunouchi Regular Member

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    Very sad to hear the news. They are the only competitive players from Indonesia that I know aside from Kido & Setiawan who can challenge the best players and win. Hope to the new pairing would be very successful in the future.
     
  5. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    Because..

    ..he is no Lee Yongdae...

    Tease aside, i think it's about time Liliyana finally gets a newer, fresher partner. I don't know how well this new partnership will bloom into, but hopefully with a renewed vigor and youth, on their side, this XD pairing will be a XD pair to be reckoned with.
     
  6. narnia

    narnia Regular Member

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    I've heard from BadMania that INA doesn't allow their National Team members play in two categories.

    But, in 2007 maybe at ABC, he had played with Candra Wijaya, in which they did good performance until finally being defeated by the KOR duo.

    :)
     
  7. tjiang2

    tjiang2 Regular Member

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    He is BAC 2008 Men's doubles runner up with Candra Wijaya... as their preparation for 2008 Thomas Cup. In Thomas Cup, they also played once.
     
  8. badMania

    badMania Regular Member

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    It's a tradition that INA's MD players (especially the top pairs) will NEVER BE ALLOWED to play XD simultaneously. Can you recall Ricky/Rexy, Tony/Candra, Tony/Halim, Candra/Sigit, Luluk/Alvent or Kido/Hendra playing Mixed? Similarly for the younger pairs like Bona/Ahsan. The trend might change in the future with the emergence of players like Mohd Ulinnuha, who can play in both events, but, again, it will have to depend on their coaches, once Ulin joins Pelatnas sometime next year :cool:

    On the other hand, the men's players in the Mixed Doubles are usually those players who have had enough of Men's Doubles or could not break the ranks. For example: Tri Kusharyanto, Flandy Limpele (he switched to XD only after his MD partner retired from the National Team), Nova Widianto.

    Nova was instructed to play MD only for 1 event (the BAC 2008) in preparation of the Thomas Cup 2008 and that too because INA's second MD was poor and we had to rely on Candra and Nova's experience at that time.
     
  9. Qidong

    Qidong Regular Member

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    Nova is good at finding and placing the shuttle to hard-to-reached spots. But in MD, the pace is so fast, it's just all smashing and driving. His style may not be good in MD.
     
  10. ye333

    ye333 Regular Member

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    Nova has been guiding Lilyana? Huh? I think Lilyana always seems pissed at Nova's mistakes... :D

     
  11. ye333

    ye333 Regular Member

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    I think I have heard somewhere that Limpele played XD before 1998. Is that true?

     
  12. Qidong

    Qidong Regular Member

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    She will be an excellent politician. :D
     
  13. ctjcad

    ctjcad Regular Member

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    It is rare..

    ..and personally, i don't think it's so much abt them "never be allowed to play XD simultaneously". I'm sure many of those MD players could play XD. But rather, the style/approach of play for both events are different & they probably don't have the talents/players. XD & MD specialists are more like a hybrid, tweener doubles player.
    Btw, you forgot to mention, arguably, the best doubles player in INA baddy history: Christian Hadinata.:cool:
     
  14. bradmyster

    bradmyster Regular Member

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    Sad that Nova is will finally most likely retire. No doubt he will have some involvement in INA badminton when he retires though.. His experience would be priceless to the younger players!
     
  15. Sandy

    Sandy Regular Member

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    Yes, he played in 1996 Atlanta Olympics in XD (paired with Risyeu Rosalina)
     
  16. flo-J

    flo-J Regular Member

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    haha...just like Gao ling always pissed at zheng bo's mistakes,,:D
     
    #16 flo-J, Aug 27, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  17. bradmyster

    bradmyster Regular Member

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    And then Zheng Bo seemed pissed at Ma Jin's mistakes!! Chain reaction! haha
     
  18. Athelete1234

    Athelete1234 Regular Member

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    Who then proceeds to get pissed off at his racquet's mistakes (see HK open 2007 picture thread):D:D
     
  19. madbad

    madbad Regular Member

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    And Yu Yang is always nagging poor He Hanbin. Yu Yang - now that's an alpha woman :p
     
  20. flo-J

    flo-J Regular Member

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    Lilyana at Nova
    Gao Ling at Zheng Bo
    Yu Yang at Hanbin.......

    Girl power la~~ seems all the man bent on women knees...^^V
     

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