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  1. #1
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Current State of Singapore Badminton

    The Straits Times
    January 9 2009

    By Terrence Voon

    Hitting The Books

    First, it was Ronald Susilo.

    Now, two other top Singapore shuttlers - Kendrick Lee and Jiang Yanmei - have also taken up full-time studies, dealing a double blow to the national squad.

    Like Susilo, Lee, 24, and Jiang, 27, are pursuing full-time diploma courses in management studies at SIM University (UniSIM).

    Lee, Singapore's No. 1 male shuttler, is set to cut down drastically on the number of competitions he takes part in while Jiang, a doubles specialist, has hung up her racket for good.

    Susilo told The Straits Times last month that he will retire by next year.

    The trio's absence from national duty will leave the current squad short on experience, especially in the men's singles department.

    To make matters worse, promising younsters like Derek Wong and Ashton Chen, both 19, are undergoing national service. This means they have less time to train and compete.

    Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) chief executive officer Edwin Pang acknowledged that this was "a time of transition" for the team.

    "It is inevitable that older top players would eventually retire or prepare for their post-playing career," he added.

    "We will step up our development of younger players to prepare them for the challenges ahead."

    Pang also stressed that Lee and Jiang - whose contracts expired last year - have not left the association completely. Neither has Susilo.

    The SBA plans to offer the 29-year Indonesian-born Susilo a part-time position as player-coach for one year.

    Lee will also be given a one-year deal as part-time player, while Jiang will be asked to stay on as a part-time coach of the national junior squad.

    Jiang, whose doubles partnership with Li Yujia is ranked 15th in the world, recently tied the knot with national coach Chua Yong Joo (a Singaporean). The China-born shuttler feels it is time to move on.

    (Coincidentally, her partner Li Yujia was reported to be married to Bai Song, another China-born coach who recently left the SBA.)

    "I have dedicated so many years to badminton, now I need to think about my future," she (Jiang) said. "Coaching is one thing that I'm really looking forward to."

    Lee, the world No. 33, was previously studying on a part-time basis. But he switched to the 15-month full-time course because it was too stressful to train and attend lessons at the same time.

    "I wanted to get my studies over and done with," he explained. "If I tried to juggle training and studying, both would be affected eventually."

    Lee still harbours hopes of representing Singapaore at the Asian and Commonwealth Games next year, as well as the 2012 London Olympics.

    But he is unsure whether his course schedule will allow him to appear at this year's South-east Asia Games in Laos.

    At the previous edition in Thailand, he won a silver in the man's singles, while Jiang snagged a silver in the women's team event and a a bronze in the women's doubles with Li Yujia.

    The national teams are likely to struggle at the Badminton World Federation's elite Super Series circuit this year - judging from recent results.

    At the ongoing Malaysian Open, for instance, only one Singaporean progressed beyond the second round.

    Zhang Beiwen is the Republic's lone representative in the quarter-finals, after beating Pia Zebadiah Bernadet of Indonesia 21-8, 21-14 in the women's singles yesterday.

    But Pang insisted the future remains bright.

    "Our juniors are showing a lot of potential," he said. "If they pull up their standards, we can look forward to good years ahead."
    Last edited by Loh; 01-09-2009 at 08:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member ctjcad's Avatar
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    Default Promising shuttler quits..

    ..(just found this news)..it mentioned there is more to the story, but i guess on the hardcopy edition??..
    Any comment from you guys S'pore BCers?? or background on him??..

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking...ry_339336.html
    ================================================== =======
    Promising shuttler quits
    Badminton officials told him to become a citizen or leave squad
    By Terrence Voon


    Riky at Changi Airport yesterday before flying home to Indonesia. SBA officials had wanted him to become Singaporean in time to represent the country at this year's SEA Games, but his parents felt he was too young to make the move. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

    ONE of Singapore's rising foreign badminton talents has quit the national team, complaining that he was told to either take up citizenship or go.
    Doubles specialist Riky Widianto, 17, who has been here since 2005, flew home to Indonesia yesterday after tendering his resignation to the Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) earlier this month.

    SBA COULDN'T WAIT

    'I wanted to stay and fulfil my dream as a badminton champion for Singapore. But I had no choice because the association told me I had to become a citizen now, or quit. My family told me to wait another year or two, but the SBA couldn't wait.'

    Player Riky Widianto, who returned to Indonesia yesterday

    WASTE OF RESOURCES

    'When we bring in foreign players, it is understood that they will be asked to become citizens and play for the country. When they refuse to do so, it makes a mockery of the system and wastes our limited resources, which can be better used for other players who are keen to represent the country.'
    SBA chief executive Edwin Pang

    Badminton officials had wanted him to become Singaporean in time to represent the country at this year's South-east Asia Games, but Riky said his parents felt he was too young to make the move.

    'I wanted to stay and fulfil my dream as a badminton champion for Singapore,' he told The Straits Times. 'But I had no choice because the association told me I had to become a citizen now, or quit.'

    'My family told me to wait another year or two, but the SBA couldn't wait.'

    The full-time player was also unhappy with his monthly pay of $1,350, saying it was barely enough to cover his living expenses.

    They included his $400 monthly room rent at the Singapore Sports School, and $350 a month for catered meals there.

    The Surabaya native said he was sad to leave Singapore and his friends, but did not want to defy his family's wishes.

    Asked if Riky had been given an ultimatum, SBA chief executive Edwin Pang told The Straits Times: 'We advised him to resign if he did not want to switch citizenship.'

    He explained that the shuttler had been earmarked not only for the SEA Games, but also the World Junior Championships, Asian and Commonwealth Games next year.
    Last edited by ctjcad; 02-17-2009 at 01:48 AM.

  3. #3
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    All I can say is that Singapore have done what was best for both parties. Just too bad that things didn't work out and for most Singaporeans we want to make sure our efforts and limited resources are not wasted any further. Better the decision now than later when the answer could still be no.

    Singapore need to get other foreign talents who are more committed and meantime to scout for and encourage more talented locals to take up the challenge. We have had bad experience before and this is all a learning process.

  4. #4
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    SIN's loss is INA's gain. Riky Widianto is a good talent for the doubles. If he's still 17 as reported, then, he should have a good future. I am wondering which club he belongs too...hmm.....

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    Jiang, whose doubles partnership with Li Yujia is ranked 15th in the world, recently tied the knot with national coach Chua Yong Joo (a Singaporean).
    (Coincidentally, her partner Li Yujia was reported to be married to Bai Song, another China-born coach who recently left the SBA.)

    What's is this getting comfy and messing around with coaches...future women players better be beware, no, better warn their mommy and big daddy...hehehe!!

  6. #6
    Regular Member huangkwokhau's Avatar
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    SIN needs to increase to their salary up to S$2000...it may help..

  7. #7
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneToughBirdie View Post
    Jiang, whose doubles partnership with Li Yujia is ranked 15th in the world, recently tied the knot with national coach Chua Yong Joo (a Singaporean).
    (Coincidentally, her partner Li Yujia was reported to be married to Bai Song, another China-born coach who recently left the SBA.)

    What's is this getting comfy and messing around with coaches...future women players better be beware, no, better warn their mommy and big daddy...hehehe!!
    Actually, if in the end the foreign talents, including coach Bai Song, choose to settle in Singapore, it will only be a blessing and our badminton grassroots can certainly benefit. Jiang and Li, I believe are already Singapore citizens.

    "You win some, you lose some", they say.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by huangkwokhau View Post
    SIN needs to increase to their salary up to S$2000...it may help..
    For a 17-year old without paper qualifications and who had been brought here since age 14 to be developed as a badminton champion, Riky's parents should be more than satisfied. Don't forget the cost to SBA for engaging coaches and providing the administrative and the other ancilliary support.

    I don't know about their home background, but the money that Riky is earning is more than what a graduate would receive back in Indonesia, I should think. The parents don't have to look after Riky and spend money on maintaining him at home. And Riky could enjoy what he does best in the company of like-minded teenagers. Yet they could not let Riky decide for himself.

    Furthermore SBA have plans to send Riky to overseas tournaments for further exposure and when Riky does well, I'm sure the incentives should increase to commensurate with his achievements. Riky is now starting out to gain more international experience and he would need a few more years to reach world class standard.

    Do you think Riky would be able to enjoy all these back home?
    Last edited by Loh; 02-17-2009 at 08:03 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    Actually, if in the end the foreign talents, including coach Bai Song, choose to settle in Singapore, it will only be a blessing and our badminton grassroots can certainly benefit. Jiang and Li, I believe are already Singapore citizens.

    "You win some, you lose some", they say.
    Just poking fun...anyway, they are adults making adult decision, what is anyone's business who's marrying who

  10. #10
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneToughBirdie View Post
    Just poking fun...anyway, they are adults making adult decision, what is anyone's business who's marrying who
    Yes you're right.
    Just stating the positive benefits that could accrue out of Singapore's foreign talent policy, lest those who are anti-FT feel Singapore always bear the brunt of the FT burden.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loh View Post
    Yes you're right.
    Just stating the positive benefits that could accrue out of Singapore's foreign talent policy, lest those who are anti-FT feel Singapore always bear the brunt of the FT burden.
    It is a free world, nobody force anyone to go anywhere and they are free to leave if they choose. As for FT, why not, if a country cannot grow them, import them, no different than Canada offering foreigners attending medical school to stay put than to return home. If INA produces and groom a TH and then Spore import TH over and got a gold medal, that would be a great coup.

  12. #12
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    The long term solution for badminton in Singapore is to have a larger base of local players with imported talents to help groom the locals. To depend solely on imports can be expensive and the locals will feel left out. Locally born Singaporeans must have the hunger and the passion for badminton; imports are solely brought in to nuture this local "hungry" pool.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by taneepak View Post
    The long term solution for badminton in Singapore is to have a larger base of local players with imported talents to help groom the locals. To depend solely on imports can be expensive and the locals will feel left out. Locally born Singaporeans must have the hunger and the passion for badminton; imports are solely brought in to nuture this local "hungry" pool.
    That is an admirable proposition but it will be ages before it bears any fruits. I thought Spore is a very competitive nation and I have tremendous respect for my fiercely competitive Spore schoolmates while at university and hearing from them, just the schooling system scares the day light out of me and I would fail for sureTherefore, concern that the locals will be left out if FT dominates baddy, well, the real world of competitive baddy with the likes of LD and the CHN boys, LCW, TH do not make life anymore easier. Baddy is a tough business, the rewards does not necessarily match the effort. Better to chase professional career where the outcome is more predictable than to invest a lifetime chasing a dream, only to wake up finding out you need a new job when your skills fade and your services are no longer needed. You may feel being raped Just looking at Spore women paddy players, aren't them FT and a tiny 3-million people nation rank second in the world next to the mighty 1.3 billion CHN, isn't that an awesome achievement, so who cares FT, steal them if you can and make sure you send a thank you card to the nation you stole them from

  14. #14
    Regular Member george@chongwei's Avatar
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    glad that spore still keep Zhang Bei Wen

  15. #15
    Regular Member ants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taneepak View Post
    The long term solution for badminton in Singapore is to have a larger base of local players with imported talents to help groom the locals. To depend solely on imports can be expensive and the locals will feel left out. Locally born Singaporeans must have the hunger and the passion for badminton; imports are solely brought in to nuture this local "hungry" pool.
    Unfortunately the locals have other priorities.

  16. #16
    Regular Member demolidor's Avatar
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    Read this yesterday as well. Here is the hardcopy:


  17. #17
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taneepak View Post
    The long term solution for badminton in Singapore is to have a larger base of local players with imported talents to help groom the locals. To depend solely on imports can be expensive and the locals will feel left out. Locally born Singaporeans must have the hunger and the passion for badminton; imports are solely brought in to nuture this local "hungry" pool.
    Yes I believe this is Singapore's strategy. That's why we have embarked on the Sports School four years' ago and will continue to create a bigger base from the other schools to enhance our own talent pool.

    That's why our sports authorities are ever so active in organizing sports internationals to create the buzz and vibrancy for sports fans and the sports industry. That's why our inaugural attempt at staging the Youth Olympics 2010 has to be a success to attract the young and give confidence that sports has a role in society and from which one can make a living.

    But all these take time and meanwhile we have to make do with whatever is possible to help the national sports effort. So patience is called for.

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